Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi: "Founder of Barjeel Art Foundation" | Talks at Google

Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi:

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Now. I just want to tell you how the. Art Foundation, and Google work together so. There. We, are the. Biggest partner, of Google in the, Middle East when it comes to art we, have 900. Over 900, works online. It is the biggest library, of, Arab art in the world online. Is what, we have hosted on. Google Art Project, about. 40. Or 50 of the works are in this ultra, high-resolution. Gigapixel. Camera they took over my house the Google camera centimeter. So, these. Are not only do we have zero. Ellis's. So, so. Not only do we have the. The. Artworks that you can zoom in forever and ever but, we also have exhibitions so, if someone says hold on what did you show in Tehran, in, 2016. I don't know what were the works that were in your exhibition I tell them go on Google and you will see the exhibition the works that were shown and. And, this is this is something that hasn't been released yet but we're working with Google on. Exclusively. Google curated, exhibitions so. This is something that Google is launching all over the world and. We, are their first partner, here in the Middle East so these are. Exhibitions. I don't know what that thing is doing these, are Maria this is your computer, you need to stop it oh, ok, for you need it back fine. So, this is exclusive, for Google online we. Also partnered. With Google on the Street View project for. One of our exhibitions and. We, have we've partnered with Google Chrome so, believe it or not, maybe. I shouldn't be telling you this but Google Google asked for 20 images so that they would upload. Them into their Chrome. International, library so when people use the Chrome extension a, Japanese. Painting will appear, Brazilian. Artists will appear an American, painting will appear but, we sort of took things overboard and we uploaded 900. So. It is very strange. I'm. Not sure I should be telling you this but it is almost for, the propensity of, the number of times that our works show up is shocking. Even to me the, fact that how many works show up the on and on and, so, for. Example that was newly Rahui. From. Iraq this is Nora, su ad from the UAE. And. We, also Google, had the pop-up exhibition they, took over the house two. Three years ago I'm not sure if you guys were aware of it and so we we loan. Them art I, just wanted to show you oh and on Instagram, also we have the only Middle. Eastern artworks, that appear on the Google Instagram. Accounts, which. Is very very popular. Now. This is the this, is the presentation, from now I hope to take about 30 minutes of your time we, will talk about the. Political. Undertones. Of iconic works of the, Middle East now.

Middle. Eastern artists, and Arab artists, have been. Documenting. Major. Events, for. Over a century so, ever. Since you had the, introduction, of, schools. You. Know. Academies. And schools into. The Middle East the first one having. Been founded in 1908. And, Egypt there was a young prince from Egypt was the nephew of the king and he, wanted to study arts and he couldn't leave so they opened an Academy for him which is amazing okay. His name was rusev camel and he said you know uncle King whoever your name was I want, an Academy they opened an Academy for him and that was, the first Academy, first opened in Alexandria, and then move down to Cairo and and. Since then you've had. Systemic. Education, when it came to art but you also had a lot of artists especially who come from the, Christian, backgrounds, in the Middle East who studied in the church they, studied painting whether, it was people. Like Nicholas aya whether, it was people. Artists. Like Stanley by the way he artists, like Gibran. Khalil Gibran and others who were maybe, not going to the church for religious reasons but because, the church was Pleasant they they were able to, to. Learn from a lot of the artists and artisans and craftsmen who were there this is a this is a very important, painting that's part of the shaman foundation, collection and a man and it, shows you the surrender of Jerusalem. To the British. In 1918. Now Nicholas logic was not there, he, took the photograph, and, he said I need to document it myself and so he repainted the work and. And and this is the this is one of the first works where you, see artists, sort of painting, iconic. Iconic. Events. Capturing. Iconic, events not just with camera, but, with their, their brush strokes. Now. Who, of you have heard of the degenerate, art exhibition of the 1930s. And in Germany, has, anyone here heard of it who. Hasn't heard of it let me see if you guys are paying attention okay. I'm guessing there's a few of you who have heard of it and haven't heard of it it was very interesting but I want to ask so. So, what happened was that the, the horrible. Horrible government, of 1930s. And 40s Germany. The Nazi regime. Collected. A lot of art. Of. That. They considered to be an in German, and worthy, of being called a German and some, of the artists were Amin or they, had pulled clay some, of the leading lights of European. Culture but, these were modernists. And they they, were not painting. Iconic, they were not painting sort of what you would see traditionally. As as, European. Art and so what the but, the German government did was that they were trying to dehumanize. Them many of them were Jews but a lot of them were not Jews as well so, as part of the effort to dehumanize. Them they collected, all their artworks, and they hung them in a in, a lot. Of Museum it's almost like a warehouse, and. The, these, works were hung all you. Know over each other they, were badly, lit there, was no there, was no attempt. To sort of give. These works any kind of respect and. At the same time they opened another exhibition across, the street and in, a beautiful building and the works were very well lit and the artworks had space, for. Them to be further so that you can go and admire them they were tour guides. And. And so they wanted to show you the. Contrast of what is underman, what, is degenerate. Art and what is German, art this exhibition people. Were forced to attend it students, from schools had, to go and attend this so, that they can see how these, were are unworthy, of of, being germ you can see I mean some of them really are look, at that dad is. A very, important movement that took place in the 1920s for, example. So. What happened was a lot of intellectuals. Around the world were, horrified, by this because. Again. This is mass dehumanization. Of people, which. Followed the the persecution, of a lot of the minorities, in Europe so, this is the photo I found today I'm so proud of it this. Is a this, is a photograph of Andre Breton the.

