In 2017, Zehra Doğan was sentenced to two years and 10 months in prison for “terrorist propaganda and inciting hatred.” An artist and journalist, it was Doğan’s painting of the city of Nusaybin in ruins, adorned by Turkish flags, that led to her arrest. Charlotte Bleicher writes about the artist’s prison works, Hidden Drawings, which have been introduced to the public in the last Berlin Biennial.
art and politics
Saadi Nikro writes about Michael Baers’s recent work capturing the invisible mechanism of an impending disaster - the FSO Safer oil ship, abandoned off the coast of Yemen.
At the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the collection show “Chagall, Picasso, Mondrian, and Others: Migrant Artists in Paris” polished the art history of a century past with a gleaming, political immediacy. Matt Hanson reviews the show and its curatorial take on themes of increasing global concern.
Following a number of recent books by and on John Berger, coinciding with the renowned critic’s passing away in 2017, Norman Saadi Nikro dives into some of Berger’s writings and drawings. He explores the transformational impulses driving Berger’s relational, molecular, and constellation-like approach, and its relevance to today’s world in crisis.
Under the extreme political controversy surrounding the Barbur Gallery in Jerusalem, and in the shadow of the political decision to evict the gallery from its current space, Lonnie Monka talks with Abraham Kritzman, an artist and the gallery’s curator, about being an artist-led institution, curating and writing about art, and the concern that the political struggle will overshadow the attempt to make art.
A one-night event in Berlin this February brought Charlotte Bleicher to ruminate about the relationship between two cities - Beirut and Berlin. She writes about processes of cultural loss taking place in both cities, and about artistic acts of defiance against this disappearance.
In this age of crisis of reason, is repair possible? Matt Hanson speaks to renowned French-Algerian artist Kader Attia about his recent works, about "La Colonie" - a decolonization space that the artist runs in Paris, and Attia's reading recommendation for self-isolation.
How should art institutions respond to the current political climate? Michal B. Ron reviews Paper Monument’s recent book, in which various art professionals offer their propositions to six perceptive questions.
From researching and re-imagining a 1943 exhibition of modern Lebanese art in Jerusalem to writing for a leading independent arts magazine, to being part of an artist-run gallery in Brooklyn, Hakim Bishara has been experimenting with various practices in the past few years. David Duvshani recently met the Palestinian writer, curator, and artist in New York for a conversation about these multiple ventures and about the New York cultural scene in the Trump era.
The 6th Athens Biennale expressed the need for an urgent new self-identification of the confused contemporary community, either in local or in international terms - an urgent need of a new “revolution” that would define the 21st century. Christos Paridis writes about the exhibition, which he describes as an adult playground for those who are seeking questions or answers to present and future nightmares.