Saturday, 31 January 2009

Festival au desert

music lovers please check out this web site of a festival in the desert of Mali at Essakane.
waleed, should you go there in 2010, let us know in advance...

Friday, 30 January 2009

waleed shalaan

Music, folk, guitare
at various places in Kuwait

Waleed holds his guitare with grace and ease, he plays and sings a repertoire of good old tunes and vibrates with the sound he produces. He closes his eyes and feels the words and the notes: light my fire, baby, someone to lean on, sorry, talking about a revolution...
His friend Aziz el Laziz joined him for a few duets and they went on with Summertime and the living is easy...

The living surely gets easier with music as cases of severe neurological disorder can see improvement with music, according to high level medical research. Cases are studied where music has helped patients with Parkinson disease to hold on to a coherent movement, some with amnesia or aneurysm. It looks like music penetrates cells and memory or triggers emotional relief. The sensibility of words and a song can provoke an excursion into joy, love or even bring out loss, sadness etc...

Sound heals and waves on a sandy beach gives the rhythm and the flow to Waleed's performance. And we, in our neurological disorders, get an intermission to smooth our daily pressures

Thursday, 29 January 2009

rashid diab

Whispers of the Nile
Dar al Funoon, Kuwait
until 30th jan 2009

How can a man listen to the River, how can he hear it whisper?
What is it really telling him? What secrets are revealed to him? In one of his paintings the title is "listen to the Silence".
Dr Diab is a Sundaneese painter since childhood as he said "It did not matter if I had some space or some tools to paint, I just painted." With serenity, he expresses natural component of his surroundings . Colors have such lightness, extending vastness to the eye. A look and through a split of a moment, it is possible to travel, embrace the land, walk with the women, get sand in your hands from the desert or splash the water in the heavenly blue.
Some might be provoked by canvases of red in full strength or grey in the passage of time and the melancholy of passions.
But it isn't graphic reproduction of a reality. Dr Diab reaches far beyond the simplistic expression. In his quest for understanding of what lies beneath, he has dwelled on Philosophy of art, has mastered techniques, history of art, meaning of art by philosophers...
As his paintings, he went beyond the separation of the two subjects. He is the philosopher of his art, speaks few words and awaits to see how the viewer will interpret it all. He longs for " the nostalgia for the universal world" and wishes to animate a sparkle with the message he conveys.

Friday, 9 January 2009

hopes and doubts

A collaborative exhibition of artists from Italy and Lebanon.

In a particular space, the Dome on the martyr square in Beirut, the location has an ephemeral sense as all beirutis have seen this bubble shaped construction. It has survived many battles and wars, it lost its original function as a cinema and is now, waiting for another life or total destruction. This exhibition gave it a new meaning and hope for 3 days only on the 20th of dec 08. The art work will travel to Turin, Italy and will be exhibited in the Merz Foundation on 22 jan to 1st of march 09.

Although intriguing, the collaborative work at first did not seem to have any link. The duets suggest in parallel artists with the same medium.
Geographical maps: Rechmaoui lays on the floor a huge rubber map of Beirut and Pietroniro will ask visitors to pin point the location of their homes in Beirut
Installations: Zena el Khalil painted in pink toy soldiers and hanged them all over the metal structure, Di Maggio proposed hanged thin paper cut in abstract shapes recalling oriental shapes
Sound: Benassi recorded and displayed sounds of a raven while Hashem built an engine by which hammers hit the wall reproducing sounds of deconstruction and reconstruction.
Drawings and photography: Migliora presents a series of 33 drawings of surreal situations between dream and fantasy; Issa features portraits of three women looking at void; Fliri puts on ironical masks on himself and makes art in the process.
The curator, Constantino D'Orazio, has seen the potential of cultural collaboration between the two countries under the support of the Italian embassy. It was a hit on the Lebanese scene as nothing was for sale and yet it was a cultural experience promoting the capacity for artists to interact and share their quest.
(check Reuters' site for a visual tour of the site)

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Gemayzeh, archeological excavation on site,
Beirut, Lebanon

While hopping from bars to restaurants in the hip area of Beirut, you might find in Gemayzeh an empty lot with a fence and a cover. Peaking through the holes, in day time, workers were using small brushes and miniatures shovels to remove dirt and put aside pieces of history. Talking to a young lady on site who preferred to stay anonymous, she revealed that she was a archeologist part of the swat team of emergency excavation on land owned by private citizens who planned to remove the old and construct a new tower of concrete.
It seems that it is now part of the Lebanese legislation for the emergency team to perform the necessary in a short period and unravel the puzzles underneath. She was eager to tell us that they had finished with the Ottoman foundations to dig deeper and get to the roman tombs with its collection of mosaics and other artifacts. The whole region was a cemetery for Romans.