What is to be done O Moslems? For I do not recognize myself
I am neither Christian, nor Jew, nor Gabr, nor Moslem
I am not of the East, not of the West, nor of the land, nor of the sea
I am not of Nature’s mint, nor of the circling heavens…
I ma no of India, nor of China, nor Bulgaria, nor Saqsin
I am not of the Kingdom of Iraqain, nor of the country of Khurasan…
My place is placeless, my trace is the Traceless
Tis neither body nor soul, for I belong to the soul of the Beloved
I have put duality away; I have seen that the two worlds are on
One I seek, One I know, one I see, one I call
Rumi (Jalal al Din muhammad)
When adjective ‘Islamic’ is so regularly attached to quite different bodies of art and architecture, the question bears asking whether it is applicable to them. The region we call ‘the Islamic world’ stretches from Indonesia to the Atlantic coast of Africa; to call the art (or architecture) of this entire area ‘contemporary Islamic); is surely reductive, like calling the art of the entire western hemisphere ‘contemporary Christian art’. Only active consideration of a without boundary approaches will slow down the race toward simplistic conclusions and binary thinking.
civilizationally, we do not dig holes to burry ourselves
Thinking about art and architecture was always been (historically) without bounders and subjected to verity of perspectives. The questions that bosses it self here are related to identity (s). Islamic art and architecture is a term that was in any case originally devised in reference to traditional art forms. However, currently, architects and artists resist categorizations (or they should be). The emphasize here should be on understanding, without bounders, the share homogenizing impulse that has become widespread. To highlight the difficulty of making an original definition factors in the consideration of Islamic art and architecture shaped by interests, references and strategies.
Is there a sense of time? And doses that sense alter in the connection between the time internal to the work of art or architecture, the historical time-period, and the temporal or historical assumption of interpretational discourses? How the work is affected by historical time and culture temporality?
The time, internally, may itself articulate cultural values and political ideas, which the relations among disparate time frames may extend. Are there national or communal borders that should be respected, or rent, in translating on form of aesthetic time into the shape or another object or practice of another culture? What is the difference between cultural provenance and inheritance? What are the historical terms and aesthetic conditions that govern cultural transmission in a world of global disjuncture’s and displacement?
The interest in answering these questions should not be seen as an obscurantist celebration of tradition or a revival of the past. Alternatively, Emphasizing the poesies of the object or image, the vary act of making, which renews (rather than returns to) the place of the past. That introduces the issue of mediation: the diverse elements or processes-each carrying its own cultural and form a signature-that comes together to give a building or an art work it visual presence and its yield of pleasure. It’s and objects in the world and a mode of address that makes the world. This double determination should open up spaces of social difference and alterity, while disclosing historical times in which the object has to negotiate ‘other’, alternative temporalities.
The past becomes uncannily contemporary in the domain of architecture. At the same time new practices need to be provided with an active (rather than antiquarian) cultural memory that propels them into the awareness of a future that is historically mediated.
Islamic or not? That is not the question. It is about the relationship of us and our experience and our body to our surroundings. It’s about passing through place. about wandering through space and time, and about borders and crossings, and exchanges.
The past reaches to you, yearning to be reborn. Will you embrace it compliantly for what it was, once and always: ‘inelegance’, ‘tradition’,’ convention’ and ‘custom’? or will you struggle passionate with the past, as you do with a lost lover or a half-remembered memory, knowing that things can never be the same again…not today, not ever.