Akram Zaatari, Letters from Askalan, 2007, c-print
Akram Zaatari: All Is Well
Contemporary Feature and Davies Foundation Galleries
23 November 2013–30 March 2014 Opening reception with tour by Vicky Moufawad-Paul: 23 November, 5–7 pm
The Art Centre is pleased to present Akram Zaatari: All Is Well, the first solo exhibition in Canada of work by the internationally renowned artist Akram Zaatari, curated by Vicky Moufawad-Paul. Zaatari's practice involves unearthing, collecting and re-contextualizing documents that confound notions of history while recognizing the ways in which these documents are uneasily situated as evidence of tense political and cultural conditions. The projects in All Is Well are connected by their focus on writing. The artist pays particular attention to meta-documentation and excavation, allowing viewers to consider letters written in code passed through censors, tiny letters swallowed and delivered after defecation, instantaneous chats between lovers presented as a letter, and reassuring letters enveloped in mortar casing. Through these works, Zaatari engages with the precarious status of archives in times of war, as well as their discursive limits as narrators of history.
Born in Saida, Lebanon, in 1966, Akram Zaatari is an artist, curator and writer living in Beirut. He is one of the co-founders of the Arab Image Foundation (www.fai.org.lb) a non-profit organization whose mission is to collect, preserve and study photographs from the Middle East, North Africa and the Arab diaspora. His work has been featured in discourse-setting exhibitions such as Documenta 13 and the Sharjah Biennial, and was on view at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) in New York this year. Zaatari represented Lebanon at the Venice Biennale in 2013.
This exhibition is curated by Vicky Moufawad-Paul. A publication with essays by the curator, Sylvie Fortin and Judith Rodenbeck accompanies the exhibition.
This exhibition is generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council’s program for Culturally Diverse Curatorial Projects, the City of Kingston Arts Fund; the George Taylor Richardson Memorial Fund and the Chancellor Dunning Trust Lecture, Queen’s University; and with the assistance of the Ryerson Image Centre, Ryerson University, Toronto.