Exhibition of Contemporary Art from the Middle East and North Africa marks the eighth and final exhibition of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative
MILAN and NEW YORK, April 9, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — From April 11 through June 17, 2018, Galleria d’Arte Moderna (GAM), Milan; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and UBS present But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise: Contemporary Art of the Middle East and North Africa (Una Tempesta dal Paradiso: Arte Contemporanea del Medio Oriente e Nord Africa) in Milan. The exhibition marks the final presentation of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative, a historic collaboration between the Guggenheim and UBS representing the largest international research, collection-building, and presentation initiative the museum has undertaken to date. MAP’s distinctive, artist-driven program, which began in 2012, underscores a mutual commitment by the Guggenheim and UBS to support contemporary art and education through a total of eight international exhibitions, more than 125 acquisitions, curatorial scholarship from three global regions, and extensive public programming.
Organized by Sara Raza, Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, Middle East and North Africa, in collaboration with Paola Zatti, Chief Curator, Galleria d’Arte Moderna, and Omar Cucciniello, Curator, Galleria d’Arte Moderna, the exhibition features a range of artistic voices and critical concerns from a rapidly evolving region and its international diaspora. Works by thirteen artists are installed in the ground-floor gallery of GAM and explore the intersecting themes of migration, displacement, architecture, geometry, and history through a range of mediums, including works on paper, installation, photography, sculpture, and video.
- Lida Abdul (b. 1973, Kabul; lives and works in Los Angeles and Kabul)
- Abbas Akhavan (b. 1977, Tehran; lives and works in Toronto)
- Kader Attia (b. 1970, Dugny, France; lives and works in Berlin)
- Ergin Çavuşoğlu (b. 1968, Targovishte, Bulgaria; lives and works in London)
- Ali Cherri (b. 1976, Beirut; lives and works in Beirut and Paris)
- Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige (both b. 1969, Beirut; live and work in Beirut and Paris)
- Rokni Haerizadeh (b. 1978, Tehran; lives and works in Dubai)
- Susan Hefuna (b. 1962, Berlin; lives and works in Düsseldorf)
- Iman Issa (b. 1979, Cairo; lives and works in New York)
- Gülsün Karamustafa (b. 1946, Ankara; lives and works in Istanbul)
- Hassan Khan (b. 1975, London; lives and works in Cairo)
- Ahmed Mater (b. 1979, Tabuk, Saudi Arabia; lives and works in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
The works by Lida Abdul, Ali Cherri, and Gülsün Karamustafa are being shown for the first time as part of the MAP initiative.
According to Raza, “But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise highlights the formation of the present while acknowledging the continued influence of the past. Many of the exhibition artists question the ability of objective ‘truths’ to adequately capture the social realities of our world. Utilizing fictional narratives and fantastical imagery, their works contain hidden ideas that challenge stereotypical and overtly politicized perspectives of the region and its history—ideas we might call ‘conceptual contraband.’ The exhibition also considers architecture as a tool for evoking both colonial history and the implications of globalization and gentrification. This new installation at GAM converses with the building’s own architectural heritage and raises urgent issues of migration and displacement in areas around the world, including Italy and greater Europe.”
A range of public and academic programs accompanies the exhibition at GAM, including tours for families, school groups, and adults; seminars for students at Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti (NABA); and an audioguide featuring commentary by Sara Raza and six exhibition artists.
The Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative builds upon and reflects the Guggenheim’s distinguished history of internationalism and UBS’s commitment to direct engagement with contemporary art and education, ultimately contributing to a richer, more expansive story of the histories of modern and contemporary art. Through in-depth collaboration with artists, curators, and cultural organizations from South and Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa, MAP has expanded the Guggenheim’s collection with more than 125 new works. Partnerships with cultural organizations such as the Galleria d’Arte Moderna have been at the heart of the project throughout, extending its creative reach and impact both physically and digitally. Together, the Guggenheim and UBS recognize the power of art to connect and inspire communities, spark debate, enrich the present, and help shape the future. This long-term collaboration underscores a mutual commitment to supporting today’s most innovative artists by increasing visibility of their work around the globe.
MAP Website: guggenheim.org/MAP
Social Media: @guggenheim