BFnews: Four hundred works of art reflecting Islamic culture will feature in 'Islam: Art and Civilization, an exhibit that will open to the public on Tuesday in Rio and then travel to São Paulo and Brasília.
São Paulo – Starting next Tuesday (12th), the Bank of Brazil Cultural Centre in Rio de Janeiro is going to become a stronghold of Islamic art. The cultural space will host the "Islam" exhibition, featuring 400 works from Morocco, Mali, Mauritania, Libya, Lebanon, Burkina Faso, Iran, Nigeria and Brazil, reflecting the Islamic cultural diversity. Items such as a basalt rock in which a text was carved in the 8th century, one of the main vestiges of Arabic writing, will be on display. The exhibition will also travel to São Paulo and Brasília.
According to one of the exhibition's curators, Paulo Daniel Farah, the works belong to museums and special collections. "Some of the works, notably those from Morocco, Mali, Mauritania, Libya, Lebanon, Burkina Faso and Brazil, belong in the collection of the Library and Research Center of South America-Arab Countries (BibliASPA),” explains Farah. The exhibition is promoted by the Bank of Brazil Cultural Center in cooperation with BibliASPA and, according to the curator; the items have been selected based on aesthetic aspects, materials, period, technique and significance. Most have been selected personally by Farah.
The exhibition will include a space dedicated to the Al Hayr Al Gharbi desert palace, from the 8th century, including sculptures, ornate stuccos, barriers, adornments and other objects in which the Islamic influence can be perceived, as well as the belief in a single God and in the non-existence of intermediates in the relation with the divine. "In Islam, there is a single God, but his creation is multiple. Such multiplicity, which follows laws that unveil the Creator, is reflected in arabesques, geometric compositions and their myriad shapes. It is about multiplicity based on unity," says Farah.
Another exhibition hall will be dedicated to calligraphy, featuring various styles of calligraphic art in stone, wood, cloth, metal, papyrus, gazelle skin and ceramics, among others. "The adoption of Arabic calligraphy in a large share of territories between the Atlantic and Indian oceans, a graphical media that also functioned as an ornament in art, played an amazingly unifying role in Dar al-Islam, the lands with Islamic presence," explains Farah.
The exhibition also features day-to-day items. "Even objects used in daily life may have a marked religious reference, such as religious inscriptions, allusions to Islamic sayings and teachings, etc, but that was not a criterion that led items to be excluded (from the exhibition),” explains Farah. To complement the concept of art from the Islam, he cites an Islamic saying: “God is beautiful and appreciates beauty.”
Farah believes that the exhibition will help counter stereotyped images that often characterize Islam in the international scenario, and according to him, to a lesser extent, in Brazil. "It will enable the Brazilian population to expand their knowledge of Muslim societies and their artistic expressions," says Farah. BibliASPA had been negotiating an exhibition with Damascus for approximately four years, within a greater proposal of archaeological cooperation that also includes archaeological missions from Brazil to Syria, archaeology courses and other actions.
The exhibition is expected to receive 1 million people in the three cities. The audience will also comprise school student groups. The exhibition will remain in Rio de Janeiro until December 26th this year. Then, it will head for São Paulo, where it will remain on display at the Bank of Brazil Cultural Centre from January 17th to March 29th, and then on to Brasília, where it will feature from April 25th to July 10th, also at the local Bank of Brazil Cultural Center. Aside from being the co-promoter, BibliASPA is also the coordinator of the exhibition, curate by Paulo Daniel Farah and Rodolfo Athayde.
you have to say that Syria participates in this exhibition though 200 pieces