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‘Good Face and Incredible Flaws’ by Amir Khojasteh and Philip Mueller at Carbon 12, Dubai

Credit: BLOUIN ARTINFO

Carbon 12, Dubai presents "Good Face and Incredible Flaws," a collection of portraits deconstructed through expressions by Amir Khojasteh and Philip Mueller.

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Shirin Neshat’s New Film “Looking for Oum Kulthum” is Genius

Credit: BLOUIN ARTINFO | Nicolas Forrest

Iranian artist and director Shirin Neshat’s new film “Looking for Oum Kulthum” will have its world premiere at Giornate degli Autori – Venice Days on the fringes of the 74th Venice International Film Festival organized by La Biennale di Venezia (August 30 to September 9). The film is one of 12 selected from all over the world, in competition for the Official Awards.

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Palestinian Museum's inaugural show focuses on contested city of Jerusalem

Credit: The Art Newspaper | Aimee Dawson

The Palestinian Museum opens its inaugural exhibition this weekend focusing on the holy city of Jerusalem, a city that both Israel and Palestine claim as their capital. The wide-ranging, overtly political show focuses on the realities of living in Jerusalem as well as the idea that despite being seen as the original global city, it also serves an example of how globalisation has failed worldwide. The museum in Birzeit, in Palestine’s West Bank, opened in May last year without an exhibition, due to a last-minute change of director and the cancellation of its planned show.

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Christie’s Modern and Contemporary Middle Eastern art auction in London

Credit: Blouin Artinfo

Christie’s will hold their Modern and Contemporary Middle Eastern art auction in October, the first since the auction house’s decision to move the sale from Dubai.

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Seeds of Inspiration: Operating in an Expanded Field, the 13th Sharjah Biennial Aims to Push Beyond Monocultures

Credit: ARTnews | Mahnaz Fancy

Birds, in their capacity as harbingers of disaster, made two memorable appearances in the 13th Sharjah Biennial, delivering urgent warnings of disturbance in the natural order. Australian ground-dwelling lyrebirds in French-Algerian artist Kader Attia’s video Mimesis as Resistance (2013) have learned to mimic the sounds of car alarms and chainsaws. Parrots living in the Rio Abajo forest in Esperanza, Puerto Rico, narrate San Juan–based duo Allora & Calzadilla’s film The Great Silence (2014) through subtitles written from the parrots’ perspective by science fiction writer Ted Chiang. The parrots can’t understand how the humans at the nearby Arecibo Observatory can be so absorbed in listening for possible extraterrestrial signals yet so oblivious to the birds’ endangered habitat.

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Lebanese photographer Madani passed away

Credit: Harper's Bazaar

Hashem El Madani, Lebanese portrait photographer, has passed away. No cause of death has been indicated. Working with images of the Lebanese public since 1948, the influential artist captured moments of political and cultural change through candid traditional portraiture in his open studio in Saida. “His work told stories of time lost, voices unheard, and the unknown histories of Saida,” Sfeir-Semler Gallery, which represents Zaatari, said of Madani in a statement. “Each photograph in his immense archive showed his kindness, humour, and humanity. He will be greatly missed.”

An Interfaith Art

Credit: Harper's Bazaar

The art collection of Sleem Hasan and his wife Lamia is one that merges a variety of styles, cultures and subject matters. The couple speak about their collection to Rebecca Anne Proctor and the link that binds all their art.

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With My Head in the Clouds and Stars in My Eyes

A new book by award-winning writer Joobin Bekhrad, out now.

"If you are looking for someone working hard to understand his cultural background and share it with the rest of the world, it’s Joobin Bekhrad. When I saw him in my studio in Tehran a few years ago, I could not believe my eyes. He had come to see my work and talk to me, despite unpredictable inconveniences. That is not all; his translation of the ‘Robaiyat’ of Omar Khayyam shows his sensitivity in our times".  Parviz Tanavoli.

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Hashem El Madani, Influential Lebanese Portrait Photographer, Dies

Credit: ARTnews | Alex Greenberger

Hashem El Madani, a portrait photographer whose stark, spare, and deeply individualized images of Lebanese citizens captured a changing political and cultural scene, has died. The Arab Image Foundation, a nonprofit founded by the artist Akram Zaatari, who has been instrumental in the preservation of El Madani’s work, confirmed the news today on social media, but did not give an age for Madani or a cause of death. He was born in 1928.