French Philosopher the. The Russian. Dissident near, Trotsky, and the. And. The Mexican. Artist Diego Rivera now, they came together in Mexico in 1938. A few months after this exhibition and they, issued a manifesto, the. Manifesto, for an independent, revolutionary, art and they, said in this manifesto, that we are disgusted, by what happened, in Germany you are not supposed to treat intellectuals. And prosecute them like this and so, as you notice a Russian, a Mexican. A European, so there's an international, outcry, as. A result, what. Was was interesting, and what people don't know is that there was equally, there was an equal outcry, here in the Middle East a bunch, of intellectuals. From, the Middle East from Egypt, gathered, in Cairo and issued, their own manifesto. So, this is where where, we come and we have to we. Have to highlight our own history, as well we were also part of this international, movement. To condemn. The persecution of. Jews. And of intellectuals, and artists of the in, the under, the Nazi regime so as you see I mean this. Is a photograph from 1941. But their first meeting was 1938. So just a few months after the, degenerate. Art, exhibition. You. Can see some of their names they came from different backgrounds, many of them were Muslim. Christian Jewish, many, of them were ethnic Egyptian, and many of them were immigrants, who to Egypt who became Egyptian, but they were immigrants. They had Italian background Greek, background and another, another. Background so, they, came together and they formed a group called the art and liberty group they. Issued a magazine called the evolution magazine. It, came out I think every other every, other month they met for a period of almost of eight nine years and. They did five major, exhibitions. There. This, is this is their manifesto, so just, like the the. Mexican, and the Russian and the the, other intellectuals, issued a manifesto. There was a manifesto, that came out of Cairo in. 1939, 3800 December. 1938. And look, what they're saying here they're saying that. Basically. What they're saying is what is happening, in in Europe. Is is. Something, that is revolting. We see this as as, a, the. New Middle Ages rising. In the heart of Europe so they're condemning, what's, happening in Europe so this is really a sort, of a stand. Of solidarity, with, with the European, intellectuals. And the Jews of Europe and, the and the artists, of Europe signed by all these. Luminaries. I'm just want to show you the, names of them men. And women and I mean you can tell from their from their names what their what their backgrounds, were they're trying to give you this a couple, of seconds to look over the names, okay. This is the kind of art that they produced it was very similar to the what the, so called degenerate, art of Europe it, is nothing I mean when you think of your Egyptian art of the early 20th century you would think of landscapes, you would think of you.

Know Pyramids, you think of people, standing, and in the market, and Angelini and and these beautiful you. Know places that we know in Egypt however. This. Is what they have been producing, they've been producing work that, is, modern. That is cutting-edge, that, really is talking about the. New identity of, the of the 1930s. And the 1940s. In. Egypt, and elsewhere this is the great artist for example was the youngest member of the group he wasn't officially a member but she exhibited with them her name was Angie flat-wound will come back to her a number of times she is one of the most important. And influential artists, of the middle years of the 20th century and this, is can you see the the work it looks like trees, there, are women that are nude her. Work is really incredible. And I can I can I give lectures about Angie a flatworm so we can come back to her later, so. So, again remember how Nicolas I did. Not attend an event but then decided to go and paint it because, he thought it was so important, the surrender. Of Jerusalem, to the British in 1918, ng, afraid one did the same thing and she went and she painted this Massacre. The densha way a massacre, of Egypt of the early 20th century I don't, I don't suspect many of you have heard any, Egyptians here have heard of the densha way Massacre have. You heard of it who's heard of the district you've heard of it so so. Not. Even all Egyptians, know but it was a it was a a milestone event, in the history of Egypt, what happened basically was a bunch of British. Soldiers, who were basically the occupying force of an. Egypt went, went, hunting, in this town in the Nile, Delta and they, shot pigeons, however in Egypt the pigeons are not just, there. They're kept because they're the source of livelihood people, raised the pigeons they sell the pigeons they the their income comes from this keeping, of the pigeons so they went for sports and they started shooting the pigeons and so, people went and protested very. Briefly and, they. Put they pushed the Egyptians the, British soldiers away but, the Egyptian soldier the British soldiers were wearing these very heavy overalls. And. So one of them later collapsed, and died and and. They accused, the Egyptian, peasants, of. The, farmers and the peasants of having killed him and they, had a Egyptian, judge basically pass a. Sentence. Of. Hanging. Of against. Two or three of the of, the. Of. The of, the Egyptian peasants and so, energy, of law tone captures, this very important, event what happened after that was that it cover it was covered in the media and was seen as an example and even, led to the to the multiple, Egyptian uprisings, against, the British and we are being we, are being pushed they, are even taking away our source of livelihood so this, really led to the to the uprisings, of 1919. This, small event but it was the build up of it so. Here you see the, British soldiers, sort of standing, watch looking. At the sky who's. Being executed, or being hanged while, his family is is. Crying, you. Know asking, for mercy, again. India flattened was not present, she was born in the 1920s. However, she, thought this was such an important, event that took place 40. 40. Odd years ago that I have to capture it. Not. All artists had a, had. A. Bad. Relationship with the government this is a Egyptian. Artist for example George Hannah sabath who, was one of the first artists, to go, and to exhibit in the salon the tone in in, Paris in the, early 20th, century. But. George was very close to the king and he was gifting the King a lot of gifts so, so, a lot of artists benefited. From a good relationship, just like we do here in the UAE and, the Gulf and elsewhere they, benefit, a lot from having a good relationship with the with the monarch and the the ruling families actually this reads this reads a gift, to Asama just a who, are Fouad premier so it was a gift to the. The, the. Egyptian. Monarch this. Is one of my favorite paintings in the world there's, two copies of it I'll tell you the reason why one, of them is on thank God by the Egyptian state and the, other one is owned by Najib. Soilless this. Artist, was, approached by his, boss, Yusef fell by his by, his teacher, uses a Mian so, abla Hadi kazar was the son of a cleric and. He. Was studying art under Yusef Ameen and uses. I mean told him by the way. There's. Going to be an exhibition and, some. Of the works are going to be gifted to the King would, you like to paint something that we can give to the king and it's very, prestigious your.

