Kunstinstituut Melly

On Contemporary Arab Representations

27 Jan - 19 May 2019

Walid Sadek, I do not Think People Leave Hamra Street, Hamra Street Project, Ashkal Alwan, Beirut, 2000
On Contemporary Arab Representations

Within the vitrines of the continuously evolving exhibition Untitled, sited at the institution’s ground-floor gallery, is an archival display focusing on Contemporary Arab Representations. This long-term project was developed in 2002-2003 by Catherine David, Witte de With’s director at the time. Contemporary Arab Representations included various “representations by authors,” and was organized in three chapters: Beirut, Cairo, and Iraq. The project was ahead of its time on various counts. It offered and debated locally-specific cultural perspectives, over falsely-unifying overviews of a region. David’s use of “Arab” over “Middle Eastern” is a case in point. At the time, the press reviewed this long-term project widely, noting that the featured authors—how David referred to visual artists and cultural makers at large—were largely unknown to general audiences within and outside of their context.

Curators: Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy, Wendy van Slagmaat-Bos

Tags: Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy, Catherine David, Wendy van Slagmaat-Bos