Art

Al Jadid the Journal of Record on Arab Culture

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Abstract Sculpture Cropping up in Beirut’s Public Spaces

Rima Barakat

Increasingly more public sculpture, both representational and purely abstract, is beginning to appear in the public spaces of Beirut. Two years ago, a huge abstract sculpture carved in white Italian Carrarsa marble with two inverted L-shaped handles to the side and two vertical connecting blades thrusting forward to the front, was placed on a pedestal in the popular Hamam Al Askari area on the Corniche in Ras Beirut. The sculpture was set on a large space three steps up from street level on the crossroad of two main streets. 

Out of Place: Israel in the Photography of Ron Kelley

Sondra Hale

Ethnography is the West’s invention.  Are there forms of representation that do not have the same effect of objectifying?  What parallels can we see between a documentary photographic work or collection on the Other and ethnographies  produced in the West for the West?  With a particular interest in how the Middle East is represented, how culture is created, how images are invented, and how the subjects are framed, I was drawn to the exhibit “Transitions:  Russians, Ethiopians, and Bedouins in Israel’s Negev Desert,” being held at UCLA’s Fowler Museum of Cultural History from March 1 to Oct

Faces Transcending Time: Gibran Exhibition Reveals Rare Drawings, Paintings

Charbel Dagher

The idea of organizing an exhibition of Gibran Khalil Gibran’s visual art at the Soursuk Museum in Beirut was first conceived almost three decades ago.  The plan became a reality on the eve of the new millennium, delayed by the Lebanese Civil War. “Gibran in the Horizons of Drawing,” although long overdue, is worth the wait.

Lenses of Emily Jacir Document Human Reality of Ordinary Palestinians

Doris Bittar

There is one word that best describes the thread running through Palestinian artist Emily Jacir's conceptually based photographs, videos, and installations: generosity. Whether Jacir is tackling the issues of the restricted lives of Palestinians, the complex reality of occupation, or issues concerning the commodification of women in the West, her approach is motivated by intelligence, patience, and above all, generosity.

The Islamic Milieu

Doris Bittar

Etched into the rock walls of the steep Kaddisha Valley of Lebanon are a dozen Christian monasteries. Among them one finds superb examples of "Islamic" art with filigreed windows and scalloped doorways. Only the rooftop crosses reveal that these are Christian holy places. Another excellent example of "Islamic" art is the Great Synagogue in Aleppo, Syria with its striped stone walls and arched courtyard. Through a wrought iron window, one glimpses the Hebrew text carved into the marble wall which shows that it is, in fact, a synagogue and not a mosque.

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