Work Will be in the Royal Collection a lot, of people will see it you, you will have a future you know if you paint something he, said sure why not I'll paint something he, painted this working was thrown in jail. Now. I want to give you guys a few. Seconds to tell me why, do you think he was thrown in jail. More. Than once. The. Naked lady who thinks it's because of the naked lady. Okay. Now because I acted that way. Okay. Who has another it was another, explanation. Tell, you. Huh. The. Plate the empty plate what do you think I. Knew. Google hires the best minds in the Middle East so, yes actually you're very right, this. Painting was seen as an affront to the Egyptian monarch the message basically is in. Your kingdom your majesty, everyone is poor and suffering and hungry and so, he, was picked up along with his poor teacher usually, I mean had nothing, to do with it you know he was picked up both were picked up thrown in jail and they. And. Finally Mohammed. Saeed was a very important, Egyptian artist, who was the uncle of the Queen went, and he and he basically was able to ask. For clemency and mercy and they were able to release them but, the guy was really unhappy, the artist I'll show you what he did later so. So. So the artist as you can tell Abdul Hadi kazar was, when, when, the Egyptian revolution took place do, you think he was sorry to see the King go not. So much uh he goes well this guy jailed me I'm not really sad that he is, no longer there so in fact he was very. Very. Close to the government, of Abdel Nasser and, in. 1962. Egypt. Introduced a new constitution. As Abdul Nasser had had. Commissioned, and in, this this. Is a painting. That he created, which, is also thankfully, owned by the Egyptian state. To. Celebrate the new constitution, there's a lot, of messages here but can you see what's happening over there in the back I like, this a lot there's, there's a Muslim. Imam and priest hugging. Each other they're so happy I don't know why they're happy but they're happy and. Then here you see the farmer, and the worker, you, know holding, the wheat and the flour this, wheat and flour, cotton. The cotton yeah, and in their hand almost. Kneeling, in prayer you. Know it is such a such an iconic piece of Egypt and it's called El, Mesa in Arabic the the Charter, and, it was exhibited in Korea last month which I'm very happy about what. Led. To, basically. This new identity that took place across. The, Middle, East, what. Happened, was a lot of the. And across the Middle East. What. The region shared in common was they were all under. Foreign. Occupation, either, either as protectorates, or as a proper, colonial, rule they. Were all. Under, governments that that. Didn't give them a lot of freedoms whether, they were pre. Or post colonial. Rule and so. One of the only places that they were able to gather the, artists, were these fine our societies, and not. Only were the artists gathering but they also invited intellectuals. So you have poets, you have singers, you have journalists, you have professors, and lawyers they all gathered, and these, fine art societies, and they, were able to exchange ideas, and in, this exchange, of ideas a new identity, emerged, when you look at the, first half of the 20th century art and the second half 20th century there's been a seismic, shift the. Work no, longer, looks like European, art I must, say in the 1920s, and even 30s a lot of the arts from the region was influenced, by Europeans, but by the 1940s. And 50s and 60s do you see the emergence of an identity, that, is very very different that is very that is unique to the region this is the birth dad's find our society, of 1951. However, fine our societies, emerged, in Khartoum in Kuwait, in Cairo, in Alexandria. And Rabat all over, the Middle East and Beirut and other. Places, one. Of these intellectuals was gathering I think he's somewhere here but I can't I don't know which one he is here was. Iraqi. Artists that. So, Calvin Hyder was. Actually. A person. Who worked in the theater he designed a lot of the backgrounds, for a lot of the place but a lot of the plays were, political, plays so when he gathers in the in the in. The Fine Arts Society, the. Playwright gives the the. That the script. The, artists come and paint the background and so you have this exchange of ideas so Karen Hyder here. Makes. This created. This work. Which. Is which is who, Burma, , had that as a french name for some reason. And. In. 1957. So, what, happened, in. This is a very interesting point. That I would like to share with you in. Iraq in the 1950s. As part of the British. As. Part of the British government's. Policies or, the British sort of influence. In Iraq a lot, of a lot of the land that was taken, that was controlled by peasants in the south was, taken, over by the British they had airstrips, there and a military base so, they moved all these peasants into Cairo into, Baghdad, so, you can imagine as a result of several years of peasants.

Being. Pushed. Out of their lands, they move where to the capital when, they moved to the capital what. Kind of jobs are they gonna get. Labor. Jobs, basically they're really in dire situation, so in 1955-56. A, couple, of seismic events took place now I want to explain how artists. A. Channel. What, happened politically into an artwork so, in, 1956. What happened in Egypt. Huh. I'd. Wanna Salafi that I Patriots aggression so what happened was Abdel, Nasser had, nationalized. The Suez Canal and who, attacked, who. Attacked Egypt Israel, France, and Britain at, the same time in in, Baghdad but that signs a treaty called, the, the birthday at pact with. The, British government which is a joint defense, pact at the same time that the British were attacking an Arab country the. Government. Signed a joint, defense agreement, Iraqis. Go out and march against, this at the same time they're marching not only against about that pact that was a trigger but, they are marching against poverty they're marching against lack of job. Opportunities, and employment and, livelihood. Opportunities. And. So. These people are called the shell GAO is the. Shell gouge they came from the shark so, they call in the shale gas shale Galia so, Calvin. Hyder here paid. The share Ghawi he tells him what happened, what, happened the shell gouge had gone out and protest, in 1957. In, 56, and 57 so they were a series of protests, so he met him here he goes tell me what happened, so the painting is called in. Ill news ad come on Stella se passe he, has told us how it happened, okay. What. Happened so when you look at the painting like a salon is just talking shit it's just a it's. A painting of a man who's sitting down on the ground but really this, these artists. Are masters, of hidden, messages because they can get into trouble what, they do is they hide their messages on the corners, in the middle they find allegories, they find metaphors, for, what they want to say so when you look at this you. See that bit over there. You. See that that's, full of hidden messages over here so here the artist is painting a man who, looks like he's boxed in who. Looks like he's a strong man he must be what he must be in his 30s maybe you. Think he's in his 30s or maybe late 20s, he's, a strong man but, he has no shoes on and, the. Sole of his feet are cracked, but. You, know he he looks like he's staring into the abyss does, he look like he has a bright future and a bright prospect, not, much is it am i right so, when, you look at it now you see the hidden messages, what. Happened. He. Tell him the soldiers, shot at the and, the civilians, what, happened, there, were tanks and planes that were there, were tanks and planes that were the luckiest on us and they dropped bombs and people were crying and, people were pleading for their lives and running for cover what. Happened, I so rate, do. You see doesn't. It give you goosebumps about. How how, the messages, were hidden by these artists, remember, the monarchy, was still there they were not able to say what what was happening so he had to hide it in this, in this painting, okay. I'll just go back just to give you a chance to see it again I. Also. Love the the sort of leftist, red. Color here that communists color almost. The only color that you see here is the color, the red color of communism. The. Same the same artist. Kevin, Haider paints, this work called the martyrs, epic so, the martyrs epic basically is a painting. Depicting. 10/10, fatigue horses, crying, why they crying because carbon, highs are saying oh I'm painting a painting about the the. The. Martyrdom, of Imam Hussein bin Ali so if you're not your if you're not Muslim Imam. Hussain basically the grandson, of the Prophet and he, was, he. Was killed in the Battle of Karbala and. It. Was it was a major seismic. Event it's really led, to the split of Islam, between Shia and Sunnah, I don't want to go into the details but he's a he's a very important, figure for both Sunni Sunni, and Shia Muslims.

