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View From Inside is an expansive presentation of

This stunning book contains over 200 artworks.

The four texts in this book cover the early appearance of

contemporary Arab photography, video and mixed

It is a co-production between Schilt Publishing and

photography in the Middle East and North Africa in the

media art from the Middle East and North Africa.

FotoFest International.

mid-nineteenth century through photography’s evolution

The book shows the works of 49 leading Arab artists

as an integral part of the contemporary Arab art world. The

from 13 countries. These works reflect the emergence

author of the lead essay on contemporary photographic art is

of photographic, video and digital art as important

the pioneering curator and expert on classical Islamic art and

forms of creative visual expression in the Arab world

contemporary Arab art, Karin Adrian von Roques. Ms. Von

since the 1990s. The artworks address a broad range

Roques has worked in the Middle East and North Africa for

of issues that the artists themselves have defined as

more than two decades, bringing important contemporary

important to the modern Arab experience.

Arab art to museum audiences in Europe, Asia and the United States. Essays on the history of photography in the Arab world Ebtisam AbdulAziz

Joana Hadjithomas and

photographer, writer and co-founder of the Fondation Arabe

Khalil Abdul Wahid

pour l’Image in Beirut, and Dr. Claude W. Sui, Senior Curator

Ammar Al-Beik

Khaled Hafez

of the Forum International of Photography at the Reiss-

Manal AlDowayan

Hassan Hajjaj

Engelhorn Museum in Mannheim, Germany and curator

Shadia Alem

Rula Halawani

of exhibitions on nineteenth century photography in Arabia,

Reem Al Faisal

Nermine Hammam

including To the Holy Lands: From Mecca and Medina to

Sadik Alfraji

Hazem Harb

Jerusalem. Mona Khazindar, Director General of the Institut

Tarek Al-Ghoussein

Hazem Taha Hussein

du Monde Arabe in Paris looks at the development on the

Boushra Almutawakel

Georges Fikry Ibrahim

history of modern Arab photography and its relationship

Khalifa Al Obaidly

Noel Jabbour

to contemporary art. Wendy Watriss, Senior Curator and

Jowhara AlSaud

Ahmed Jadallah

Artistic Director for FotoFest International provides the

Sama Alshaibi

Mohamed Kanoo

philosophical overview of the book in her introduction.

Karima Al-Shomely

Mohammed Kazem

Sami Al Turki

Huda Lutfi

Tammam Azzam

Maha Malluh

Lara Baladi

Ahmed Mater

Hicham Benohoud

Hassan Meer

Ayman Yossri Daydban

Samer Mohdad

Shady El Noshokaty

Youssef Nabil

Ayman El Semary

Ayman Ramadan

Lalla Essaydi

Steve Sabella

Mounir Fatmi

Faisal Samra

Lamya Gargash

Wael Shawky

Abdulnasser Gharem

Camille Zakharia

www.fotofest.org www.schiltpublishing.com

Khalil Joreige

Contemporary Arab Photography, Video and Mixed Media Art

have been written by Samer Mohdad, a well-known Lebanese

View From Inside

About the authors of this book

Contemporary Arab Photography, Video and Mixed Media Art

View From Inside COVER ILLUSTR ATION

Sadik Alfraji (Iraq) The House That My Father Built, 2010 Video, Photographs and Painting Installation Lambda Prints, Indian Ink, Rice Paper and Oil on Canvas Courtesy of the Artist and Ayyam Gallery, Dubai and London


View From Inside Contemporary Arab Photography, Video and Mixed Media Art

FOTOFEST, HOUSTON, TEXAS, USA SCHILT

PUBLISHING, AMSTERDAM, NL


View From Inside Contemporary Arab Photography, Video and Mixed Media Art

FOTOFEST, HOUSTON, TEXAS, USA SCHILT

PUBLISHING, AMSTERDAM, NL


ISBN 978 90 5330 825 7 © 2014

MAJOR SPONSORS

TABLE OF CONTENTS

9

FotoFest Inc., Houston

www.fotofest.org © 2014

View From Inside WENDY WATRISS

Schilt Publishing, Amsterdam

www.schiltpublishing.com

17

D ES I G N

HvADesign, New York

On Art and Photography A Situation Report

Henk van Assen, Principal

K ARIN ADRIAN VON ROQUES

Anna Wexler, Designer www.hvadesign.com TE X T CO RREC TI ON

46

Kumar Jamdagni, Zwolle

WORK S

www.language-matters.nl CO PY E DITI N G

269

Polly Koch, Houston PRI NT & LOGI STI CS MA NAGE ME NT

KOMESO GmbH, Stuttgart www.komeso.com PRI NTI N G

Offizin Scheufele, Stuttgart www.scheufele.de

Distribution in North America Ingram Publisher Services One Ingram Blvd. LaVergne, TN 37086 IPS : 866-765-0179 E -mail:

The Beginning of Photography in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia during the Ottoman Empire of the Nineteenth Century

M I D D L E EAST TR A D I N G LTD .