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Refugee dubbed ‘the little Picasso’ to hold first art exhibition – to raise money for sick Serbian boy

Credit: Independent | Emily Goddard

A 10-year-old refugee, who has attracted global attention and the nickname of “the little Picasso” for his artistic talent, is holding his first exhibition – and donating all the money raised at the event to a sick Serbian boy.

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Works by Rachel Whiteread and Cornelia Parker to be shown for the first time in Saudi Arabia

Credit: The Art Newspaper | Gareth Harris

Works by leading UK artists such as Rachel Whiteread, Ryan Gander and Cornelia Parker will go on show for the first time later this year in Saudi Arabia in an exhibition at Athr Gallery in Jeddah. 

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Christie’s to hold first Modern and contemporary Middle Eastern art sale in London

Credit: The Art Newspaper | Anna Brady

Christie’s will hold its first Modern and contemporary Middle Eastern art sale in London this October following the decision to move the sale from Dubai. The evening sale on 25 October will take place during what is traditionally known as Islamic Art Week, now rebranded by Christie’s as Middle Eastern Art Week, joining Sotheby’s existing Modern and Contemporary Middle Eastern art sales that week. The equivalent Bonhams auction follows in November.

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Sheikh Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi Joins Board of Trustees at the MCA Chicago

Credit: ARTnews | Carolyn Twersky

The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago has added Sheikh Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi to its board of trustees. His addition to the board was announced on the same day that the museum official launched the Global Vision Initiative, which the MCA first began as a pilot program in 2016.

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Ask Roxane: Careers, Culture And Fashion Formulas

Credit: Harper's Bazaar

At sixty-something, Roxane Zand, deputy chairman of the Middle East at Sotheby’s, has made it to the top of her profession as a Middle Eastern mother and mentor. Sharing her wealth of life experience, Iran-born, Harvard- and Oxford-educated Roxane answers Bazaar readers’ questions on love, life and luxury.

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The ancient "Arabic Kama Sutra"

Credit: BBC | Joobin Bekhrad

When it comes to lust and literature, there is often a tendency to conjure particular images: shades of grey, a little girl named Lolita, or a writhing Lady Chatterley perhaps, and little birds fluttering about every which way. Far before the likes of Nabokov and Nin, however, and before The Joy of Sex was ever a thing, there was the Kama Sutra, the ancient Sanskrit text attributed to Vãtsyãyana and often considered the sex book par excellence.

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Galleries and programme confirmed for ninth Abu Dhabi Art fair

Credit: The Art Newspaper | Gareth Harris

The new director of the Abu Dhabi Art fair, Dyala Nusseibeh, is making changes to the Middle Eastern event, including a new curated section organised by the high-profile museum curator Omar Kholeif. The ninth edition of the Modern and contemporary art fair,  which launches later this year at Manarat al Saadiyat (8-11 November), is due to include 48 galleries, up from 35 last year. These include regional dealers such as Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Modern Art Gallery and Lawrie Shabibi of Dubai. Notable international names include Sprüth Magers, which run spaces in Berlin, London and Los Angeles, and Sean Kelly Gallery of New York.

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Istanbul Biennial Announces 2017 Artist List

Credit: ARTNews | Robin Scher

The Istanbul Biennial has announced the list of artists taking part in its 2017 edition, which opens September 16 and runs through November 12. Under the curatorship of artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset, the fifteenth Istanbul Biennial will address what it means to be “a good neighbor.” Broadly, this will involve work that tackles ideas related to homes, neighborhoods, and other concepts attached to the notion of living in both private and public spheres. Venues will include Istanbul Modern, ARK Kültür, the Pera Museum, the Yoğunluk Atelier, and Küçük Mustafa Paşa Hammam.

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Private museum of Arab art in the pipeline for Beirut

Credit: The Art Newspaper | Aimee Dawson

Lebanon’s surprise museum boom shows no signs of losing momentum. Despite political paralysis and a refugee crisis driven by civil war in neighbouring Syria, there are more than half a dozen museum projects in the pipeline for the capital, Beirut. The latest addition to their ranks is the privately funded Beirut Arab Art Museum, which is set to become the city’s biggest art museum when it opens downtown in 2020. 