And. So, what. Happened, is when. Abdul Karim Kassim in 1957. In, 1957-58. Overthrew. The king he, stayed in power for five years and then, he was overthrown by the ballasts, so, that the the the Egyptian that the the. Iraqi. Leader only stayed in power for five years and then he was overthrown and so, when he was overthrown they, went after his allies who, were a lot of them were the Communists, so. Remember. In the salon and the cultural salon a lot of people of communist, leanings. And communist backgrounds were attending but, guess what happened they, went after them and they executed, them they killed them they jailed them they they, they lock them up in theaters, they locked them up in a stadium they, locked them up in in, in. Rooms, and they they, executed, many of them we'll come back to this theme the theme of execution, of of communists was a big deal in the 60s in Iraq so, again, Kasim hide them now and then in the 1960s, remember, how we hid the message of the, the rape scene and all that in the painting here he wanted to show, something. Else that happened which is what which is the murder of the, intellectuals, of. Of. Iraq in the early sixties so he uses an allegory. Of the exit, of them of the of, the death of Imam Hussain to, represent, the the deaths, of the intellectuals, of Iraq because. He cannot paint an Iraqi, intellectual, who was killed he, said I'm just painting the deaths of the, death of Imam Hussain Imam. Imam, Hussein bin Ali and that, will be the allegory, it would be the metaphor, for, my, friends, who were killed okay. So here you see the horses crying, because one of them has been killed the Sun has turned red you. See the hair almost on the back of their of their shoulders or in the next has been stood. Up they, are in agony and crying and, so, again, a lot of artists, use these metaphors, to represent political, events brahim, masala hey the same thing in 1985. Painted. This peace in Sudan, called the inevitable, which was against the the, uprising, in the government of Sudan had had, put down in. A very nasty, way an uprising, that took place oh. This. Is this is going back Mohamed somebody painted, this while he was in Russia in 1962. There, was a the, communist, leader of Iraq was executed, so as you can see he was in Russia very much painting in the Russian. Soviet. Realist, style, of painting I mean look at this work look, look at these individuals, carrying the red flag of communism and the background you see them look, at the Salam. Salam Adel which, was the nickname of the of, the Iraqi communist either he was 29, years old when, he was executed.

But. He's very proud because this is what the story is that he had his head held, up high even, though the guy was in Russia he managed to capture the scene and look at the guy who was executed before him what, do you see, do. You see that he has fallen, he's. Still trying to stand up so the guy who was executed just before him it's pushing back up because he refuses, to die and look at the child in the background here who almost is being inspired, by the sacrifice. Of these, individuals, I'm sorry about the colors. So. So, it's a very very important, again, a very important piece. The. Governments in the Middle East usually, use artists, to create major. Monuments. Such. As the Baghdad a monument, to freedom that was created by Joe Watts areum as you can see here this, was a block areum Qasim who, remember who overthrew the King he went to Joe at him and told him create a monument for me to, celebrate the. The new Iraq so as you can see here you have. Someone, sort of coming into the cage and breaking, the cage which, is basically a metaphor, for the freedoms, that the iraqis have won by, the overthrow, of following. The overthrow of the monarchy this. Is still their umbrella thank god. Now. A big theme in the 1950s, and 60s was. Nationalism. And tired Arabism which was championed, by Gamal Abdel Nasser, you. Have this theme the nationalism, theme was all over the world this is a pain by brahim smile of kuwait as. You can see he's showing Abdullah Saleh who, was who was the leader who assured in the mock Washington. Freedom and independence. Of Kuwait you have the the. Olive, branch the, bird of the. The. Dove. Of peace you, have the the Constitution, etc all, being shown here and the flag of Kuwait but. Now is where it gets really interesting. This. Is the Kuwaiti painter, depicting. A man Abdul Nasser come, on at the NASA here is shown as what this, is first of all what's fly who knows what the flag do this is. What. Is that someone explain it huh, what. Is the name of the country in English. The. United, Arab Republic which, was the union of.

