This artist's son is wrapped in Arabic poetry.
A refugee's suitcase, on paper. What would you grab if everything you took had to fit in a small suitcase? Text surrounds the silhouettes and appears in the suitcase.
This is a dictionary by a Palestinian artist, opened to the definition of "Philistine," surrounded by actual nails.
Phil·is·tine n. (fĭl'ĭ-stēn', fĭ-lĭs'tĭn, -tēn')
- A member of an Aegean people who settled ancient Philistia around the 12th century B.C.
- A smug, ignorant, especially middle-class person who is regarded as being indifferent or antagonistic to artistic and cultural values.
- One who lacks knowledge in a specific area.
Another artist's book. You can see its accordian shape in the lower right hand corner--above the big head of that person sitting in front of me.
This is graffiti the artist saw and copied onto paper. It says 'the envious shall not prevail."
I went to a slide presentation--at the Virginia Commonwealth University campus in Qatar--of this show; it's opening in Dubai and comprises art from the British Museum--better known for its mummies than controversial collections of Middle Eastern art, said the museum's Middle East curator, Venetia Porter. She's British but spend a good part of her childhood in Lebanon and is fluent in Arabic. After the presentation I told her this show should go to New York. The consensus seems to be that it's too controversial for the U.S.
All of the artists in this show work with transforming text into art--Linda Passman and I are fascinated by the interpaly of text and visuals. We play with a lot of ideas in the visual journal workshop we teach.
A full reception followed this free, open-to-the-public event--with falafel, hummus, chicken and vegetable pastries, grilled meats, dessert pastries, fresh fruit, fresh-squeezed strawberry juice. Quite a spread. "They always have these," my friend told me. Can you imagine such lavish spreads at a free slide presentation in America?
Not served--alcohol. This is a strict Muslim country.