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Lovers of Light

By Joobin Bekhrad

A volume of poetry deeply rooted in ancient Iranian religion, imagery, and symbolism.

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Highlighted in Second Biennial of Photography in the Contemporary Arab World

Credit: Harper's Bazaar

After a successful first iteration in 2015, the Biennial of Photography in the Contemporary Arab World returns on 13 September in Paris. Held simultaneously in eight Parisian venues – the IMA, the MEP, the Cité Internationale des arts, the Mairie of the 4th arrondissement, the Galerie Thierry Marlat, the Galerie Photo12, the Galerie Clémentine de la Féronnière, and the Galerie Binome – the biennial offers a diverse itinerary through the perceptions of the contemporary Arab world.

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Depression and radicalisation: images reveal plight of displaced male refugees

Credit: The Art Newspaper | Gareth Harris

A series of images documenting the plight of male refugees, and the psychological problems they face, are due to go on show in the Education Room at the Saatchi Gallery in London this week (The Lost Men of Syria, 20 July-9 August). The works are by the London-based photojournalist Edward Jonkler, who has chronicled the experiences of men held in refugee camps and asylum centres across the Middle East and Europe.

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Exhibition in Germany offers interactive view of Syria’s Palmyra

Credit: Al Jazeera | Dominic Kane

When the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, known as ISIS) captured the ancient city of Palmyra in 2015, it partly destroyed one of Syria's most precious archaeological treasures.

But now a new exhibition in Germany is giving visitors an interactive view of what the site looked like before the armed group took over.

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London and New York Sweep Up Asian and Middle Eastern Artworks

Credit: Harper's Bazaar

The New York-based foundation is building upon its Asian art collection – previously constituted solely by On Kawara artworks – by acquiring three works by Lee Ufan and five by Kishio Suga. Fitting into its remit to also continually develop its 1960s and 70s foundation of largely Arte Povera, Land Art and Minimalsm, the two Mono-ha (“School of Things”) artists worked within the Japanese art movement’s emphasis on natural and man-made materials.

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Iran holds Donald Trump cartoon contest

Credit: Independent | Christopher Hooton

A cartoon contest has been held in Tehran, Iran in which hundreds of entrants were invited to mock US president Donald Trump.

Courting controversy, the T in the 'Trumpism' contest's logo was styled like a swastika, with one entry seeing Trump painting a Hitler-esque moustache on the Statue of Liberty.

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Parviz Tanavoli's Lions of Iran exhibition gets green light after Hassan Rouhani’s victory

Credit: The Art Newspaper | Hadani Ditmars

Parviz Tanavoli’s long-planned exhibition, the Lions of Iran, was finally “green-lighted” following Hassan Rouhani’s victory in the June elections in Iran. Almost 1,000 patrons attended the opening at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art (TMoCA) on 2 July for what the 80-year-old artist described as his most successful show to date.

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In a Phone Booth in Times Square: Immigration Stories Come to Life in Aman Mojadidi’s ‘Once Upon a Place’

Credit: ARTnews | Carolyne Twersky

When Aman Mojadidi came up with the idea for his big public installation piece in the heart of New York City, he never thought it would be so relevant to the current political climate. But now his three phone booths placed expectantly in Times Square have become an element in a fight for immigrants’ rights.

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Artnet’s Fifth Sale of Middle Eastern Art

Credit: Harper's Bazaar

Led by head of Middle Eastern department Bibi Zavieh, since its inaugural sale in February the online auction and price database has devoted itself to promoting art from Arab countries. At just 16 lots, the current sale is once again small by auction standards but includes a selection of paintings, prints, and photographs by eminent artists from the region, including Erol Akyavas, Nasrollah Afjei, Youssef NabilLalla EssaydiMohammad Ehsai, and Pouya Afshar, among others. The current sale features a majority of artists who now live and work in the West – a fact that ponders the East/West duality of artists working in the globalised world.

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Turkey protests Berlin art installation targeting Erdogan

Credit: Reuters

Turkey on Tuesday condemned as incitement to violence an art installation in front of the German Chancellery that portrayed President Tayyip Erdogan as a dictator, a few days before he is due to attend a G20 summit in Germany.