Egypt. And Syria so this is a Kuwaiti artist, depicting, what, I've been a servant to them you, know someone from the Gulf saying, at the Nasser now is the leader of the region and the, flag of the United, Arab Republic goes, from the Maghreb from, Morocco, all the way to the Gulf so, AB the NASA is the leader of the whole region basically, I'm. The NASA was a larger-than-life. Figure. In, in. Almost. Almost. Literally, when it comes to to, art in, this case you have at the NASA he, hammered. Aways was another leftist. Leaning artist socialist. Who was very friendly with Abdel Nasser and, depict. Him here and, the nationalization, of, the Suez Canal in, 1957. What, do you see in this painting you see at the Nasser. Surrounded. By people who are happy. From. Diverse backgrounds, and. What, you see in the background you see the first boat sort, of cross under, the. Era, of Abdel, Nasser okay, so I've been a that is a recurrent, theme I have 30, 40 paintings not, half but on, the slides, here. I love this is one of my favorite so this is Mohammed Sabri who was an Egyptian artist, was still alive born in 1917. Like. Unbelievable. Mashallah, okay. So. So. So, how. Much somebody here depict I want you to analyze this piece for me what do you see what's. What happen after doing here you guys are analyzer. Where. Is the UN speech. Okay, so who, is he addressing can, you guys see. Who's. In the first row. Who. Okay, so, the third the, first row we see the leaders of which countries America, Russia. So. The world powers, are there and then, who else is there in. The, why. India I'm Ghana why Ghana, why Indonesia, not, India I think. Yeah. And ESS India and Indonesia but why Indonesia. No. There, was the conference the Indonesian non-aligned, don't, Aligned movement conference. In, 1956. Which, he attended okay. What else do you see there there's. An empty seat, what's. That empty seat, here's. What, is the message when. He is done with the speech where is he going to go he's. Gonna sit in the front goddamnit yeah. This. Guy is gonna sit in the front row he's not sitting in the back okay, the Egyptian, leader sits in the front row with, the. World leaders do. You think this was the reality, no. It wasn't the reality. Yeah. But but no but but, it's not about but but this is something that just shows you the power of art because, these paintings, are meant if you would by the intellectuals. And by the influencers, so you see I'm the NASA and I thought the NASA as big as them he, is his size. He's. Massive, and check out his teeth I mean, wow the guy it's incredible, the work I love this painting so much and and who's sitting in the second row without getting to too much trouble. Huh. Who. Say who said that country. I, didn't. Say okay. But. Who else is there everyone, else is relegated, to the back. Cast, oh is this friend yeah, yes Castro that's right so so but imagine. Also I mean unfortunately they're all men but I suppose this is the truth here in this in the UN so. You can imagine, how. How, abdun athel's image loomed over, the region not only do a Gyptians, depict him but even Kuwait, ease and Syrians. And Lebanese they, all painted him in as being, sort of this larger-than-life, figure, you want to see another one.

So. Here. The. Last suffer actually, actually Tyra, that's a good point AB the Nasser died a few days after signing this agreement, unfortunately. He. Was very young so this, was the Cairo agreement, in which he brought all these leaders together what. Do you see in this the, same thing you see which leaders. Yeah. The leaders of Kuwait, sir. Dear Palestine. Who's this, no. Ma'am. Or Qadhafi well done, okay. Yeah I'm, mark and I see and I, don't know who else is there to be honest to the right who. I'm. Sorry yeah this is this is a king a scene of. Is. Any one of them alive it's amazing, that that that, he was alive until recently. Okay. I think I have more you wanna see more let's. See oh this, was actually a pain. So, this, was interesting the, the, the Egyptian, the Egyptian government any, condoms, Chaka Chaka. Shui. Okay so there was they were very very classy, in the sense that the. When they want to send the message to the intelligentsia they. Bring in the intelligentsia, they, chose over 20 artists, and they, shipped them down to aswan at the, Nasser's project, was to build the Aswan Dam do. You know how important, aswan dam was, as one damn was so important. That. It was it was Egypt Whitley bag like, their. Back-up plan their, plan of survival. The because Egypt in those days was able to muscle you, know hand and, wrestle all the, all the countries of the of the Nile Basin now they can't do that now if he o pious is, getting, is. Interfering, with them but in those days they said we're building the MF dam right, now okay, and. Okay. We're building the dam and and if the if the Americans, if the Americans, don't give us money guess where we'll go we'll. Go to the Russians so this dam basically. Was, the reason why Egypt, shifted, from, from, being in the in the Eastern, story, from being in the Western sphere. Of influence to the Eastern sphere of influence it's, a major major change, so what they did was that they chose 20, artists and they shipped them to to, the Swan. Dam to paint what's, happening to us one damn one of them was Eliza Byard, who. Who depicted, I love this fierce huh because look, at this. Is the building of the Aswan Dam but, if I didn't tell you it's the Aswan Dam what, would you think it was off. What. Do you think they're building the. Pyramids, or maybe, they're digging, the. Suez Canal am. I right it's amazing, I mean for me this, is this is this is an artwork that you, know that celebrates, the Aswan Dam but, almost it's critical of the, Aswan Dam in one hand they're presenting, AB the Nassau or he was presenting AB the Nassau as being the successor of the, highways, and the successor, of the Pharaohs of the of the Pharaohs of thousands. Of years ago but, what's missing in this painting there's, something very interesting that's missing in this painting, know. If you're building if you're building a if you're building an effing dam you, need what. Not. Water but you need. Equipment. Machines. Am, i right where is the machinery so. It's almost critical, in the sense that it, is that, they're very primitive, they're. Building yes they're very primitive, so. In one hand they're showing you know idle hands but. In the other hand they're showing that people are literally digging you, know with with shovels the same way they did, thousands. Of years ago I love, this piece so much this is this is the work that you would not see anywhere, in the world except with me I went, to Algeria I went to the museum Bazar I photographed. It no, an image of this work it's, such an incredible piece. It's. A piece by a Lebanese artist called RFRA years who, was in sort of pan Arabist, and he believed in the Egyptian in the Algerian revolution, against.

