A group show at Rose Issa Projects, including works by Farhad Ahrarnia, Matthew Corbin Bishop, Iraida Icaza, Selma Gurbuz, Nermine Hammam, Lotte Reiniger, Mourad Salem, and Osman Waqialla.
“Open Your Eyes” is a visually diverse and thought-provoking collection of artworks, ranging from 17th-century engravings to contemporary photography and painting. The exhibition celebrates creative intuition and reaction: Throughout history, we have listened to and followed the opinions and advice of writers, philosophers, economists and politicians, but often it is artists who are the first to realise and respond to changes in our world.
Farhad Ahrarnia’s Bury My Heart series of embroidered digital prints on canvas presents images of Native American tribes that have been “stitched up” as a metaphor for modern-day colonialism and territorial expansion – a subject that is also explored by artist-photographer Nermine Hammam in her dramatic series of news images melded with paintings of the American West, Wetiko – Cowboys and Indigenes. Matthew Corbin Bishop continues his study of the making of the modern world and the development of nation states through his series of paintings of stamps, while Mourad Salem teases the historic tyrants and despots of the Middle East through his purposefully kitsch oil paintings and portraits.Iraida Icaza‘s Persona series of photographs presents the ambiguity between our self-image, the image we project and how others see us, while Selma Gurbuz’s talismanic and shamanic artworks protect against the “evil eye”, which also appears on the prow of Prince Achmed’s Ship in pioneering filmmaker. Lotte Reineger’s silhouette animation. The theme comes full circle with original antiquarian works by 17th- and 18th-century cartographers, whose excitement and wonder at seeing new lands is palpable in their exquisitely rendered maps of Arabia, whose immensity and mysterious essence is captured in one pure glyph by master calligrapher Osman Waqialla.
Mourad Salem, Acrylic on canvas 152X122 cm
OPEN YOUR EYES
15 January – 14 February 2014
82 Great Portland Street, London