Zenith Art Exchange Program

Zenith Art Exchange Program

 

What is the ZENITH ART EXCHANGE?

The ZENITH ART EXCHANGE is an international visual art exchange program designed to enhance the awareness of both Hungarian contemporary visual arts in the Middle Eastand Arab contemporary visual art in Hungary respectively, thereby strengthening the international professional dialogue in this area.

Launched in 2013 within the framework of the Art Moments Contemporary Art Festival, the program showcased a painting, a design and two photoexhibitionsat the Design Terminal in Budapest, at MODEM in Debrecen and at the Zsolnay Quarters’ M21 Gallery in Pécs. The program did not only focus on exhibitions, but also included an active visiting artist program for young Arab artists, organized by the organizers in collaboration with the University of Pécs and the Zsolnay Cultural Quarter.

These programs were designed to demolish the existing prejudices and stereotypes associated, the fears and in most cases distant attitude held by the western world towards the Arab culture. The materials presented in the exhibitions provided an opportunity to look more closely at the Arab world, and thus create a more realistic picture of it. Through paintings, photographs, design objects we can learn about the people of the Middle East their everyday lives, joys, pains and problems. We come face to face with the Arab world's diverse and sometimes controversial social and political phenomenon, and through this knowledge and these impressions we can develop a morenuanced point of view in understanding the Arab peoples.

In the future it is our intention to broaden the international palette byshowcasing the contemporary art works of other Asian countries such as China, India, Turkey.

The Sacred Path

The Sacred Path

Middle-Eastern photo exhibition

26.09./02.11. 2013. MOD EM, Debrecen

Nearly seventy photos of fourteen Arab photographers from all over the Arab world, including Yemen, Lebanon, Palestine, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan and Syria. These artists open a brutally honest but very sensitive window to the tensions, ontradictions, joy and suffering of their world.

When the westerner tries to imagine the Middle-East, it’s mostly images coming from CNN or BBC, images of civil unrest, revolution and suicide bombers. Terror, angst and fear are the primary feelings associated with this world. These images and stereotypes may not be completely without foundation, but we must also look beyond and at the everyday lives of the people living in the area, and that’s what this exhibition allows us to do.

The Sacred Path is the title of the exhibition, because it leads us on the path of understanding. Samer Mohdad, one of the leading artists of the collection had this to say about this pilgrimage that he himself overtook when preparing the images: ‘I have walked the paths of ancient civilisations in everyday life today, ancient foundations that many religions, cultural chasms and conflicts, destruction, reconstruction, trust and tolerance formed into what we see today. In spite of great instability and security problems, in the face of poverty and corruption, people are still hopeful that a change will come that will allow for a better life in a more peaceful world.’

This exhibition is perhaps the most interesting and touching project of the collaboration between Zenith Art Exchange 2013 international cultural exchange programme and the Contemporary Art Platform (CAPÖ Kuwait. Curator: Abed al Kadiri, cultural manager of CAP Kuwait.

 

Contributing artists:

Boushra Al Moutawakel

Dalia Khamissy

Farah Nosh

Issa Touma

Laura Boushnaq

Laura Tantawi

Newsha Tavakolian

Newsha Tavakolian

Reem Al Faisal

Raed Bawayah

Samer Mohdad

Tamara Abdul Hadi

Tanya Habjouqa

Gaith Abdul Ahad

The head as a cosmos

MARWAN

10.24./11.24.2013 Zsolnay Negyed, Pécs

‘THE HEAD AS COSMOS’ WATERCOLOUR EXHIBITION BY SYRIAN ARTIST MARWAN

KASSAB-BACHI

 

The paintings of Syrian artist Marwan Kassab-bachi have made it to many important private and public collections all over the world; he is a leading fi gure of contemporary Middle-Eastern cultural life. His monumental pieces tell of the irreconcilable loneliness and joy of life, he created a separate cosmos with pictures of community, sensuality, pain and death. Faces from the Unique World of Marwan – the ‘face-sceneries’ are a central to work, physical metaphors, while in his later paintings it’s the landscapes that have faces in them.

 

Many of Marwan’s paintings were inspired by larger-than-life (‘presence in crucial’) mannequins that he bought from one of his pupils. The paintings depicting marionettes convey an important realisation: ‘When I place them on the table of my studio, they become a presence and I thus I created a still-life.’ The most shocking aspect of his marionette or mannequin paintings is the organic nature of the central fi gure; in these works, the shapes seem to outgrow the canvas, asserting much greater infl uence on our physical and emotional perception. It is clear that the artist has a strong connection with his paintings: ‘It’s like a tree and

its roots… I feel I’m like the tree, growing out of the soil towards the skies withstanding the attacks of insects and the weather. The roots and I are connected to the earth.’

 

Kursi - chair

KURSI

a Tribute to a Chair

September 4 –12, 2013

 

What is the significance of the chair in the Arab world? The earliest reference to the word “kursi” or “chair” was in the Quran Scripture, “Verse of the Chair”.  The verse enforced the faith that there was no God other than the one who is all-knowing and sits on the throne of the earth and skies.  Today the chair has shed its religious allusions and has adopted an image of social, political, and humanistic implications.

Behbehani identifies the chair to the balance of powers between her grandparents. She juxtaposes aspects of the two contrasting figures who take on different social roles by representing a traditional, seemingly suppressive, clothing article sitting in the position of power.

In Sharaf’s work, the chair becomes a political symbol of power abused by Arab dictators in the past decades. He plays on the rhyme, “Kursi“ and “Mursi”, a satire on the current political situation in Egypt.

