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visual arts
Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine
Admission: 3 Euro, concessions 2 Euro
21.03.2003 - 11.05.2003
Lara Baladi
The DisORIENTation exhibit calls into question old and current orientalisms and images of the Orient which have recently gained currency.
13 Arab artists from different Middle Eastern and European countries seek individual answers to the attempt at collective definition from outside. They see themselves neither as representatives of a "national art" - heavily cultivated in their countries - nor do they let their Western audience thrust them into the ethnic ghetto of exoticism and otherness. They confront the desires and prejudices of political voyeurism with a radicalness that makes all conventional categories obsolete. They also take a critical view of their own participation in the project: "Is there such a thing as contemporary Arab art? What does 'Arab' mean, anyway - for Arabs, on the one hand, and for Europeans on the other? And finally: how to explain the international art market's interest - or disinterest - in contemporary Arab positions?" What unites these works in all their singularity is the determination "to resist and fight stereotyping and consequent death of genuinely living things", as Jack Persekian writes; the curator of the exhibit, he lives in East Jerusalem.

A number of in-situ works will be created for the exhibit. They will also reflect the conditions under which images from the so-called "Arab world" are transmitted and perceived. The artistic positions will be discussed in workshops and co-productions with various Berlin-based partners, and the process character of the project will be illuminated. Furthermore, various artist lectures on March 23, from 2-7 p.m., will involve viewers in a direct confrontation with the works shown and encourage discussion with the artists.

With works by Jumana Emil Abboud (Jerusalem), Jananne Al-Ani (London), Lara Baladi (Cairo), Roza El-Hassan (Budapest), Susan Hefuna (Düsseldorf/Cairo), Ali Jabri (Amman), Lamia Joreige (Beirut), Moataz Nasr (Cairo), Walid Raad (Beirut/New York), Khalil Rabah (Ramallah), Salah Saouli (Berlin/Beirut), Ahlam Shibli (Haifa), Akram Zaatari (Beirut).

Contact: Michael Thoss