307

TH E L E VA NT FOU N DATI ON TH E C U L L E N FOU N DATI ON

customer.service@ingrampublisherservices.com

Tracing the History of Photography in the Arab World A Personal Perspective

Distribution in the Netherlands

DR. CLAUDE W. SUI

SAMER MOHDAD

Centraal Boekhuis, Culemborg Distribution in all other countries

317

Thames & Hudson Ltd 181a High Holborn London

Arab Photography Changes in an Art Form

WC1V 7QX

MONA KHAZINDAR

Phone: +44 (0)20 7845 5000 Fax: +44 (0)20 7845 5055 E -mail:

sales@thameshudson.co.uk

Schilt Publishing books, limited editions and prints are available online via www.schiltpublishing.com Inquiries via sales@schiltpublishing.com

324

B IB LIOGR APH IES

327

B IOGR APH IES

340

ACKN OWLE D GM E NTS


ISBN 978 90 5330 825 7 © 2014

MAJOR SPONSORS

TABLE OF CONTENTS

9

FotoFest Inc., Houston

www.fotofest.org © 2014

View From Inside WENDY WATRISS

Schilt Publishing, Amsterdam

www.schiltpublishing.com

17

D ES I G N

HvADesign, New York

On Art and Photography A Situation Report

Henk van Assen, Principal

K ARIN ADRIAN VON ROQUES

Anna Wexler, Designer www.hvadesign.com TE X T CO RREC TI ON

46

Kumar Jamdagni, Zwolle

WORK S

www.language-matters.nl CO PY E DITI N G

269

Polly Koch, Houston PRI NT & LOGI STI CS MA NAGE ME NT

KOMESO GmbH, Stuttgart www.komeso.com PRI NTI N G

Offizin Scheufele, Stuttgart www.scheufele.de

Distribution in North America Ingram Publisher Services One Ingram Blvd. LaVergne, TN 37086 IPS : 866-765-0179 E -mail:

The Beginning of Photography in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia during the Ottoman Empire of the Nineteenth Century

M I D D L E EAST TR A D I N G LTD .

307

TH E L E VA NT FOU N DATI ON TH E C U L L E N FOU N DATI ON

customer.service@ingrampublisherservices.com

Tracing the History of Photography in the Arab World A Personal Perspective

Distribution in the Netherlands

DR. CLAUDE W. SUI

SAMER MOHDAD

Centraal Boekhuis, Culemborg Distribution in all other countries

317

Thames & Hudson Ltd 181a High Holborn London

Arab Photography Changes in an Art Form

WC1V 7QX

MONA KHAZINDAR

Phone: +44 (0)20 7845 5000 Fax: +44 (0)20 7845 5055 E -mail:

sales@thameshudson.co.uk

Schilt Publishing books, limited editions and prints are available online via www.schiltpublishing.com Inquiries via sales@schiltpublishing.com

324

B IB LIOGR APH IES

327

B IOGR APH IES

340

ACKN OWLE D GM E NTS


AR AB WORLD

BAHR AIN

LEBANON

PALESTINE

SYRIA

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Mohamed Kanoo

Joana Hadjithomas

Tarek Al-Ghoussein (Palestine/Kuwait)

Ammar Al-Beik

and Khalil Joreige

Rula Halawani

Tammam Azzam

Samer Mohdad (Lebanon/Belgium)

Hazem Harb

Camille Zakharia

Noel Jabbour

EGYPT Lara Baladi Shady El Noshokaty

Ahmed Jadallah (Palestinian Territories)

UNITED AR AB EMIR ATES (UAE) Ebtisam AbdulAziz

Ayman El Semary

MOROCCO

Khaled Hafez

Hicham Benohoud

Nermine Hammam

Lalla Essaydi

QATAR

Lamya Gargash

Hazem Taha Hussein

Mounir Fatmi

Khalifa Al Obaidly

Mohammed Kazem

Georges Fikry Ibrahim

Hassan Hajjaj

Huda Lutfi Youssef Nabil Ayman Ramadan Wael Shawky

Steve Sabella

Khalil Abdul Wahid Karima Al-Shomely

SAUDI AR ABIA

YEMEN

OMAN

Manal AlDowayan

Boushra Almutawakel

Hassan Meer

Shadia Alem Reem Al Faisal Jowhara AlSaud

IR AQ

Sami Al Turki

Sadik Alfraji

Ayman Yossri Daydban

Sama Alshaibi (Iraq/Palestine)