Where Sharaf depicts the chair that many are fighting to sit on, Al Fouzan finds the least desirable. His Empty Chairs are the fossils of human life in abandoned settings. It is hard to imagine that someone would sit in these harsh and decaying environments, yet the chair affirms it’s position and function by seeming welcoming.

Meanwhile, Al Mansor rescues abandoned materials and recycles them into sculptural furniture. He works with classicalism as a shape decomposed by the raw nature of the material. It is a paradox that such a stature of wealth is made up of someone’s trash.

Al Kouh also strives to save remnants of history but through his story-telling photographs. The chair is valued as an artifact, a vital component to the love story, and without it the tale cannot exist.

 “Class of Chairs” by AlYaqoub, Al Saddah, and Al Mehdari, embodies the archetype personas of a Kuwaiti high school. Familiar pieces of furniture evoke a playful ambience of identifiable nostalgia. The high school sub culture is a reflection of external social attitudes towards these stereotypes, hinting that these fun and hard times of a teenager are in fact, a global occurrence.

Lastly, Aljouder examines the sculptural aesthetics of the human form in isolation from any influences. She starts with the human in a seated position, spun by a web to harness the body. The chair erupts from a single point to two frontal legs, challenging the dispersion of natural weight.

Since the modern and contemporary periods, artists and designers were fascinated by the chair and its potential weight of meaning. In Kursi, the graphic and architectural dimensions explored by these artists and designers from Kuwait highlight the infinite possibilities of their creativity. The designs are reflective of the creators’ reactions to their environments, both locally and globally.

Artists: Aseel Al Yaqoub, Jassim Al Saddah, Yousef Al Mehdari, Amira Behbehani, Bader Al Mansor, Dana Al Jouder, Faisal Al Fouzan, Mohammad Sharaf, Mohammed Al Kouh

Curator: Abed Al Kadiri, Contemporary Art Platform CAP Kuwait

Contemporary Art Platform (CAP) - Kuwait Abed Al Kadiri, Equilor Fine Art - dr. Katalin Gereben, Hybrid Art//AMS Art Consulting - Szabolcs Erdélyi, Dorottya Helmeczy, Alexandra Novák

 

Arab women in sports

Hey'Ya - Arab Women in Sports
 
10.24./11.24.2013. Zsolnay Negyed, Pécs
 
 
‘Hey’Ya (Let’s Go) – Arab Women in Sport’ is a photo and video exhibition celebrating femate athletes of the Arab world. This exhibition does not seem obviously connected to the others at Zenith Art Exchange, but the organisers felt that they should make an exception to the strict curatoral concept because the works of French photographer Marian Lacombe and filmmaker Brigitte Lacombe provide important insights to the complexities of traditional
and progressive in Arabic societies. The title of the exhibition comes from the Arabic for Let’s Go, and it refers to the energy and commitment of the athletes. The ninety pictures by Brigitte Lacombe were commissioned by the Quatar Museum Authority and they depict Olympic and non-Olympic athletes from twenty Arabic countries, while the short films of the athletes are by Marian Lacombe. By placing the pictures within the personal narratives of the athletes, the artist calls attention to the problem of gender and sport in the Arabic world, an issue that’s rarely discussed, but is now put to the general public with the hope of initiating a conversation.
 
The project started in December 2011 in the Village of Athletes during the Pan Arab Games in Doha and took seven months to complete. During that time, Brigitte and Marian Lacombe worked side by side in their outdoor studio. After Doha, the sisters travelled around the Persian Gulf and Africa, working with female athletes of all ages With the support of Qatar’s Aspire programme, which promotes sporting opportunities for young people, they also worked with the talented younger generation of sporting hopefuls. From 25 July to 11 August 2012, the exhibition was on show at Sotheby’s Auction House in London. The event was organised in close connection with the 2012 London Summer Olympic games with the hope of calling attention the Arabic women participating in sports competitions worldwide and to the possibility of extending their participation in sports in general. Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the chair of the Quatar Museums Authority is the patron of the exhibition opened it on 7 March 2013 in the QMA Gallery in Katara Cultural Village. There the exhibition closed on 13 June, and it is arriving in Hungary in October 2013.

Zenith Art Exchange Program

What is the ZENITH ART EXCHANGE?

 

The ZENITH ART EXCHANGE is an international visual art exchange program designed to enhance the awareness of both Hungarian contemporary visual arts in the Middle Eastand Arab contemporary visual art in Hungary respectively, thereby strengthening the international professional dialogue in this area.

Launched in 2013 within the framework of the Art Moments Contemporary Art Festival, the program showcased a painting, a design and two photoexhibitionsat the Design Terminal in Budapest, at MODEM in Debrecen and at the Zsolnay Quarters’ M21 Gallery in Pécs. The program did not only focus on exhibitions, but also included an active visiting artist program for young Arab artists, organized by the organizers in collaboration with the University of Pécs and the Zsolnay Cultural Quarter.

These programs were designed to demolish the existing prejudices and stereotypes associated, the fears and in most cases distant attitude held by the western world towards the Arab culture. The materials presented in the exhibitions provided an opportunity to look more closely at the Arab world, and thus create a more realistic picture of it. Through paintings, photographs, design objects we can learn about the people of the Middle East their everyday lives, joys, pains and problems. We come face to face with the Arab world's diverse and sometimes controversial social and political phenomenon, and through this knowledge and these impressions we can develop a morenuanced point of view in understanding the Arab peoples.

In the future it is our intention to broaden the international palette byshowcasing the contemporary art works of other Asian countries such as China, India, Turkey.

Hybridart | tel: + 361 793 0148 | e-mail cím: info@artmoments.hu