Catalogue: download here
Photos of the exhibition: click here
8 march – 27 april 2017
THIRD IDENTITY gathers six emerging and established “Al Dakhel” artists (Palestinians of the interior). It gathers sub-groups that include Muslim Arabs, Christian Arabs and also Druze. They are all Palestinians whose roots are traced to historic Palestine and who live today on / close to their land, as citizen of Israel. It is the first time that artists from that group will be shown in the Arab World.
After the Nakba in 1948, the majority of native Palestinians were dispersed, uprooted or exiled; as a result their common history was fragmented between Al Dakhel Palestinians and the Diaspora. Those who stayed -or could come back to their homes- had to grow up in a system where their culture and immediate past was erased. Their cultural education was unique in the region, reflecting the influences from western and eastern Europe as a result of the diversity of the newly emigrated people. It slowly changed after the 1970s, when the second generation “post Nakba” started to claim their roots and question their unequal status in society. In parallel, artists such as Abed Abdi and Asad Azi, were working on the reconstruction of a local Palestinian collective memory. As a consequence, the identity of Al Dakhel artists is stretched between citizenship, Israeli education, occidental influences, their belonging to Palestinian culture and their attachment to their strong land.
Questions related to displacement, belonging, native culture and fragmentation are recurring. By working on these personal and acute questions in a complex society, they touch universal question: who are we and how does identity evolve when challenged?
THIRD IDENTITY explores the (re)construction of the Al Dakhel identity and its evolution through three generations of artists. It is conceived as a journey through time that outlines commons themes and interests like memory, post colonialism, hybridity, minority, absence and cross fertilisation of cultures. It also shows the richness and the diversity that flourished despite the traumas and “schizophrenic” living conditions -as one artist put it-. Last but not least, this exhibition aims to shed light on this group and place it back into the regional Arab culture.
CAP is a non-profit private organization dedicated to developing and supporting the arts in Kuwait and throughout the region. CAP is one of the largest exhibition spaces in the region and since its founding in 2011 by art collector Amer Huneidi, the gallery space has presented exhibitions of established and international artists, as well as emerging and local artists through collective, thematic shows mainly curated by Arab and international curators.
Rula Alami is a Palestinian-Lebanese art collector and curator, based in Beirut and is involved with the Palestinian Museum in Birzeit. She invited Valerie Reinhold, an art curator and advisor, based in Amsterdam, to tell the story of these artists.
Merry Chrismas to all! We offer a special deal on the prints: see here for availabilities!
By Russian artist Vika Kova
21 December 2016 – Art & Social experiment. Contact us for an invitation.
The mission of Land of Good is to create further awareness for the theme of more balance between men and women, and introduce a free and safe platform of gender symmetrical society, by means of the educational power of Art.
Land of Good is a long term art project. The first phase, “sHe” is about researching the female roles in societies and their interaction with male roles as well as the influences of culture on their relationship. The second phase, “The Crossovers”, uses the data collected to push the two diametrally opposed systems, matriarchy and patriarchy, to the extrems of their own logics.
Amsterdam is a city of equality and non judgment. For Vika Kova, a Russian citizen, the contract with her own country is striking. Beside being the city she has chosen to live in, it is the best location to propose an alternative social model.
On 21st December, the longest night of the year, when the Moon, a feminine symbol, will bathe the earth in her soft light, Vika Kova is sharing with the broad public her vision about another social dynamic.
The event, a Space Invading Social Experiment, is happening in a location, kept secret until the last minute. Maybe no permission was asked- but it is above all feminine as non invasive, non agressive… and fugitive. If you are late, you miss it and museumplein is again dark and silent. The performance is not associated with the Stedelijk Museum. They just happen to have the best wall in town to project videos! It is the same as for graffiti artists: they paint where the wall is the most appropriate to the piece they have in mind! This is maybe why Vroom&Varossieau gallery related to the project and embraced it.
Art can contribute to change the world.
“The world is like a huge city that is reflected in a mirror.”
Based on concepts of scientific and philosophical reasoning, “Land of Good” reflects upon the duality of masculine and feminine forces. This duality establishes the underlying dynamic of social change. For Vika Kova, the duality of the sexes, or rather an imbalance between female and male societal influences around the world has been a major focus behind her drive to create. Exaggerated and uneducated male ego is represented in our society by wars and terrorist attacks, however, the governments prefer to invest in security and weaponry instead of education and awareness. This enigma has inspired the artist to go on a journey – to travel the world in search for the answers. On a first-hand account, Kova researches by meeting and observing women of different cultures and social classes in search for the source of social duality. It is through pure artistry that Kova developed her hunger for social knowledge into an exciting complex study of various theories of social systems. Speculating the inner-polarity within every “brick” of our society, Kova searches for recognition of duality within the individual and portrays cultural symbols resembling some of those theories.
