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Kunstnernes Hus Oslo Contemporary Art Exhibition 2011 Akram Zaatari Composition for Two Wings

Composition for Two Wings – works by Akram Zaatari, launches Kunstnernes Hus’ annual event Oslo Contemporary Art Exhibition, which aims to challenge contemporary arts’ traditional and centralized cultural networks. For Oslo Contemporary Art Exhibition 2011, Lebanese artist Akram Zaatari has been invited to a solo presentation. On view 4 November 2011–22 January 2012.

Akram Zaatari, “The Desert Panorama,” 2007 Courtesy of Galerie Sfeir-Semler, Beirut/Hamburg, and Akram Zaatari.

Zaatari (b. 1966 in Saida) examines the cultural and geo political condition of post-war Lebanon, a contemporary landscape marked by urban tensions, cultural mobility and territorial conflicts. With an archeologist’s eye Akram Zaatari examines layers of human experiences combining his material into larger bodies of work.

Zaatari’s work engages in research and the studying and interpreting of a wide range of documents; letters, photographs, testimonies and other recordings that communicate individual and personal positions within the larger social and political landscape. The material exposes hidden social, political, and geographic boundaries and conflicts as they challenge a specter of narratives; national, gender, historical and social.

Composition for Two Wings consists of a juxtaposition of two bodies of work: Earth of Endless Secrets and The Uneasy Subject. Earth of Endless Secrets is an ongoing research project, where Zaatari studies a wide range of documents that testify to the current cultural and political conditions in Lebanon. The work reveals the intimate layers of history contained in records of the everyday. The Uneasy Subject looks at the desire embedded in representations of the human body on Youtube, and in photographic documents collected by Zaatari during the years of his involvement with the Arab Image Foundation in Beirut. This is the first time Akram Zaatari presents two large installations side by side.

Akram Zaatari has been presented in solo exhibitions at Museo del Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, Moderna Galerija Ljubljana 2011; Kunstverein München 2009; Galerie Sfeir-Semler, Hamburg 2007; Portikus, Frankfurt 2004; Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels 2002 and in group exhibitions at The Istanbul Biennial, Tate Modern, London 2011; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris 2008; 52. Biennale, Venice 2007; Sao Paulo Biennale, Gwangju Biennale, Korea, Sydney Biennale 2006.

Oslo Contemporary Art Exhibition wishes to highlight art practices that engage with social and geo political developments with the aim to create a general awareness of contemporary art’s unique ability to reflect and comment its own time. With the establishment of Oslo Contemporary Art Exhibition, Kunstnernes Hus wishes to raise the discourse beyond the local, examining the field from a global perspective.

Oslo Contemporary Art Exhibition was initiated by Marianne Hultman, artistic director Oslo Kunstforening/Oslo Fine Art Society. The concept has been developed further in collaboration with Mats Stjernstedt, artistic director Kunstnernes Hus. PRIO, Peace Research Institute in Oslo is collaborating partner in 2011.

The exhibition is supported by the Fritt Ord Foundation.

Kunstnernes Hus
Wergelandsveien 17
NO-0177 Oslo, Norway
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