XVA Gallery to host ‘Rebirth’ by artist Sami Al Karim
The XVA Gallery DIFC is pleased to announce its forthcoming solo exhibition of work by Iraqi artist Sami Al Karim, opening on 16th October 2012. The launch will coincide with the return of the DIFC’s ‘Art Night’ taking place on the same evening that promises to add an extra layer of cultural vibrancy to the event.
The exhibition, titled ‘Rebirth’, is an opportunity for art lovers to view a body of work representing an exciting moment in Al Karim’s career as four separate series of work are brought together for the first time; ‘Dream’, 2005; ‘Saga’ series, 2007; ‘Defacement’, 2010; and ‘Rebirth’, 2011. From 5.30pm guests are invited to listen to Karim discuss his new body of work with a guided tour of the gallery before the exhibition officially opens at 6.30pm.
Although each of the series is uniquely different, they share the common thread of having been executed using film photography. In his work, Karim employs a method in which he manipulates the artwork in the negative stage, as well as the printed version, before scanning and resizing in order to print in large scale. The series also shares a reoccurring notion of time, whether in a moment, a cycle, or the start of the new period.
Karim has lived as an expatriate in the US, and has exhibited his distinctive work in a number of renowned galleries around the world to date. His series consists of his unique perspective on life, love, reflection and the cyclical manner of human nature. ‘Rebirth’, focuses mainly on the concept of renewal, which Karim relates to his homeland of Iraq, and the Middle East as a whole.
His ‘Dream’ series explores the idea of dreams and liberty; during his time in incarceration, he often found himself imagining landscapes that were unavailable to him. He describes these works as deeply personal having been conceived in such traumatic circumstances, and has only recently felt capable of exhibiting them.
‘Defacement’ shows us the use of appropriated images from times past, collected and re- photographed, and represents a moment that is undefined in our lives that we feel, but we cannot quite remember or see accurately. The ‘Saga’ series also focuses on this undefined moment, a feeling that you have but are unable to articulate when concerning matters of the heart.
‘Rebirth’ brings the exhibition together with a focus on hope and renewal that the artist relates to his homeland of Iraq and the Middle Eastern region as a whole. In this series Karim uses ‘ash maps’ taken from Google earth and showing the destruction of Iraq, imposed onto female faces. This creates a powerful juxtaposition of beauty and destruction, merging the forward looking female face with the devastation of the past.
(information and pictures kindly provided by XVA Gallery)