The Uprising. And against the French and look what he did to them he sent this work at in. 1961. To the Algerians, but. Look, can you see the message in this work I mean, unfortunately that, it's, not very clear but I can lead to you what. Does it say here is. What. Is OAS, any. Algerians, here huh, or getting this you know a domestic rat the, the secret army organization, which is the sort. Of the Gestapo, that, was running, Algeria. For the French. On. The front on the behalf of the French and Algeria so OAS. Is here and then you have here Europe, than, the Nazis, then, Zionism, so, so, he's sure showing you that all these are. Crocodiles. That are cutting the legs of the Algerians, to make a stew, out of them, and then, the United Nations is going, to be eating from the Algerian so we can imagine how bold. And, how. Creative. And. How, the. Xavier feelings were sort of regional. Rather than local. So. This is a piece by out of erase, here. We go this is a piece by. Hamid Airways the, called the guardian of life so how many ways to remember the guy who did AB the Nasser with the with the with the dam and everyone smiling around, him and the ship is passing so, how many which was very close to Abdul. Nasser he was studying on a scholarship in, 1967-68. In, Spain, and he. Heard about the defeat of. Egypt. Am i right to go to defeat the. Defeat of the of, the Arab armies at the hands of Israel and. He wanted to boost, the morale because. Remember, a, quarter. Of the state of the of the area of the country was was, taken over the, Israelis, had, at one point in time almost, approached. The borders of Greater Cairo at one, point in time the, Israelis, had taken. Over the Golan Heights they had taken over the West Bank they are taking over Jerusalem, they are taking over Gaza they, had they had pushed back the Jordanians. They had pushed back the Syrians they, had taken over all of sign and so. A lot of artists, including. Hamid always felt, that they need to boost the morale of Egyptians worry, not, fret not the. Egyptian, man will look after you you are safe, and secure. Under. The protection of the of, the Egyptian man for some reason a lot of these paintings had French names including. This one but we changed the name here so. Can, someone tell me what you see in this painting. What. What's happening someone. Explain this work. There's. A what there's. Well. But okay before you go to the details what's the overall image. Before, we go, that. While. Someone. Is this wait this do. You think army, this. Is this is maybe maybe more of a peasant maybe. More of a peasant maybe more I think the message is the everyday man I don't. Huh. Sorry. So. So what you see here you see sort of the everyday man the, Egyptian who is carrying, a, weapon and, the, weapon the weapon is what it's. A Russian it's. A Russian it's a Russian weapon I think it's a Kalashnikov, or something I'm not sure what. Is what's in the background you see here the guy is looking to what is this area, what. Is that it's, not the dam no, it's. Not the dam its Sinai, this. Is sign that that was taken over but what is what is Sinai, represented. As is it very green and there's a lot of life and, children are playing what. Is Sinai to the Egyptians, it's. A barren land that there's nothing really why you guys are upset you. Know like what's the big deal guys and here this was nothing was just a little bit of sand and desert it, disappeared, and on the other hand that he's protected behind them what's happening there what. Are the factories, huh. What's. The smoke. The. Smoke is industry, right what's, happening look there's people in the background there's, there's, there's. A mosque there's, a there's. Holes, look at this what's this here what factory. Workers, coming back from work okay. So contrast, both sides look, at the propaganda, it's amazing. Okay look. At both sides and then what's happening under, his hand and under under his protection what do you see. Huh. Life. What do you see give me more details. With. Wedding, women and children we have an x-rated scene here, okay. I don't know where his hands are, okay. You have children playing huh, you. Have you have children, playing, you have I'm, not sure is that a woman breastfeeding anyway. There's a lot of things going on in his family so basically the message guys, the guys the message is life, goes on life, goes on, in Egypt under the protection of the of the Egyptian man, okay.

But. Not everyone was very happy with at the NASA unlike. Hamid, unlike, Hamid, Airways you, had in G flat when I told you about her before remember, her name she, was an incredible woman I know I'm taking more time than I should but. But in G a flat tone was. So important, and I, feel like they need someone needs to make a movie about her life she, was the daughter of a, sort. Of a middle class upper, middle class family, they spoke French, at home they played the piano she had a tutor. Her. Name was in G her sister was Gillespie, or something, you, know that what is this family okay, or some person names like that okay, sushi. So, so ng a flat tone basically. Became a member, of the surrealist, movement of Egypt she, became a member of this anti-revolutionary. Anti-monarchy. Pro revolutionary. Movement and when. The Egyptian when. The Egyptian monarchy. Was overthrown she, was excited because she was a communist, and she, saw that a new socialist, government is taking over however, by, the 1950s. Late, 50s, she, realized, that Abdul Nasser was not communist enough he's. Like what is this joke okay. I want, someone who is more. More. Radical. Than this you, know we demand more so she became a member of this Egyptian. Feminist group they. Went on a protest, and in, 1958. I think, she was arrested and thrown, in jail for. Four years, under Abdel. Nasser she was not jailed under the king she. Was jailed under Abdul Nasser can you imagine so, when she was in jail she was able to smuggle and, yeah beautiful. There's. An autobiography, by her that she had written her own biography and, she. She, talks about life in in Jalen's it's an incredible, story but. She was able to smuggle in these small canvases, and paint the, women of. The jail with her you know how we, now think were very very smart when we use the number, seven to write, the ha, and I don't know what the. And, all these all these that I'll go were so cool were so millennial you know we can write this so, so, energy, aflatoun energy. Aflatoun did this in 1958. If. You guys think you're so hip. She what she did she wrote, letters to, her sister, I love this story she, wrote letters to her sister, in, in. Arabic, using, Latin script and then. They thought she was a spy because, she was writing a lot of weird gibberish literally, you read it it's Arabic but written in Latin letters and English, letters. And her. Lawyer because, only her and her sister could read the letters and her, lawyer argued, that, his client, is crazy and and. That's how she got out of being in trouble but he said how can you put how can you even put. Her in solitary confinement she's, already crazy and she's. Writing what is this nobody can read this so, that's an amazing story, so NGO flattened Joaquin went from being a radical leftist. And to being jailed and then becoming sort, of very. Yes. Not anti-government, as much I liked, this poster again is a very important, poster, of, in. 1982. It was the first and only exhibition. Of Arab art in Israel, so as part of the Camp David Accords, the Egyptians, agreed to send art, to, to Tel Aviv and so this was the poster of the show very. Little documentation exists. Of this of this show but but, it was I want to show you as an example of how the government's, also use art for, political, ends. Palestine. Is a major major theme in the in, the Arab world and I will just skim over it very quickly this is one of the most iconic works by, my, instrument. Called. Where, to and was, painted five years after again depicting, how a Palestinian, basically is going from home to home and he's carrying his children with him and he looks like he's lost everything, here. You have name is Maya in 1960s. Depicting, the Fedayeen, who. Are the the freedom fighters at the high M seldom Zara again, Marwan.