Abdulnasser Gharem Maha Malluh Ahmed Mater Faisal Samra


AR AB WORLD

BAHR AIN

LEBANON

PALESTINE

SYRIA

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Mohamed Kanoo

Joana Hadjithomas

Tarek Al-Ghoussein (Palestine/Kuwait)

Ammar Al-Beik

and Khalil Joreige

Rula Halawani

Tammam Azzam

Samer Mohdad (Lebanon/Belgium)

Hazem Harb

Camille Zakharia

Noel Jabbour

EGYPT Lara Baladi Shady El Noshokaty

Ahmed Jadallah (Palestinian Territories)

UNITED AR AB EMIR ATES (UAE) Ebtisam AbdulAziz

Ayman El Semary

MOROCCO

Khaled Hafez

Hicham Benohoud

Nermine Hammam

Lalla Essaydi

QATAR

Lamya Gargash

Hazem Taha Hussein

Mounir Fatmi

Khalifa Al Obaidly

Mohammed Kazem

Georges Fikry Ibrahim

Hassan Hajjaj

Huda Lutfi Youssef Nabil Ayman Ramadan Wael Shawky

Steve Sabella

Khalil Abdul Wahid Karima Al-Shomely

SAUDI AR ABIA

YEMEN

OMAN

Manal AlDowayan

Boushra Almutawakel

Hassan Meer

Shadia Alem Reem Al Faisal Jowhara AlSaud

IR AQ

Sami Al Turki

Sadik Alfraji

Ayman Yossri Daydban

Sama Alshaibi (Iraq/Palestine)

Abdulnasser Gharem Maha Malluh Ahmed Mater Faisal Samra


A world where a family from South Arabia could move to Spain and after six centuries return nearer to its place of origin and still find itself in familiar surroundings, had a unity which transcended divisions of time and space; the Arabic language could open the door to office and influence throughout the world; a body of knowledge transmitted over the centuries by a known chain of teachers, preserved a moral community even when rulers changed; place of pilgrimage, Mecca and Jerusalem, were unchanging poles of the human world even if power shifted from one city to another . . . . Albert Hourani, A HIS TORY OF THE AR AB PEOPLES

VIE W F ROM INS ID E

1

View From Inside Wendy Watriss in this quote from his classic book — A History of the Arab Peoples—Albert

Hourani writes about the Arab world of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. It is a time of course that has changed but it is also about a part of history that defined a key region of the world for four hundred years—a history which continues to this day in unexpected ways. In reading Professor Hourani’s book, one marvels at the sheer density and multiplicity of civilizations, religions and communities of people who have occupied, re-occupied and moved across lands that lie between Asia, the Russian steppes, western Europe and Africa. They brought into the region and then fought over Buddhism, Islam, Eastern Orthodoxy, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and many forms of Christianity. It is a permeable region, more open to the movements of people west, east and south than most. It has few natural barriers against conquest—no vast oceans, impassable mountains or broad dry steppes. Even the Arabian Peninsula, distanced by desert from the centers of ancient civilizations for many years, is itself easily approachable from the Mediterranean, the Persian Gulf or the Red Sea. Hazem Harb (Palestine) Me and the Other Half (Series #3/3), 2012 Silver Gelatin Print Courtesy of the Artist and Athr Gallery, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

These are lands of trade and commerce, pathways from west to east and vice versa, marked by great caravan routes. Palmyra, an ancient Arabic city at the western end of the Silk Route in what was Greater Syria, was larger than Rome in 300 BC. Its gold-hued columns, temples and amphitheater still bear witness to many civilizations—ancient

9


A world where a family from South Arabia could move to Spain and after six centuries return nearer to its place of origin and still find itself in familiar surroundings, had a unity which transcended divisions of time and space; the Arabic language could open the door to office and influence throughout the world; a body of knowledge transmitted over the centuries by a known chain of teachers, preserved a moral community even when rulers changed; place of pilgrimage, Mecca and Jerusalem, were unchanging poles of the human world even if power shifted from one city to another . . . . Albert Hourani, A HIS TORY OF THE AR AB PEOPLES

VIE W F ROM INS ID E

1

View From Inside Wendy Watriss in this quote from his classic book — A History of the Arab Peoples—Albert

