Saturday, August 30, 2014
The New Museum's exhibit "Here And Elsewhere" is a survey of the work over 40 contemporary Arab artists. This expansive show takes up all five floors of the museum with works in varied media that reflect the complexity, diversity and turmoil of the Middle East. Above, "Qalandia 2087" by Wafa Hourani presents a fanciful, ironic installation of a Palestinian refugee camp with miniature sports cars, an airport and colorful TV aerials. Hrair Sarkissian's photos depict public squares in Damascus, Syria, where criminals were hung prior to the current civil war. Jamal Penjweny's "Saddam Is Here" photo series presents Iraqis holding up masks of Saddam Hussein, suggesting the lasting influence of the former dictator. In Lamia Joreige’s “Objects of War” videos, interviewees speak of the conflicts that have engulfed Lebanon for years. Videos by Bouchra Khalili show hands tracing lines from the Middle East to Europe on maps as undocumented immigrants speak of their complicated quests to find new livelihoods and escape the instability back home. The artists present a provocative, multi-layered, human perspective on the Middle East that makes a more profound impression than the pundits and headlines to which we're constantly exposed.
"Here And Elsewhere" continues through September 28 at the New Museum, 235 Bowery, NYC, 212-219-1222, www.newmuseum.org