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“The origin of existence is movement,” wrote the 12th-century philosopher Ibn al-Arabi. “If existence were immobile, it would return to its source, which is the Void.” Motion and matter inform this collective show at the Museum of Anthropology, which displays work by 16 visual artists of Arabic, Iranian, and Turkish heritage. Some- Palestinian video artist Mona Hatoum, Baghdad pho- tographer Adel Abidin-have shown here before, but many are new.
The massive five-month show, a first in Canada for curator Fereshteh Daftari, should allay the exoticism and Orientalism associated with much artmaking of the Arabic world, and bring to wider notice in particular the work of Parviz Tanavoli, 76, head of Tehran University’s sculpture department and an artist of international repute, who moved to North Vancouver after the Iran/Iraq war. (There was once talk of a VAG solo show; it seems to have disappeared.) Without such travelling exhibits, as Ibn al-Arabi argues, existence returns to its source. These ambassadors join the void.
Safar/ Voyage runs from Apr. 20 – Sept. 15 at the Museum of Anthropology