Fragmentation (1)

Arab art fragmentation is a series of articles, a form of population segregation. Caused by our fragmented understanding of what is Arab Art.

Marwa Adel
Photography and computer graphic
h: 80 x w: 184 cm / h: 31.5 x w: 72.4 in

Born in 1984, Cairo, Egypt. Lives and works in Cairo.

Marwa Adel graduated from the Advertising Department of the Faculty of Applied Art at Helwan University in 2005. She is currently an assistant lecturer at the same department and faculty as well as a member of the Syndicate of Plastic Arts and the Syndicate of Applied Arts Designers. She was invited to participate, for two years running in 2007 and 2008, in the AAW Youth Salon at the Alexandria Atelier and the Youth Salon in Cairo. In those same two years, she was invited to participate in the annual exhibitions of the Lovers’ Society of Fine Arts, winning the Photography Award on both occasions. In 2008 she also participated in the 1st International Media Art Forum for Youth (IMAFY) exhibition and won the First Prize at the Oriental Weavers Design Contest; in 2007 her work was shown in an exhibition at the German Cultural Centre.

“My artwork is an attempt at showing the evolution and the infinite conflict between some fundamental forms of existence that live in a state of permanent contradiction and antagonism. It is the discovery and revelation of the relationship between form and essence, spirit and materiality, image and ideas. It is the metamorphosis of primitive to supreme, passing through humanity.”

“I believe above all that I wanted to build the palace of my memory, because my memory is something else, my only homeland.“

Ramallah/New York

In “Ramallah/New York,” Emily Jacir showed that Palestinian life in those two places can feel much the same.
Published: January 30, 2009

Acrylic on Canvas & Photography

Wael Darwesh’s painting projects in the past few years were inspired by American Colour Field painting and French Lyrical Abstraction, where large “fields” of flat solid colour colonize harmoniously large areas of the canvas to create a homogenous surface of flat picture plane, stressing on the overall consistency of form over the brush movement and brushstrokes. Contrary to standard Colour Field and Lyrical Abstraction Darwesh for years have successfully combined abstraction styles and painterly techniques with elements of figuration and cognitive representation.

In his 2010 works, Wael Darwesh uses his cumulative experience as a painter as well as an interdisciplinary artist to create canvases that uses photography as a base for his brush, eliminating along the way backgrounds. In this process, the artist creates, and narrates, an alternative reality for the figures that filled the planes of the initial photograph. The streets of Cairo act as a location much representative of contemporary Middle Eastern urban cities; ordinary citizens dwell the streets and alleys alongside soldiers and traffic policemen. Every photographed or painted individual play a different role while interacting with each other in a universe that is almost hyper real. Darwesh attempts to extend the limits of standard painting, and expands the battery of symbols proposed by this medium by accumulating what photography can add to the canvas: frozen reality, depth of field, and more visual symbols that Jean Baudrillard proposed –in his seminal work on simulation and simulacra as defining our contemporary over-industrialized societies today.

“In the past few years I have been much concerned with the changing perceptions and the state of continuous social metamorphosis that Egypt has witnessed in the last three decades.
In my mixed media projects, I try to probe several phenomenon that constitute for me some permanent obsessions, like time, its relevance to the subject matter employed, elements of migration, gender, identity, among other themes that attract several Egyptian artists of my generation.

Technically, I apply assemblages to create installation/ sculptural states that transcend simple two-dimensional art forms; through the studied and experimental use of collage I combine colour, calligraphy, textile, and various textural media to explore issues of space and passage of time.”

Abdulnasse Agharem
82 x 302 cm
Industrial rubber stamps on 9mm Indonesian plywood


“i have no studio so my studio is where i can find people. when i see the opportunity i go. that is my way of thinking about art.”

born in 1973 in the saudi arabian city of khamis mushait, where he continues to live and work today. in 1992 gharem graduated from the king abdulaziz academy before attending the leader institute in riyadh. in 2003 he studied at the influential al- meftaha arts village in abha and in 2004 gharem and the al-meftaha artists staged a group exhibition, shattah, which challenged existing modes of art practice in saudi arabia. since then gharem has exhibited in europe, the gulf and the usa, including at martin gropius-bau and at the venice, sharjah & berlin biennales. he recently made history when his installation message/messenger sold for a world record price at auction in dubai, establishing gharem as the highest selling living gulf artist. gharem donated the proceeds of this sale to edge of arabia to foster art education in his native country. his first monograph ‘abdulnasser gharem: art of survival’ was published in london in october 2011.

“Esmi – My Name”
Manal Al-Dowayan

Manal Al-Dowayan:“Each photograph I take is like a part of my soul, and I’d like that to outlive me.”

Born and raised in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, Al-Dowayan has lived for most of her life in a semi-enclosed camp in Dhahran and works full time for a national oil company that has employed women since the 1940s. In her photographs women from the Eastern Province, where Al-Dowayan lives, are shown veiled and heavily made-up next to the individual paraphernalia of different male professions. With no studio Al-Dowayan erects temporary studios in the homes of her subjects, thus inhabiting herself a typically male profession.

Illumination V & VI
Ahmed Mater Al-Ziad Aseeri

Ahmed Mater Al-Ziad Aseeri (alternative spelling Ahmed Mater Al-Ziad Assiri) (born 25 July 1979, Abha, Saudi Arabia) is a Saudiartist and the most prominent member of the group known as “Edge Of Arabia” (or EOA), a group of Saudi contemporary artists.

Edge of Arabia – Terminal from ikono tv on Vimeo.

(March 14- April 15, 2011)
Terminal, an exhibition curated by Bashar Al Shroogi (Cuadro Fine Art Gallery), is the new project of Edge of Arabia, a pioneering exhibition featuring contemporary art and culture of Saudi Arabia. ikonoMenasa is covering the making of in an artistic way and showing this as a special film feature in the presidential lounge of the exhibition. Check the details at

Edge of Arabia – Istanbul from ikono tv on Vimeo.

Peephole installation (Magic Eye) العين السحرية from Nork Zakarian on Vimeo.

installation using Pure Data installed on a Linux machine, 1 infrared camera, 2 projectors, 1 door, 1 peephole (or as we call it in Arabic, the ‘magic eye’) …

The infrared camera that is positioned in the top corner of the dark room, detects any person or solid object that enters the room. This triggers a digital order to start one projector and stop the other projector (using PD ‘s computer vision)… so what happens to the ‘human’ vision of the ‘spectator’ in this space?

In this installation i mobilize and perturb the ’viewers’ by altering the videos that are played based on their presence in a room. When a visitor enters the room where the video is playing (domestic scenes), his/her presence is detected and stops the video playing. at the same time, another projection appears on the door outside (the desert, water). as the visitors are prompted to move out of the room to catch the projection on the door, that video also stops, and the indoor video resumes back in the room. the passerby visitor becomes a conscious voyeur who can’t see anything unless he/she stand outside the door.
In the wake of this frustrating interactive exercise, a few of things come to light. The act of seeing begins to imply limitation & loss, and vision as a privileged reality becomes an attainable group effort among passerby viewers.

This interactive installation alerts its viewers of voyeuristic presence and also raises essential awareness to the reality of the eye, and its relation, extension, subtraction, or autonomy from that of the camera’s.

this installation was held in Art el Lewa gallery space in Cairo Egypt, and the pictures that follow are snaps for the same installation at La Cappella space in Barcelona in 2010.

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