Casaba, She, depicting. Palestinian, children who, are painted, as giants so even though they're 15 years old here they're teenagers but, they're painted as giants they look down on you, this, is based on a true story I don't go into it now Abdul Kadir is from the UAE again. Depicting. Palestinian. Throwing. Stones, that's one of the occupation, soldiers in the background you can see it but there's an occupation, soldier in the background same on Mansour of course the most iconic painting, maybe of the Arab world of the almost, 20 20th, century Jamel. Muhammad, a camera of burdens. Another. Work there as they with Sabra and Shatila painting. Which was acquired by the Tate Modern, probably. For over a million dollars nobody, really knows the number but maybe for over a million million and a half dollars, I. Found. An episode of the, 4th of this work so you can watch it if you want later interestingly. The Palestinians, in 1978. In. The midst of the bail of the urban. Civilization. Teresting for me invited. 200 artists from around the world to, send works in solidarity with the Palestinians, and the work made it through a ban on and it was shown in Lebanon and all, these artists from all over the world Latin America Europe the Middle East all sent, paintings to a Palestine it was called the international, exhibition for solidarity, or something with Palestine this is a picture from at the exhibition only lasted. For about a month or so all these this is a list of artists that took place you can't see it but, unfortunately. A lot of the works were destroyed, or disappeared because they were kept, in storage in the PLO headquarters and, Beirut, and guess what guess what the first thing that Israelis did in 1982, when they stormed Beirut they went after the PLO headquarters and, they demolished and they stole a lot of things. This. Is a fascinating, piece by a, Palestinian, artist. Very. Political, work even you look at this work in Isaiah has just a cactus, sultanas bullshitting, again, so. But, actually it's a very very sort of it's. All about identity, politics, a thermal, shock Allah was the Palestinian, born in the town of Omaha. Northern, occupied. Palestine, and northern israel and. He. He. Was one of the very first, palestinians. To enter into the, carrier academy, of art which is later was, incorporated, into tel aviv art tel, aviv university. And. He started, painting the. The Sabra the the, cactus, as a symbol of palestinian, resistance and, a lot of people didn't understand what he was doing in those days unfortunately he died at the age of 28, from. Asbestos poisoning and care and cancer but, he was just like van gogh was doing the the sunflowers, he kept painting and over and over the cactus but what is the symbolism of cactus for the palestinians. Well. Done really i don't know who said that thank. You resilience, so the fact that a cactus, plant, or a cacti, can, can. Can resist the, fact that they're from the ground the fact that they don't change their thorns no matter how long time passes they stay the fact that they can they can survive. In different conditions, under pressure so, he sort of compared, himself to the cactus that, has been removed, from the from. The wilderness and from alpha ham and planted. Intel Abebe and put into a pot, so. He sort, of he, sort of uses identity, politics and his art there's, so much to say about Assam about chakra but I will I will skip so that we can all go home and have dinner, again. Heidegger are another Palestinian artists, who went, to the apartheid, wall and started, chipping pieces, from it and reconstituting. It into. Into. A toys, a bear bread, in. This case of volleyball, doing. More than one thing number one representing. All the children who have been stopped, from playing with each other because the of the giant wall that came up in between them so all the all the football, fields, or the volleyball or ever you want to call them the playing fields that have been disrupted, but, it also he's mocking the wall he's saying this wall is nothing for us he's making.

A Mockery of the, wall itself. As. A short video I will show you so in nineteen in. 2011. Also. Palestinian. Artist based in Denmark called, lares essence or applied. For a competition, in. Geneva the competition was sponsored. By Lacoste. And it, was organized. By museum called the musee alizée in. Genève, and. When. She said when she submitted, the idea she's, like this is what I want to do Lacoste. Was like WTF, no. Thanks, they're like we don't like this idea it's too political, what do you want to do oh I have this idea to create a tower in, in. Palestine, where all the Palestinians, can live and this will be a rule a solution. To the to the Palestinian, problem we, will build, the skyscraper, and. And. All, the Palestinians will live in Palestine, but in the skyscraper of course she has, artistic license you know she's not serious but. But this is her art project and of. Course were horrified they said they saw it like no no change it and she goes I'm not changing my art and they, said change it I'm, not changing it you're not changing it then you're disqualified you're out of the competition and so a lot of people came together and raised money for her to create the video that I'm going to show you it's a long video so I'm only showing you a short clip of it but, as you see this is Larissa herself, waiting, in the lobby of the of. The skyscraper. You, see what every city and every town of Palestine, is one floor so, basically the idea that everyone, from Jerusalem lives in the second floor everyone from Nazareth lives in the sixth floor so. Here she's. Seen watering her of, course an olive tree and. You see that she's overlooking, the the. Lakpha. And the background, and. I think now I'm going to show you just maybe, just a minute of the video this is the introduction and how she's arrived. She's. Arriving now at the at the skyscraper, she's moving in. She's, also a fashion designer so everything you see here she's designed herself. Have, they shown the Palestine flags or not yet okay. See. You. Without. All the towns. At. The name of the video is nation state. Not. Nation states. Think. I'll. Excuse. Me oh. This. Is it this is the poster living the high life it's. So smart okay, so. I will move on, it's. A seven it's a seven and a half minute video oh. That's. Her sister by the way and her and. Her brother I think, in. The video again all the clothes are designed by her because she isn't a science fiction and I. Think. If I press a button I can move on. Maybe. You have to exit. Wonderful. Oh. Yeah. So pre. Arab spring so, a lot of artists depicted a lot political, events including the, the, destruction. Of iraq in the 1991. War here, you see one, of the sculptor the Ishtar crying, the, flag the red flag the angel has had its its, limbs cut. Off. This. Is a poster, by a Kuwaiti that. Became a stencil during, the occupation for, damn forces of Kuwait in 1991, I love these two works this is an artist called very debate who depicted. A lot of the events in Egypt that really led to the uprising of 2011, in. This case he shows you the bread line so you know one of the slogans, of the Egyptian uprising of 2011, was, ish which is bread so, people wanted bread so here is showing you the bread lines as far, back as 2005. And this, is not the first time I try it's erupted in Egypt because of bread so you see here a lot of these people are standing in line they, have cash in hand but, there isn't enough bread for everybody even, though they have the money there's just five or six loaves of bread and there's so many more people waiting outside again. Well it Abed here depicting, a lot of the. The. The, in the Hadees in Justice and justices. They were taking place a lot of the the the. Police brutality, against, some of the Egyptians in the 2007. Again two thousand seven eight nine ten led to a lot of anger, in the streets of Egypt I love, this work by Martin hierarchy, Moroccan. Artist who talks about the fossilization. Of Education. In Morocco so as you see here he, has not. Only that he have the history book he has the he.

Has The, the religious the religious studies book also as part of the as. Part of the series but I love that he has the Constitution, so, he said that the Constitution is not being updated it's, fossilized it's, become cemented so. Again, artists, are too are talking, about political. Issues through, their art in the region this is the work that we, got into we. Got into a some, hot water and Singapore when we showed it it's, a piece by Sharif Walker the Palestinian artist. Basically. When you see this what's the first word you see what's, the first word you think of quick. Isis. Wow yeah okay, another, word terrorist. Yes okay, so I'm. Not sure Isis has done this before but you're right so, huh. Top. Of, your mind so basically basically, I want, to explain this work for you because it's very important, Sharif, Sharif work it basically Sharif. What he talks about about. The, how. You judge people from the first from the first hand, from. The first sight here he talks about this. Individual, that you immediately, assume is is, someone. Who wants to die however, when you play the video which I will not be playing for you to, save time he. He's. Reading a book what's the book that he's reading he's, reading a book a thousand, and one Arabian Nights, and I'm, sure you know the story if it has known Arabian Nights someone, sent me the story quick. Shahrazad. Tells what shihara are what, does she what does she want from him. To. Keep it alive she does she want to die, she, doesn't want to die she wants to live another day, likewise. This individual, doesn't want to die he wants to live another day so that's the idea of the works a lot of artists, like a leisurely of Lebanon, depicted. Contemporary, events where there's 2011. Uprising, or. Sol-fa, Hejaz dude I love this work very much is very controversial, does. Anybody here want to imagine what it's what, it's about so you all know the story of Rapunzel a German, death German fable, so the idea here is that some of the clerics are giving. A helping hand for, some of the militants to rise up so, so, lava Hejaz is a Syrian based, in Berlin. Very controversial, piece I have another controversial piece coming up so if you have feel offended you should look away now. So this is a work again, by Sarah Hijazi from 2011, she's. Talking basically about, these. These soldiers who feel that they have some kind of raw, emotion. That they get sexually. Aroused in, a way when, it comes to seeing, protesters. In the street they see them protesting. And they get, that they want to shoot their load they want to go after them you know what I mean they're almost like an animalistic. Feeling. This. Works I really like the, novel golem was was. A lieutenant colonel I think in the Saudi, Air Force and he, in. 2009. He created this work called, no more tears, when, he took the stickers of you know Johnson & Johnson I'm sure I'm, sure your mom's or you. Know you shower there's kids in Johnson and Johnson and so, he remove the Johnson and Johnson stickers. And he, and, he placed them on a map, of the Arab world okay. And. So. In 2009, you, can imagine what were the trouble spots someone tells me what were the trouble spots of the Arab world. Iraq. Iraq. Palestine. So. Somalia. No 2009. South. Sudan 2009. The, interesting. Thing also before we move to the next work the interesting thing about this work is. What. Do the, the, no more tears drops, look like as well, huh. Blood. Good, and. No. Something. Else no. What, do we export in the Gulf all. Right they look like oil drops of oil you know when you look at them anyway so, what, he did was that here if he revisits, in. 2014. He, revisits, the theme this work and he, creates an updated, version, can you imagine what, happened, do.

You Want to see. This. What happen it's, all over the region there's really a, Guinea and sadness all over the region in Libya, and Syria and, Tunis, and Yemen, and. Maybe. Maybe he is predicting, the future, more. More. To come and, now they're bigger they're. Bigger as, a disaster, okay so, so, this is an interesting where we have one work left to show you so, a lot of a lot of people, like in the Gulf they're very careful when they are critical of the government and so you don't see a lot of artworks that are critical of governments here but this is an interesting piece. Bye-bye. This. Is the artist called the GCC the, the Micro Council the the, collective is called the GCC collective, and this, work from 2014. Is a 2013, they. They create, they. Recreate, the GCC. They. The, table they you know the table, where they meet all the leaders and you, look at the work and you think oh it's very pure it is very beautiful, you. Know all the flags are there the rubbish, bins are made of gold or whatever that is they're. All meeting however, most. Kuwaitis have a much more leeway and freedom when it comes to a sort, of political discussion, they, wanted to put them in context. So. You can imagine so. So what the message basically is that you, will be scrutinized so, when you visit this work and you walk next to it you, look down and you scrutinize, the. The. Meeting the, meeting and, the, leaders themselves so, this is the whole idea of the work so this is how Kuwaiti is sort of interact with, with. Events. Here in the region, very. Last work that I will show you unfortunately. Is the word. I feel that reflects. The region, I'm. Always sad to end, with this piece it's. A piece by Mona Hutton who was a Beirut. Born Palestinian, artist now based in in the UK is very very important at solo exhibitions, all over the world. Monahons. Infinity. Basically encompasses the region. What. You see is soldiers. Standing. In eternal, fights shooting. Each other forever they. Are depicted as toys because, they are being they, are being controlled by others they, are they are replaceable. Have you ever seen the green soldiers, when, when you lose one of the one of them you just buy another batch, so, the idea is that they will keep replenishing their never-ending and they're also placed, on a coffee. Table and the, idea of placing them on a coffee table is is, to, show you how wars are domesticated, words, wars, have effect, on the household, and I, feel like this really reflects the region where, you have eternal. Perpetual, Wars. Words. That affect the region where. People, are almost standing, constantly. You. Know with a gun to the back of someone else and, you. Never know what's coming what's coming for you and and, also the, idea that, there. Is always an, endless. Supply of available people to fight but this is the end of the presentation, thank, you very much. You.

2017-12-20 15:55

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