Hourani writes about the Arab world of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. It is a time of course that has changed but it is also about a part of history that defined a key region of the world for four hundred years—a history which continues to this day in unexpected ways. In reading Professor Hourani’s book, one marvels at the sheer density and multiplicity of civilizations, religions and communities of people who have occupied, re-occupied and moved across lands that lie between Asia, the Russian steppes, western Europe and Africa. They brought into the region and then fought over Buddhism, Islam, Eastern Orthodoxy, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and many forms of Christianity. It is a permeable region, more open to the movements of people west, east and south than most. It has few natural barriers against conquest—no vast oceans, impassable mountains or broad dry steppes. Even the Arabian Peninsula, distanced by desert from the centers of ancient civilizations for many years, is itself easily approachable from the Mediterranean, the Persian Gulf or the Red Sea. Hazem Harb (Palestine) Me and the Other Half (Series #3/3), 2012 Silver Gelatin Print Courtesy of the Artist and Athr Gallery, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

These are lands of trade and commerce, pathways from west to east and vice versa, marked by great caravan routes. Palmyra, an ancient Arabic city at the western end of the Silk Route in what was Greater Syria, was larger than Rome in 300 BC. Its gold-hued columns, temples and amphitheater still bear witness to many civilizations—ancient

9


view from inside casts light on a region whose art and photography until

recently have not attracted broad international attention. I speak here of what is now called the M EN A SA region, which includes countries from the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. In this book, we are dealing with works that are mainly from the Middle East and North Africa.

photography, video, and mixed-media art, giving insights into important aspects of Arab thought and life. These are works and perspectives that closely portray important social and cultural events in the Arab world. The aim is, on the one hand, to introduce

The Arab world is undergoing profound change. The works it produces

ON A RT A ND PHOTOGR A PHY

This book presents an unusually broad and varied selection of contemporary Arab

are evidence of this process

On Art and Photography A Situation Report Karin Adrian von Roques the complex and heterogeneous M EN A SA art scene with all its diverse, interesting, and innovative contexts and, on the other, to sensitize viewers to the political dimensions of the works the region produces. The selection reflects a generation of Arab artists whose work developed, so to speak, when technologies such as satellite television, the Internet, photo digital processes, and social media first became widely Youssef Nabil (Egypt) I will go to Paradise, Self-portrait Hyères, 2008 Handcolored Silver Gelatin Print Courtesy of the Artist and Nathalie Obadia Gallery, Paris/ Brussels

available in the Arab world.

“Photography acts as a magic key to any cultural society. The medium is special as it permits a complete freedom of speech, and without any need of a translator the message is universally recognized. One of the best aspects of photography today is that it is supported by the Internet, especially through social media platforms. We are now able to share our snapshots of society around the world instantly.” This is the response of the Saudi artist Abdulnasser Gharem to the question of what photography means to him.1

17


view from inside casts light on a region whose art and photography until

recently have not attracted broad international attention. I speak here of what is now called the M EN A SA region, which includes countries from the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. In this book, we are dealing with works that are mainly from the Middle East and North Africa.

photography, video, and mixed-media art, giving insights into important aspects of Arab thought and life. These are works and perspectives that closely portray important social and cultural events in the Arab world. The aim is, on the one hand, to introduce

The Arab world is undergoing profound change. The works it produces

ON A RT A ND PHOTOGR A PHY

This book presents an unusually broad and varied selection of contemporary Arab

are evidence of this process

On Art and Photography A Situation Report Karin Adrian von Roques the complex and heterogeneous M EN A SA art scene with all its diverse, interesting, and innovative contexts and, on the other, to sensitize viewers to the political dimensions of the works the region produces. The selection reflects a generation of Arab artists whose work developed, so to speak, when technologies such as satellite television, the Internet, photo digital processes, and social media first became widely Youssef Nabil (Egypt) I will go to Paradise, Self-portrait Hyères, 2008 Handcolored Silver Gelatin Print Courtesy of the Artist and Nathalie Obadia Gallery, Paris/ Brussels

available in the Arab world.

