“Institut du Monde Arabe”

Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi: an influential collector

“100 Masterpieces of Modern and Contemporary Arab Art”… This is the title of the exhibition currently showing at the Institut du Monde Arabe (IMA) in Paris, unveiling part of the Sooud Al-Qassemi collection. We meet the young collector behind the Barjeel Art Collection based in the United Arab Emirates. The IMA exhibition presents modern and contemporary Arab works in two parts. The first, “Exhibiting”, is based on the curatorial model of the traditional exhibition; the second, “Curating”, offers a scenography inspired by a museum’s reserve collection. Here, we find figures from the international scene: Adel Abdessemed, Etel Adnan, Walead Beshty and also Hayv Kahraman. But we also discover modern artists less well-known by the French public, such as Ahmed Cherkaoui and Achraf Touloub. Let’s bear in mind that Sooud Al-Qassemi has already organised exhibitions in Singapore, London, Toronto, Teheran… and others opening shortly in Amman, Washington DC and Dubai. As well as launching the Barjeel Art Foundation in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates in February 2010, the energetic collector produces and presents a television programme (Art Plus, on AJ Plus Arabi).   How many works make up your collection? The Barjeel Foundation conserves around 600 works – as well as artists’ editions –, mainly modern and contemporary works. Works date from 2015-2016 back to the 19th century. My idea, in setting up this foundation, was to promote and present Arab art everywhere in the world. I find that foundations and museums aren’t active enough. We’re the opposite of that, and we really want to exceed the current limits, even if it’s much more difficult at the moment with the situation in Syria and elsewhere. We want to show another face of the Arab world, not just a negative one. In the Arab world, many works have been destroyed,...

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First Biennale of Photography of the Contemporary Arab World

From 12 November 2015 until 17 January 2016, the first Biennale of Photography of the Contemporary Arab World is taking place in Paris. The event has been organised by the Maison Européenne de la Photographie and l’Institut du monde arabe with the aim of providing exhibitions that explore a panorama of contemporary photography from the Arab World since the 2000s. Various events will take place in venues throughout the city, including the Mairie in Paris’ 4ème arrondissement, the Cité Internationale des Arts, the galeries Photo 12, Binôme, Basia Embiricos and Graine of Photographe.com. The Maison Européene de la Photographie is holding many exhibitions exploring photography from the Arab World, such as “Passages”, a retrospective of the work of Bruno Barbey, documenting the human side of the tumultuous history of the Arab World. Another exhibition will explore the work of film-maker and photogrpaher Daoud Aoulad Syad, while another will present the work of Italian photographer Massimo Berruti entitled “Drops. Water crisis in Gaza and the West Bank”, for which he was awarded the Grand Prix AFD/Polka for best project of reportage. Other exhibitions will present the work of the duo Andrea & Magda (“Sinai Park”), Leila Alaoui (“The Morrocans”) and Stéphane Couturier. All exhibitions are running from 12 November 2015 until 17 January 2016 at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris....

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Auction sale in support of the victims of the Syrian conflict

Paris, 18 January 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA). The Pierre Bergé & Associés auction house organises graciously a charity auction in support of the victims of the Syrian conflict on 21 January evening at the Institut du Monde arabe in Paris. Dozens of artists from the Arab world — of which a considerable number of women among which Meriem Bouderbala and Lalla Essaydi — have given one or more of their creations: paintings, drawings, photographs… Altogether, 66 artworks have been gathered for the sale and they are exhibited to public from Thursday 17 to Sunday 20 January. This initiative came from a former journalist of Libération, José Garçon and Agnès Levallois, specialised on the area. “Our idea is double. Make a humanitarian action in aid of the civil victims in Syria to fight indifference. Rally together artists originally from the Arab world to reject the stasis and underline our support to the country”, explained José Garçon, interviewed by the AFP. According to the AFP, 40% of the sale ‘s revenue  will be given to the Fédération  internationale des Ligues des Droits de l’Homme (FIDH) for actions in Syria. The rest will be split among three Syrian ONG, mainly in support of medical...

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One Thousand and One Nights at the Institut du monde arabe

Paris, 14 November 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA). From 27 November 2012 to 28 April 2013 the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris will host an exhibition dedicated to One Thousand and One Nights, one of the most extraordinary collections of stories of universal literature. The exhibition will recall this vehicle of mythology and beliefs of the East represented by the popular book. Indeed, it generated many images and clichés of the East – expressing reality as well as fantasy – shaped by the West, composing a kind of “thesaurus” which nurtured the imagination of generations of artists and creators, who enriched it as well. About 300 works will enable the visitor to meet the famous characters of the One Thousand and One Nights: Harun Al-Rachid, Shahryâr, Sinbad, Aladdin and the glamourous Scheherazade. Some of the most antique manuscripts will be shown on the occasion and the visitor will be able to follow the book from its genesis and Indo-Persian origins to Antoine Galland, author of the first European translation, including Arabian tales of the 10th Century. If the text of the One Thousand and One Nights obviously comes from the East, the iconography of an infinite variety has its origins in Europe and the...

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“Arabic Seasons by Bokja” at the Institut du Monde Arabe

Paris, 13 November 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA). The Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris is currently presenting – through 13 January 2013 – an exhibition titled “Arabic Seasons by Bokja”. Bokja is an ancient Turkish word used in various countries of the Near East, meaning the finely wrought piece of fabric containing the bride’s dowry. It is as well the name of the furniture brand founded by Hoda Baroudi and Maria Hibri, who share their passion of detail and history. The two designers, settled in Beirut, find inspiration in ancient shapes they reinvent and adorn with fabric and embroideries, following the Silk Road with the visitor, from Far to Middle East, through Southern Asia. Bokja achieves to merge millenary cultures and modern shapes reinterpreted, in order to produce unique pieces, internationally renowned and commercialised. Both creators use textile material in order to recall flamboyant stories by juxtaposing patterns and rich textures. Bokja is not only furniture design, but also crosses the frontiers of art, crafts and design. Inspired by socio-political changes set in motion by the Arab Spring, the two designers created a new approach, placing “Bokja” at the core of this new international context: questioning the future does not exclude a sense of irony, for Hoda Baroudi and Maria Hibri as well as for the craftsmen that work for them. The Institut du Monde Arabe is a place of culture, the fruit of a partnership between France and 22 Arabic countries: Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Jordania, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Comoros and Yemen. The IMA was designed to promote and highlight the Arabic culture. It has now become a real “cultural bridge” between France and the Arabic...

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