Category Archives: Art history

Thoughts on Commemoration, Memorials and Historical Memory

Every year German television shows documentaries about the bombing of Dresden in February 1945. At a time when the German defeat was becoming clear, the indiscriminate killing of civilians, among them many internally displaced people stands out as a senseless … Continue reading

Posted in Activism, Art history, contemporary Arab art, Contemporary art, Installation, Public intervention, Public space, Syria, Transculturality, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What exactly is cultural heritage (and what isn’t)

One image I remember most vividly from the past decade was the looting and destruction of the Iraq National Museum in Baghdad after the entrance of the US army in spring 2003. See e.g. the Oriental Institute of the University … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Art history, Cultural heritage, Damascus, Film, Modern art, Museums, Painting, Syria | Tagged , | Leave a comment

On Orphan Objects

Geneva’s Musée Ariana (museum of ceramics and glass) is currently showing an exhibition of their collection of ceramics from around the „Islamic“ world: Terres d’Islam – l’Ariana sort de ses reserves II: http://www.ville-ge.ch/ariana/index.php?content=1.2.1.1.1.1.&id_eve=1329&langue=frs In many ways, it is a conventional … Continue reading

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Ambiguous Flowers: Imran Qureshi at Deutsche Bank KunstHalle, Berlin

Just before leaving for Florence’s Villa Romana to take part in the “Pas de deux” project of Alya Sebti and Angelika Stepken (http://www.villaromana.org/front_content.php?&idcat=25&changelang=2&idart=544), I went to see Imran Qureshi’s exhibition at the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle in Berlin. Imran Qureshi is … Continue reading

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Communicative Spaces and New Media in the Context of Political Emergencies: Strategies of Palestinian and Syrian artists

A figure runs across a barren desert landscape towards the viewer. As it nears, we can discern the figure of a young man, smiling and friendly looking. He seems full of hope, happy to have reached his goal and stops … Continue reading

Posted in Activism, Art history, Censorship, Conceptual art, contemporary Arab art, Contemporary art, Exhibition, Revolution, Syria, Video | Leave a comment

Indian enigmas – does non-Western art need explaining?

Even though non-Western artists have been present on the international exhibition circuit for quite some time now, apparently there is still a need to “inform” the European public of every single feature of a place before they can “understand” these … Continue reading

Posted in Art history, Contemporary art, Curating, Exhibition, Knowledge, Museums, Transculturality | Leave a comment

The Museum Revisited

Knowledge, authenticity and forgery in two exhibitions by Leila Pazooki and Mohamad Said Baalbaki Museums as authoritative spaces for the creation and archiving of knowledge have a long tradition in the Western world. From the beginnings as cabinet of curiosities … Continue reading

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