- Published on Saturday, 12 March 2011 19:00
- Category: Art
In times of political unrest societies can become polarized. Cross-cultural understanding can dissipate to the point of non-existence. With the unrest that is rocking the Middle East in Libya, Egypt and Tunisia, it is even possible for this polarization to take place between countries of the Middle East in relationship to one another.
In the upcoming exhibition Dis[Locating] Culture Exhibit featured at the Michael Berger Gallery in Pittsburg PA, giant causeways that bar communication between the East and West are connected through the bridge of art.
Co-curated by gallery owner Michael Berger and Islamic art scholar Reem Alalusi, and running April 15 - July 30, 2011, with an Opening Reception on the first night, this exhibit is presented in the context of Contemporary Islamic Art in America and will showcase some of the finest American Islamic artists – whether Muslim by faith or not.
As the first exhibition of its kind in Pittsburg to feature contemporary Arab and Islamic art, the show aims to breakdown preconceived ideas and stereotypes of the Middle East, creating a dialogue between the artist and the viewer that humanizes and contextualizes culture, art, and life. Dis[locating] Culture pushes the boundaries of what is Art, what is beautiful, and what is Islamic.
When asked how the concept of the exhibit came to pass, Alalusi remarked that the idea was spawned through a collaboration between herself and Michael Berger on the need for boundaries between Islamic and Western cultures to be broken. They decided there is no better vehicle to do that than Art. “Art is language” said Ms. Alalusi. She expressed her desire for this exhibition to serve as a means of contemporizing the idea of what Islamic art looks like, breaking the notion that art of the Islamic world consists of only Persian miniatures and mosaics. She wanted to showcase this unique and active contemporary art community that pushes beyond the status quo not only with subject matter but with medium as well. Artist featured in the exhibition include Amir Fallah, Shiva Ahmad, and Farah Ossouli.
As compliment to the exhibition, a symposium will be presented in conjunction with The Word of God: Sandow Birk’s American Qur’an at The Warhol in Pittsburg featuring artists and scholars who will discuss current issues surrounding the Middle East and its representation in the media, art, and popular culture. The symposium will feature a keynote address by Aslan Media Founder, Dr. Reza Aslan.
The Panelists for the symposium are as follows:
• Negar Ahkami, contemporary artist, New York
• Reem Alalusi, Curator and Scholar • Sandow Birk, contemporary artist, Los Angeles
• Leila Taghinia-Milani Heller, art critic and gallery owner, LTMH Gallery, New York City
• Thomas Sokolowski (moderator) renowned curator and scholar of Contemporary Art
For more information on the exhibit, symposium, or the artists featured in this article please visit www.michaelbergergallery.comBy Erin Joyce, Aslan Media Art Editor
*For more images from the exhibition, check out this slideshow on The Huffington Post
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