No Israeli artists in London photo exhibit on Middle East (HAŽARETZ NEWS) By Kamea Smith 07/13/12)
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A comprehensive exhibit of contemporary Middle Eastern photography at
London´s Victoria and Albert Museum will include works by various
Arab artists, including two Palestinians, but no Israelis.
The exhibit, a joint effort of the Victoria and Albert Museum and the
British Museum, set to open in four months, will display photographs
from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran and Lebanon. In response to a
question by Haaretz about whether Israeli artists would be included
in the collection, the Victoria and Albert Museum responded: "To date
the collection includes the works of two Palestinian artists, Raeda
Saadeh and Taysir Batniji."
The museum representative did not reply directly when asked whether
Israeli art is being boycotted in the comprehensive collection.
However, both museums emphasized that Israeli artists and designers
are included in other museum collections.
Raeda Saadeh was born in Umm al-Fahm and lives and works in
Jerusalem. She does photographic self portraits that draw inspiration
from folklore or mythical literature, or from familiar works of art.
For example, she is photographed as Penelope from "The Odyssey,"
knitting on a ruined landscape of demolished buildings. Saadeh
represented Israel along with Nurit Sharett, Ruti Sela and Maayan
Amir in the biennale in Sydney in 2006. Last March she presented a
solo exhibition in the Rose Issa Projects in London.
The multidisciplinary artist Taysir Batniji, a native of Gaza, tries
to convey the atmosphere in the Gaza Strip in his works, whether in
interior shots of miserable-looking rooms, photographs of the Gazan
coast and of the Rafah Crossing during the second intifada, or
through portraits. His works have been displayed at the biennale in
Havana and in Venice in 2003, among other places.
The spokeswoman for the Ministry of Culture and Sport said that the
matter is unfortunate, but that the British museums have the freedom
of choice. (© Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz 07/13/12)
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