CURA.

I HEARD YOU LAUGHING
Kunsthall Stavanger, Norway

Curated by
Myriam Ben Salah and Martha Kirszenbaum

Sarah Abu Abdallah, Sophia Al-Maria, Fatima Al Qadiri and Khalid Al Gharaballi, Meriem Benanni, Bendaly Family, Fairuz, Googoosh, Ferhat .zgür and Dor Zlekha Levy.

Kunsthall Stavanger, Norway
Through 14 January, 2018

 

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Artists from the Middle East are often associated with narratives of struggle and rhetoric of the past. Some end up making works that are almost a response to a Western “tacit commission”—a term coined by Moroccan scholar Mohamed Rachdi—arbitrarily linking authenticity with traumatic storytelling.

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I Heard You Laughing borrows its title from 14th century Persian poet Hafez’s book I Heard God Laughing, in which he lauded the joys of love, humor and irony, three clogged pillars of Middle-Eastern culture that are making a controversial comeback in the works of a younger generation of artists from the region.

I Heard You Laughing reflects on the importance of popular culture, the omnipresence of technologies and the role of music and dance, while tackling a form of vernacular ‘disorientalism’ and conveying a certain digital cosmopolitanism. It consists of selected music videos from iconic Middle-Eastern musicians of the 1950s-60s-70s alongside video works by contemporary artists that reflect the complexities of this often oversimplified ‘East-West’ configuration.

OTHER TIPS
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Galerie Emanuel Layr, Rome
Antoine Levi, Paris
Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp
C L E A R I N G, Brooklyn
Castiglioni Fine Art, Milan
Studioli, Rome