press release

Joint Production: Contemporary Arab Representations is a long-term project directed by Catherine David, organised and produced by the Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona; the Arteleku-Diputación Foral de Gipuzkoa and the Universidad Internacional de Andalucía-UNIA arteypensamiento.

Contemporary Arab Representations. The Iraqi Equation has been produced in association with the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, and the centro de las artes de Sevilla, and has been made possible thanks to support from the German Federal Cultural Foundation (Kulturstiftung des Bundes) and the Spanish Ministry of Culture.

Contemporary Arab Representations is a long-term project which includes presentations of works by authors from different disciplines (visual arts, architecture, literature, thought, film), seminars, performances and publications. The aim is to enable production, circulation and exchanges between the different cultural centres in the Arab world and the rest of the world. The project looks at the complex dimensions of aesthetics in relation to social and political situations to acquire a more precise knowledge of what is happening now in various areas of the Arab world. If the first and second parts focused on Beirut/Lebanon and Cairo/Egypt respectively, this third stage of the project turns its attention to Iraq.

Since the Gulf War and the invasion and occupation of the country, the images and incomplete news that reach us from Iraq through the mass media have to a large extent simplified and distorted representations and information about what is an extremely complex political, cultural and social situation. Contemporary Arab Representations. The Iraqi Equation does not propose an “exhibition” of modern or contemporary Iraqi art; rather, it provides a platform for information, meeting and debate open to artists, film-makers, authors, analysts and activists able to throw some light on the historic, political, social and cultural context that has led to the present situation and to suggest possible ways out of the nightmare that is everyday life for the Iraqi people today. The aim is, then, to put events, images and ideas into perspective to step back from the immediate horizon of destruction, confusion and chaos, a situation deliberately maintained to the benefit of a few, and to gather testimonies and actions enabling us to make an inventory of a complex cultural inheritance and to encourage possible projects with Iraqis, both inside the country and elsewhere.

Contemporary Arab Representations. The Iraqi Equation began with a conference at the Universidad Internacional de Andalucía-UNIA arteypensamiento (14 – 16 November 2005) with lectures by novelist Ali Bader, journalist Käis Al Azzawi and sociologist Pierre-Jean Luizard, among others. The project continued as platform for the presentation of documentary films and videos, feature films, video portraits, photographic archive materials, books and magazines, live satellite TV transmissions, artistic interventions and other live activities such as literature readings, lectures and debates. This new phase of the project was on exhibition at KW Institute of Contemporary Art Berlin, and now continues with a showing at the la Fundació Antoni Tàpies which includes new elements.

Project directed by: Catherine David

FORTHCOMING PUBLICATION: Tamáss 3. Contemporary Arab Representations. The Iraqi Equation


Contemporary Arab Representations. The Iraqi Equation
Kurator: Catherine David

mit Sinan Antoon, Arab Image Foundation, Hana Al-Bayaty, Sawsan Darwaza, Scheherazade Qassim Hassan, Tariq Hashim, Koutaiba Al-Janabi, Nedim Kufi, Faisel Laibi, Pierre-Jean Luizard, Maysoon Pachachi, Salam Pax, Talal Refit, Rashad Salim, Samir, Baz Shamoun and Saadi Youssef

18.12.05 - 26.02.06 KW Berlin
28.04.06 - 25.06.06 Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona