“Ink Tank: Prints from the Arab World” is a print-based exhibition featuring works by photographers, cartoonists, graffiti and graphic artists. As part of the ADI (Arab Development Initiative) Development Lounge held in September 2014 in Montreal, this collective exhibition aims to put forth artworks by a number of young Arab artists working in various media.
Under the thematic umbrella “Mind / Society / Space“, this exhibition focuses on issues of identity during times of instability in the Arab World. How do we define ourselves amidst the chaos of uncertainty? Should we? Can we? The artists selected for the exhibition have produced artworks that are reflections of our fluctuating realities, as outlets of resistance and hope.
Artists hailing from Egypt, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia and Palestine present the viewer with an alternate perspective from what is widely seen in the mainstream media about their region. The works speak on the importance of self-expression, whether through graffiti, political satire and cartoons, documentary photography, or subversion through doctored graphics. Moreover, they show the artists’ desire to highlight culture and identity, whether transforming, contemporary or rooted in history. They are the mirrors of who we were, are, and who we can become.
Myriam Abdel Aziz
Tamara Abdul Hadi
Sundus Abdul Hadi
Sedki Al Imam
Nidal El Khairy
Syrian Eyes of the World (various artists)
The Medium: Arts and Culture
El Seed Tunisia / Dubai / Montreal
Lost or forgotten were the walls that now proudly carry the messages of calligraffiti artist eL Seed. "Lost Walls", his first book, beautifully and poetically documents these walls, handpicked during his road trip around Tunisia in summer 2013. "Lost Walls" is a calligraffiti journey of discovery for eL Seed, who chronicles the painting of 24 walls in four weeks. Inspired by the reaction to his largest project to date, the minaret of the Jara mosque in his ancestral home of Gabes, eL Seed decided to set out on this month-long personal journey across his motherland, painting "lost" walls along the way. This book provides unique and rare insight into the world of calligraffiti and the Tunisian people.
The Medium was the creative consultant to El Seed for the design of the book, as well as the main writer/ translator for the Lost Walls publication.
Started in 2009, this portrait series is part of a large body of work capturing semi-nude Arab men of diverse backgrounds.
The conceptual aim of this portrait series is two-fold: Trying to uncover and break the stereotypes placed upon the Arab male, and providing an alternative visual representation of that identity. Secondly, it is a celebration of their sensual beauty, an unexplored aspect of the identity of the contemporary Arab man, on the cusp of change in a society that reveres an out-dated form of hyper-masculinity.
Picture an Arab man Exhibits:
2013 Landskrona Konsthall, Landskrona, Sweden
2013 Photoquai, Musee de Quai Branly, Paris
2013 New Art Exchange, Nottingham, UK
2012 Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia
2012 Mark Hachem Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon
2012 Contemporary Art Platform, Kuwait
2012 Le Corps Decouverts- Institute de monde Arabe, Paris, France
‘Arab Winter’ was conceptualized by a collection of artists from around the globe. They define themselves as Iraqi, French, Tunisian, Canadian, Arab, Muslim, global citizen, and Other. Touting their hyphenated identities as beacons of inspiration, hope, and emancipation, these artists journeyed together toward and past ‘the revolution’.
Arab Winter is a satirical comment on the derogatory tagline ‘Arab Spring’; a term coined during the first wave of uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya. The heavily-mediatised revolts unfolding in North Africa, the Levant, and the Arabian Gulf were in fact all very different in context – most not flourishing into a ‘summer of democracy’. Inspired by the misinformation and caricatures clouding the realities of the ‘Arab Spring’, each artist treats problematic issues linked to the romanticized concepts of freedom, revolution, and democracy, by weaving past, present and future.
This show was a collaborative production between The Medium and Maktube. All artists collaborated conceptually in the space and created the show from scratch. The Medium was involved in:
+ Merchandising and Marketing
+ Funding and Producing
+ Artistic Curation and Musical Event
+ Technical Production and Take Down
Sundus Abdul Hadi, Yassin Alsalman, Ibrahim Al-Salman, Fahad Al-Turki, Omar Chakaki, Nantali Indongo, Karim Jabbari, Faouzi Khlifi, Meryem Saci, Habib Siam and BrudderFallingTree.
WARCHESTRA is a multimedia series about war and culture, of visual and sonic components. This project was initiated as a painting series combatting the stereotypical image of Arabs in the Western Media as guntoting and violent, functioning as a form of censorship and also as an act of resisting stereotypes. The project has evolved into an act of empowerment through culture, highlighting the cultural heritage of the Arab peoples amidst an ongoing backdrop of war and destruction. By replacing weapons of war with musical instruments, the WARCHESTRA experience aims to reimagine the mediasaturated spaces of the Middle East, and Iraq in particular, through collage and sound. Trumpets trump AK47’s, clarinets covering RPG’s, blast walls emulating zithers, and grand pianos crashing from the sky as bombs, are just a few of the transformations these works have conceived. Abdul Hadi’s position as a cultural producer of Iraqi origin has informed the work’s desire to highlight culture amongst the backdrop of war. The need to confront stereotypical images of Arabs during this critical time of war and representation carries a sense of urgency evident in WARCHESTRA. This series is also a commentary on political dynamics of the Middle East amidst the ongoing wars in Iraq and Palestine, and most importantly, the American occupation of Iraq and its sociopoliticaleconomic significance.
There is a soundscape accompanying almost each painting, made in collaboration with poets or musicians in musical or lyrical dialogue with the paintings, and underlaid with field recordings from Baghdad. Artists’ in collaboration are Pianist Stefan Christoff (Montreal), trumpeter Jason “Blackbird” Selman of Kalmunity Vibe Collective (Montreal), poet Suheir Hammad (Palestine- USA), vocalist Meryem Saci (Nomadic Massive/ Montreal) are amongst a hand full of artists that provide a soundscape to Abdul Hadi’s collaged paintings, with coproduction by The Narcicyst (Montreal).
Doha Mathaf Museum
The Medium: Arts and Culture, Music, Events
Museum Launch, 2011
Helmed by Yassin Alsalman and Sundus Abdul Hadi, The Mathaf Opening in Doha was a four day event and launch featuring music and performance. The Medium came in for artist management and talent booking, event management and curation as well as production and technical presentation. Featuring Suheir Hammad,Shadia Mansour, Omar Offendum, DJ Dany Neville, B+ and Coleman of MOCHILLA, The Narcicyst and Shelley Frost of The Fridge.