Contemporary Arab Representations unites a selection of artists, writers, film-makers and architects, working in Beirut and Lebanon, most of whom will now meet a Swedish audience for the first time. In Bildmuseet some twenty works are on show: films, photography, architecture, sculpture, literature, installations. The exhibition offers no grand survey of Lebanese art but is a presentation of specific projects sprung out of a still partly joined circle of artists and intellectuals from Beirut. The city of Beirut – real and imaginary, forgotten and remembered, lost and rebuilt – is the heart and pulse of the exhibition. In many of the works memories and experiences of the civil war and the Israeli occupation constitute a backdrop or an explicit theme, portrayed and developed in personal narratives.
In Bildmuseet the presentation includes a special media centre where visitors may watch live broadcasts from a total of 17 TV channels of the Arabic world. Contemporary Arab Representations also includes an extensive agenda of lectures and discussions. For further information please consult the special supplement.
Contemporary Arab Representations is a long-term, multi-layered project devoted to the deepening of the knowledge of present-day cultural expressions within the Arab world, and to strengthening the dialogue and the exchange between the cultural centres of the Arab countries and the rest of the world. Contemporary Arab Representations includes exhibitions, printed matter, lectures and shows. The next instalment of the project will focus on Cairo.
The Contemporary Arab Representations project constitutes a long-term engagement also on the behalf of Bildmuseet, where we, having as preludes exhibited works of Fazal Sheikh and Ghada Amer, offer our visitors an intensified encounter with the cultural production of today’s Arab world. In November, 2003, Bildmuseet will present the next stage of the project.
The curator of Contemporary Arab Representations: Beirut / Lebanon is Catherine David, recently appointed dirctor of the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam. Catherine David was responsible for the exhibition Documenta X in Kassel, 1997. Contemporary Arab Representations is produced by the Fundació Antoni Tàpies in Barcelona and the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam, in co-operation with Universidad International de Andalucía (UNIA); Arteleku, San Sebastián; Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart; and Bildmuseet. The presentation at Bildmuseet is supported by Folkuniversitetet.