Saudi Aramco World: May/June 2014 - page 48

46
Saudi Aramco World
BY ROB ARNDT
Events
&
Exhibitions
JOHN ALTDORFER
Stories, through June 13;
Susan
Hefuna:
Another Place, through June
13. Various venues,
Sharjah
(
UAE
).
Christian Marclay:
The Clock is a
24-hour single-channel montage con-
structed from thousands of moments
of cinema and television history depict-
ing the passage of time, excerpted and
edited together to create a function-
ing timepiece synchronized to local time
wherever it is shown. The result marks
the exact time in real time for the viewer
for 24 consecutive hours.
SALT
Beyo
ğ
lu,
Istanbul,
through May 25.
Charles Atlas:
MC9 is a nine-channel
synchronized video work with sound,
featuring clips from 21 collaborative
works between filmmaker Charles
Atlas and choreographer Merce Cun-
ningham. This immersive installation
encompasses the entire 40-year work-
ing relationship between these two
visionary artists. Together, they devel-
oped a radical new way of incorporat-
ing the camera into live performance,
which they referred to as “media
dances.” Rather than using it as a
static recording device, they allowed
Nine-year-old Carlos Noreña inspects one of the 20 tombstones
from a cemetery near Makkah, some of which marked the
graves of pilgrims who had traveled thousands of kilometers
to perform the Hajj, on display as part of “Roads of Arabia:
Archaeology and History of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”
in Pittsburgh last year. The stone was used twice and has
writing—in different calligraphic styles—on each of its sides.
Current
May
Court and Craft:
A Masterpiece from Northern Iraq exam-
ines one of the rarest and most beautiful objects in the collec-
tion: a precious metalwork bag, made in northern Iraq around
1300. Decorated with a courtly scene showing an enthroned
couple at a banquet as well as musicians, hunters and revel-
ers, it ranks as one of the finest pieces of Islamic inlaid metal-
work in existence. The exhibition explores the origins, function
and imagery of this little-known masterpiece, as well as the
cultural context in which it was made, probably in Mosul. The
exhibition also includes rare contemporary manuscripts in
which similar bags are depicted, a life-size display evoking the
court banqueting scene on the lid and related metal objects.
Courtauld Gallery,
London,
through May 18.
Nilima Sheikh:
Each Night Put Kashmir in Your Dreams fea-
tures nine banners painted by revered Indian-born artist Nilima
Sheikh for a series focusing on the magical history and conten-
tious present of Kashmir. Completed between 2003 and 2010,
these scroll-like works, once scattered across India and South-
east Asia, have been brought together in Chicago alongside two
additional works that Sheikh will create especially for this instal-
lation. The exhibition’s title is derived from a line in a poem by
the Kashmiri–American poet Agha Shahid Ali. Sheikh’s scrolls
combine Ali’s poems with excerpts from myriad sources, and
her visual references include miniatures, wall paintings and
magical Kashmiri folktales. While the paintings focus on the
cosmopolitanism of the ancient Silk Roads, their contemporary
perspective encourages viewers to think afresh about this con-
tested territory. Art Institute of
Chicago,
through May 18.
Mona Hatoum:
Turbulence fore-
grounds the diversity of the art-
ist’s work over the last 30 years. The
notion of turbulence as a conceptual
framework for the exhibition derives
from the thematic and formal dichot-
omies in the artist’s work, which ren-
der it familiar yet perplexing, inviting
yet impenetrable, or, in other words,
turbulent. Turbulence also echoes the
artist’s questioning of herself as dis-
tinct from grappling with issues of
alienation and displacement. The exhi-
bition presents more than 70 works,
ranging from large-scale room installa-
tions to smaller works on paper, sculp-
tural objects, kinetic installations and
photographs. Mathaf: Arab Museum
of Modern Art,
Doha, Qatar,
through
May 18.
Sharjah Art Foundation Exhibitions:
Ahmed Mater:
100 Found Objects,
through May 22;
Abdullah Al Saadi:
Al-Toubay, through May 22;
Edu-
ard Puterbrot:
Between My East and
My West, through May 22;
Rasheed
Araeen:
Before and After Minimal-
ism, through June 13;
Wael Shawky:
Horsemen Adore Perfumes and Other
Roads of Arabia:
Archaeology and History of the Kingdom
of Saudi Arabia. An eye-opening look
at the largely unknown ancient past
of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, this
exhibition draws on recently discovered
archeological material never before seen
in the United States.
Roads of Arabia
features objects excavated from several
sites throughout the Arabian Peninsula,
tracing the impact of ancient trade routes
and pilgrimage roads stretching from
Yemen in the south to Iraq, Syria and
Mediterranean cultures in the north.
Elegant alabaster bowls and fragile
glassware, heavy gold earrings and
Hellenistic bronze statues testify to a
lively mercantile and cultural interchange
among distant civilizations. The study
of archeological remains only really
began in Saudi Arabia in the 1970’s,
yet brought—and is still bringing—a
wealth of unsuspected treasures to light:
temples, palaces adorned with frescoes,
monumental sculpture, silver dishes
and precious jewelry left in tombs. The
exhibition, organized as a series of
points along trade and pilgrimage routes,
focuses on the region’s rich history as a
major center of commercial and cultural
exchange, provides both chronological
and geographical information about
the discoveries made during recent
excavations and emphasizes the important
role played by this region as a trading
center during the past 6000 years. Nelson-
Atkins Museum,
Kansas City,
through July
6; Asian Art Museum of
San Francisco,
October 24 through January 18, 2015.
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