Sunday, September 12, 2010
the East Mediterranean + INCIDENCE Ziad Antar + Inci Eviner + Gülsün Karamustafa + Hassan Khan + Maha Maamoun + Christodoulos Panayiotou
exhibition opening at Philadelphia Museum of Art + a live music and video performance by artist Hassan Khan at the Slought Foundation
Saturday September 18 / 1-5
Live Cinema Live
an afternoon of conversations between artists, curators + writers including Nora Alter + Hassan Khan + René Marquez + November Paynter + Adelina Vlas + Brian Kuan Wood Trabant Theater / University of Delaware
+ Thursday September 16 / 3:30 Christodoulos Panayiotou Artist Talk Sharp Lab Room 130 / University of Delaware
Posted by abbydonovan at 12:42 PM
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Tell me this isn't beguiling.
Anybody raised in the Middle East will certainly be aware of Googoosh, but (to our great discredit), to a western ear, it may be foreign. The Iranian pop singer and actress is a national treasure over in Iran and mayhaps the country's finest singer of all time.
In the 1960s and 70s, Googoosh was considered the most celebrated recording artist in Iran and much of the Middle East. In addition to music, Googoosh was also an actress in many Persian films of the 1960s and 1970s. She is more widely known as a singer than as an actress. After the Iranian Revolution in 1979, she is famously known for remaining in Iran until 2000 and not performing again due to the ban on female singers. Still, her following grew. Younger people have rediscovered her music via bootleg recordings. Outside of Iran, she has a significant following in many Middle Eastern and Central Asian countries, and has even caught the attention of western media and press.. Googoosh is rumored to reside in an estimated $16 million valued estate near Bel Air, Los Angeles, California, and continues her career, albeit in a limited manner.
“I have come here to be the voice for the sad mothers who lost their loved ones in peaceful demonstrations,” said the singer. “I have come here to be the just voice of the grass-roots and spontaneous movement among my compatriots and to show my solidarity.” Source New York Times.com
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
It has no official website, no signs on the streets directing to it and no paved roads leading to it, but once you have reached your destination, you are magically transported into a world that not many people know exists
Located just off Arabian Gulf Road in the Sharq district of Kuwait in one of the very few surviving pre World War Two era structures in the old capital, the Modern Art Museum in Kuwait offers visitors one of the only permanent displays of modern Arab and international art in the region. This imposing buildinghas always been an educational institution; it was built in 1939 to house the Madrasa Al Sharqiya, or Eastern School in which generations of prominent Kuwaitis studied including the current Emir Sheikh, Sabah Al Ahmad
When the National Committee of Culture, Arts and Literature took over the building two decades ago it went about carefully restoring it from the heavy damage incurred during the 1990 invasion and transforming it into a fitting home for its art collection comprised of purchases and donations. Photos of the restoration process, which lasted until 2003, can still be seen along with black and white pictures of students from the various classes. Upon arrival, a traditional wooden doorway leads visitors to an open airhoash or lobby that can be found in most large houses in the region where the museum administration offices are located. Then walking through a short corridor through a glass door the visitor passes the temporary exhibition hall where artists are invited to hold exhibitions of their latest works. Then another large lobby appears, this one covered in a transparent roof as beneath it dozens of sculptures dating back several decades are on display. This lobby is surrounded by several classrooms on the ground and first floors with large rectangular windows overlooking it, these classroms have now been transformed into art galleries divided into themes
The ground floor lobby along with the classrooms is dedicated exclusively to Kuwaiti art including paintings and sculptures by Essa Sagr, Khazal Al Gaffas, Sami Mohammed and Thuraya Al Baqsami who are counted amongst the pioneers of the modern art movement not only in Kuwait but also in the Arabian Gulf region. An elevator that looks as though it has come out of a Mahmoud Hammad painting transports visitors to the first floor where Gulf, Arab and international art can be admired including the UAE's Abdul Qader Al Rais who studied in Kuwait, Lebanon's Paul Guiragossian, Syria's Nazir Nabaa and Bahrain'sJamal Abdul Rahim offering a different perspective on various issues in the Arab world. There must be at least a couple of hundred artworks showcased in this magnificent museum that has so far received scant attention from the region's media.
The Kuwait Modern Art Museum sadly offers very little explanation of the art on display and no book or audio guide, but it more than makes up for it for those who are willing to visit with an open mind and a little imagination allowing themselves to be enchanted by its unrivalled architectural, historical and artistic treasures.