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Ayman baalbaki and susan hefuna in vancouver


Audain & O'Brian Galleries, Vancouver
20 April 2013 – 15 September 2013

Safar/Voyage will be the first major exhibition of contemporary art from these regions to be shown in Vancouver. It is constructed as a journey in the company of 16 artists, each of whom is neither fixed inside the territories of the Middle East nor permanently diasporic. These artists define themselves and the world according to their own creative representations, often informed by culturally specific conditions.

Wrapping the globe, their diverse artworks speak to the universal theme of voyage (a translation of the Persian safar), from the external and geographical to the internal, emotional, and existential. They acknowledge the realities of political turmoil and revolution, and how politics frames both trauma and desire, whether individual or collective. Voyage is seen to take many forms. Expressed in media ranging from painting, sculpture, and video installation to performance and a carpet, it is as innocuous as tourism (with a twist), as disturbing as war—the violent crossing of borders—and as philosophical as the transience of life. The artists of Safar/Voyage are positioned as our guides, their visions mined for reflections on some of the most urgent issues of our time.

The artists featured are Adel Abidin, Tarek Al-Ghoussein, Nazgol Ansarinia, Kutlug Ataman, Ayman Baalbaki, Ali Banisadr, Taysir Batniji, Mona Hatoum, Susan Hefuna, Raafat Ishak, Y.Z. Kami, Farhad Moshiri, Youssef Nabil, Hamed Sahihi, Mitra Tabrizian, and Parviz Tanavoli.

The exhibition is curated by Dr. Fereshteh Daftari, former curator at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. MOA Coordinating Curator Dr. Jill Baird, Curator, Education & Public Programs. The exhibit will be accompanied by a publication.The exhibition will feature a wide range of public programs including curator and artist talks, musical performances, as well as the Hassan and Nezhat Khosrowshahi Distinguished Lecture Series featuring talks by noted architects and scholars Nader Ardalan, Daniel Roehr, Hossein Amanat, and Abbas Amanat.

The programming will also feature a MOA Global Dialogue on Nomadic Aesthetics and the Importance of Place sponsored by Wesbild Holdings. Artists, curators, filmmakers, and scholars will participate in a three-day public discussion on ideas surrounding nomadic aesthetics, the importance of place, curatorial approaches, and the role of institutions in the representations of contemporary art and culture. The MOA Global Dialogue will concludes with a special feature, “In Conversation with Jian Ghomeshi” in MOA’s Great Hall.

Invited speakers include Fereshteh Daftari, Venetia Porter, Anthony Shelton, Tony Chaker, Jill Baird, Jian Ghomeshi, Derek Gregory, Peter Morin, Karen Duffek, Jayce Saloum, Glenn Alteen, and Laura U. Marks.

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