“Photography acts as a magic key to any cultural society. The medium is special as it permits a complete freedom of speech, and without any need of a translator the message is universally recognized. One of the best aspects of photography today is that it is supported by the Internet, especially through social media platforms. We are now able to share our snapshots of society around the world instantly.” This is the response of the Saudi artist Abdulnasser Gharem to the question of what photography means to him.1

17


Ebtisam AbdulAziz

Karima Al-Shomely

Joana Hadjithomas and

Khalil Abdul Wahid

Sami Al Turki

Ammar Al-Beik

Tammam Azzam

Khaled Hafez

Maha Malluh

Manal AlDowayan

Lara Baladi

Hassan Hajjaj

Ahmed Mater

Shadia Alem

Hicham Benohoud

Rula Halawani

Hassan Meer

Reem Al Faisal

Ayman Yossri Daydban

Nermine Hammam

Samer Mohdad

Sadik Alfraji

Shady El Noshokaty

Hazem Harb

Youssef Nabil

Tarek Al-Ghoussein

Ayman El Semary

Hazem Taha Hussein

Ayman Ramadan

Boushra Almutawakel

Lalla Essaydi

Georges Fikry Ibrahim

Steve Sabella

Khalifa Al Obaidly

Mounir Fatmi

Noel Jabbour

Faisal Samra

Jowhara AlSaud

Lamya Gargash

Ahmed Jadallah

Wael Shawky

Sama Alshaibi

Abdulnasser Gharem

Mohamed Kanoo

Camille Zakharia

Khalil Joreige

Mohammed Kazem Huda Lutfi


Ebtisam AbdulAziz

Karima Al-Shomely

Joana Hadjithomas and

Khalil Abdul Wahid

Sami Al Turki

Ammar Al-Beik

Tammam Azzam

Khaled Hafez

Maha Malluh

Manal AlDowayan

Lara Baladi

Hassan Hajjaj

Ahmed Mater

Shadia Alem

Hicham Benohoud

Rula Halawani

Hassan Meer

Reem Al Faisal

Ayman Yossri Daydban

Nermine Hammam

Samer Mohdad

Sadik Alfraji

Shady El Noshokaty

Hazem Harb

Youssef Nabil

Tarek Al-Ghoussein

Ayman El Semary

Hazem Taha Hussein

Ayman Ramadan

Boushra Almutawakel

Lalla Essaydi

Georges Fikry Ibrahim

Steve Sabella

Khalifa Al Obaidly

Mounir Fatmi

Noel Jabbour

Faisal Samra

Jowhara AlSaud

Lamya Gargash

Ahmed Jadallah

Wael Shawky

Sama Alshaibi

Abdulnasser Gharem

Mohamed Kanoo

Camille Zakharia

Khalil Joreige

Mohammed Kazem Huda Lutfi


Tarek Al-Ghoussein

46

47

NEX T SPREAD

R I G H T, TO P

Tarek Al-Ghoussein (Palestine / Kuwait)

Untitled 4, 2009 From the D II series Inkjet Print

L E F T, TO P RIGHT

RIGHT

Tarek Al-Ghoussein (Palestine / Kuwait) (In) Beautification No 1333, 2012 From the series (In) Beautification Inkjet Print Courtesy of the Artist, The Third Line, Dubai, UAE and Taymour Grahne Gallery New York

Tarek Al-Ghoussein (Palestine / Kuwait) (In) Beautification No 1333, 2012 From the series (In) Beautification Inkjet Print Courtesy of the Artist, The Third Line, Dubai, UAE and Taymour Grahne Gallery New York

Untitled 6, 2008 From the D series Inkjet Print L E F T, B OT TO M

Untitled 23, 2008 From the D series Inkjet Print

R I G H T, B OT TO M

Untitled 5, 2009 From the D II series Inkjet Print [A L L] Courtesy of the Artist, The Third Line, Dubai, UAE and Taymour Grahne Gallery New York


Tarek Al-Ghoussein

46

47

NEX T SPREAD

R I G H T, TO P

Tarek Al-Ghoussein (Palestine / Kuwait)

Untitled 4, 2009 From the D II series Inkjet Print

L E F T, TO P RIGHT

RIGHT

Tarek Al-Ghoussein (Palestine / Kuwait) (In) Beautification No 1333, 2012 From the series (In) Beautification Inkjet Print Courtesy of the Artist, The Third Line, Dubai, UAE and Taymour Grahne Gallery New York

Tarek Al-Ghoussein (Palestine / Kuwait) (In) Beautification No 1333, 2012 From the series (In) Beautification Inkjet Print Courtesy of the Artist, The Third Line, Dubai, UAE and Taymour Grahne Gallery New York

Untitled 6, 2008 From the D series Inkjet Print L E F T, B OT TO M

Untitled 23, 2008 From the D series Inkjet Print

R I G H T, B OT TO M

Untitled 5, 2009 From the D II series Inkjet Print [A L L] Courtesy of the Artist, The Third Line, Dubai, UAE and Taymour Grahne Gallery New York


View From Inside: Contemporary Arab Photography, Video and Mixed Media Art