Perambulating the Bounds

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Tyler Green on Without Boundaries

Tyler Green, who writes the country's leading visual arts blog , Modern Art Notes, published this review of MOMA's show of artists mostly from an Islamic background:
link to review
A lot of people have seen this show while they were in NY to see the Whitney Biennial. Green's point is the show's lack of political context for the works. His discussion of Emily Jacir should make sense to anyone in Nashville who saw her piece on the Ramallah border crossing at Cheekwood. The elision of politics from the show strikes one first-off as fear of taking (or being perceived to take) a position on the war or on Israeli policies. However, one can imagine a more well-meaning reason, the desire to show that Islam and Islamic culture means more to these artists than political polemics. A desire to avoid reducing artists to a cariacture of the angry Muslim. However, even if we assume such a well-intentioned motive, it doesn't give the artists or audiences much credit that they need to be saved from themselves. People would be able to get that the idea that political concerns are unavoidably important, but others are going on at the same time.

Here's Modern Arts Notes:


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