No to the Invasion
8 x 10 in.
Alongside the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, group exhibition No to the Invasion (2017), is a fascinating exhibition catalog and reader presenting the artworks from the Barjeel Art Foundation—an independent, UAE-based collection of modern and contemporary Arab art. The focus is on works by artists specifically addressing issues of body and politics in the Arab context post-1990 such as Akram Zaatari, Kader Attia, Walid Raad and Yto Barrada. Reflecting on the artworks are writings ranging from Ahmad Makia’s nuanced reading of the impact of Pan-Arabism on contemporary Arab identity to Tarek El-Ariss’s consideration of the archive as a tool for understanding affective histories of Arabs in the modern era to Marwa Arsanios’s study of the fraught process of rebuilding and gentrification in Beirut after the Lebanese civil war. Additional essays by Ala Younis, Fawz Kabra, Kader Attia, Khaled Malas, Mandy Merzaban, Rawi Hage and the Sigil Collective and an interview with Thomas Keenan and Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi. Each featured artist and text is a critical and timely contribution to a range of conversations about the Arab world and its diasporas.