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Touraj Daryaee: Uncovering the Splendor of Ancient Iran

Credit: Huffington Post | Jahandad Memarian

With the goal of harnessing the untapped potential of Iranian-Americans, and to build the capacity of the Iranian diaspora in effecting positive change in the U.S. and around the world, the Iranian Americans’ Contributions Project (IACP) has launched a series of interviews that explore the personal and professional backgrounds of prominent Iranian-Americans who have made seminal contributions to their fields of endeavor. We examine lives and journeys that have led to significant achievements in the worlds of science, technology, finance, medicine, law, the arts and numerous other endeavors. Our latest interviewee is Touraj Daryaee.

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Qatar blockade tests cultural relations

Credit: The Art Newspaper | Aimee Dawson & Gareth Harris

The diplomatic crisis in the Middle East, which has resulted in the partial blockade of Qatar, has raised fears that cultural institutions and partnerships in the region could be destabilised. 

In June, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt cut off trade and diplomatic links with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism, which officials in the oil-rich state deny.

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The invited work: Farideh Lashai

Credit: Museo Nacional del Prado | Madrid 5/30/2017 - 9/10/2017

The Museo del Prado and the Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado are presenting the last work by the Iranian artist Farideh Lashai (Rasht, 1944 – Teheran, 2013), When I count, there are only you…but when I look, there is only a shadow (2012-13), a video installation inspired by Goya’s Disasters of War. Farideh removed the figures and modified the images in this iconic print series in order to present them accompanied by animated images which are projected onto them from a moving spotlight.

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Lens on the Middle East: British Museum acquires photographs by artists documenting refugee crisis and Syrian civil war

Credit: The Art Newspaper | Gareth Harris

The British Museum has acquired photographs by nine Middle Eastern artists tackling topics such as the fallout of the Syrian civil war and the tragic plight of refugees. The UK charity, The Art Fund, supported the acquisitions as part of an ongoing initiative launched in 2009 that facilitates collecting Middle Eastern photography at both the Victoria and Albert Museum and the British Museum.

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Iranian composer among Canadian Immigrant Award winners

Credit: Mehr News Agency

Canadian Immigrant magazine has announced winners of its ninth annual RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards which chooses and celebrates the success stories of Canadian immigrants who have made an influential contribution to Canada. The award is sponsored by Royal Bank of Canada (RBC).

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New York art museum seeks to counter Islamophobia

Credit: Al Jazeera | Gabriel Elizondo

Home to some of the world's most famous art spaces, New York is known for its cultural diversity. Yet, the US city had not had a museum dedicated solely to Arab and Islamic art.

A new museum, the Institute of Arab and Islamic Art, is seeking to change that by providing a platform for artists and scholars to exchange ideas and promote cultural dialogue between voices in the United States and Arab and Islamic countries.

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SHUBBAK FESTIVAL 2017

RETURNING TO LONDON 1 – 16 JULY 2017

Shubbak has become a key moment in the arts calendar of the UK and the Arab World, bringing new and unexpected voices alongside established artists to new audiences every two years. This year’s festival takes place in London from 1 – 16 July 2017. Tickets are on sale now and the full programme is available to downloador view online. Follow us on social media or join our mailing list to follow the latest festival news and announcements.

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THE FREEDOM SCULPTURE

Credit: Farhang Foundation

The Freedom Sculpture, will be a “Statue of Liberty” for the West Coast -- A crowd-supported public monument that will be gifted to stand in the heart of Los Angeles.  It is inspired by the humanitarian ideals of freedom, respect for cultural diversity and inclusiveness that originated with Cyrus the Great of Persia 2,500 years ago and which have been enshrined in the U.S. Constitution for all by the Founding Fathers. The Freedom Sculpture will be officially unveiled in a citywide celebration on July 4th, 2017. It will stand from that day on as a reminder of the universally shared values that truly make America great.

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THE $3 BILLION ART VAULT IN IRAN: TREASURES FROM THE TEHRAN MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART

Credit: Art Dubai

Currently hanging at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary art is Jackson Pollock’s Mural on Indian Red Ground, a 180 x 240 cm masterpiece by the late abstract expressionist artist. Acquired in the 1970s by Her Majesty Farah Pahlavi, wife of the Shah of Iran, the 1950 painting is part of priceless collection of post-war works from the West amassed by the former Empress for the museum, which opened in 1977. Other works acquired in the same time include those by Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, René Magritte, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Pablo Picasso, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Max Ernst and Donald Judd, among many more.

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