Anna Seaman | March 4, 2013
Ahead of the opening of 25 Years of Arab Creativity, an exhibition of contemporary Arab art that made its debut in Paris last year to mark the 25th anniversary of L’Institut du Monde Arabe (IMA), Mona Khazindar shares some insights about the show.
On the artists: “To me, these artists are like family members, I have watched them grow and develop over the course of my career, so of course it means a lot to witness a show like this. But this is the first exhibition in the world to include so many Arab artists, so it is really important for the artists and for their reputations. It also important for the institutions themselves to have the chance to show all these talents together under one roof.”
On the curator: “I have known Ehab [El Labban] for a long time and I know different aspects of him; Ehab the artist, Ehab the curator and Ehab the commissioner. He was definitely the right choice for the job.”
On politics: “Art can never be disconnected with daily life so whatever situation surrounds the artist it will be expressed, not only in art but in literature and film. Special situations trigger these the most and so, when there is a period of unrest, the artists are bound to express this in different and subtle ways. At this point I would like to pay tribute to Amal Kenawy who died last year. Her last artwork, Silence of the Lambs was a video of herself dressed as a shepherdess and leading a flock of people dressed as sheep alongside Tahrir Square. She was making a political comment in a clever and creative way.”
* 25 Years of Arab Creativity, in partnership with L’Institut du Monde Arabe and Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation, runs at the Emirates Palace from March 5 until March 31. Open Sundays to Thursdays from noon to 8pm, and on Fridays and Saturdays from 10am to10pm. Admission is free