It also contains the expression of disapproval of our society’s denial of the fact that events and things only “seem” to be separated in time and space; and ignoring that what we experience every day is a projected reality in which everything is bounded and connected. The purpose of human existence, therefore, is the balance and harmony of opposites (well-matched duality).
Living in the world where everything is measured, examined and then compared, the artist asks herself: Is it possible to calculate the right yin-yang ratio of a certain human being? If yes, then what would be the ideal rate? And what would be the desirable rate within the artist herself? If humans can measure the temperature on Mars, can we also measure such an important ratio within ourselves? And if we could, how much yang and how much yin you get within each person? How do these contrary forces actually complement, interconnect and give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another?
“Land of Good” is the reflection of an age-old duel between male and female, right and wrong, light and dark, silence and noise. This duality is physically created by utilising white oil-painted textile placed on top of the black acrylic-painted canvas. Composed with a keen cinematic contrast between moving and steady images, balancing between calmness and clutter in the music-mixing.
Series 1 – Land of Good: sHe.
“Women are the very fabric of life”.
Kova has conceived multimedia canvases, video’s and video installations, completing the series one from her Land of Good project, called: sHe. sHe is an attempt of the artist to unravel the enigma behind the biggest social paradox of our society: a contradiction between praise and at the same time control of women by the majority of the men.
The mission of sHe is to examine female roles in different societies throughout today’s “modern” world as seen through the eyes of the artist. Kova’s visual depictions of femininity take viewers around the globe to observe cultural backgrounds as well as contemporary identity of womanhood, within the complex structure of our male-driven world.
Using new media and audio-visual technologies, Kova projects her works on to canvases coated with textiles. Layering canvases with regional fabrics fashioned to allude to different cultures, she then superimposes sound and video bringing to life the many voices and identities of modern woman. Her fabric choices and panel construction methods are meant to imbue subtle underlying messages: the choice of denim in a shape of a T-shirt suggests a unisex culture, symbolising a certain state of womanhood. In addition to these multimedia canvases, Kova produces large-scale video/sound installations meant to be projected both indoors and outdoors.
The right choice of textile is playing rather an important role in this complex artwork, as it is a material manifestation of the results of the “Land of Good”- research. The textile always correlates with the theme of every artwork. It is also the anchor for the authentic bound between different powers of the world. Therefore Vika very carefully chooses suitable type of textile, which makes every artwork unique in its quality. Because human duality reveals itself in complexity and imperfection, every piece of textile is not perfect as well. You will find some flaws, wrinkles or needless, lines, inspired by human nature. You also won’t find a perfect symmetry in the cut of textile, representing the same essence. In the framework of “Land of Good” Vika Kova developed an unprecedented style of music composing: mixing (like a DJ does) different fragments of symphonic music with relevant popular music and iconic, hard-to-find quotes of legendary personalities, creating a new original sound, early unknown in both classical and contemporary music world.
These sound creations, mixed and compiled exclusively for every piece of “Land of Good” sound surprisingly harmonious when you put them all together: regardless of time and space, the viewer gets to hear the random symphony of co-existence. To experience each artwork separately the viewer is invited to put on headphones, that are attached next to every piece. Another significant part of “Land of Good” is advanced technology. Familiar objects such as 3D-projection introduced in an unusual ad creative way, allows the artist to use technology not only as ornamentation, but also as communicative and interactive medium to reach a viewer.
Series 2 – Land of Good: The CrossOvers (2016-2017)
“If patriarchy is survival of the fittest, then matriarchy is survival of the kindest”.
The CrossОvers is dedicated to the introduction and exploration of both male- and female driven society systems. Inspired by the quantum mechanics theory of multitude realities, the artist creates a parallel world, which is female-driven, and is the opposite of our male-driven world. Kova imagines that once in a long while this parallel reality crosses the ours, for the sake of information exchange. Kova “sets up the meeting” between the representatives of the two worlds in order to film it and illustrate the basic principals of both societies.
On 21st December Kova will present video The CrossOvers #1, in Amsterdam. This first edition of The CrossOvers series gives an opportunity to experience on the adventure-like way the alternative way of running the society, based on values, unknown to our patriarchal world. Therefore, it is not only an art installation, it is also information- and education station.
Non-judgemental, joyful view is essential – the artist is keen to present both systems as independent and light as possible. Following the discovery of eventual alternatives for our male-driven world, the viewer is free to extract the conclusions on his own.
About the artist
VIKA KOVA – multimedia and video artist
Born in 1970 in Vladivostok, Russia. Lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands from 1996
1988 – 1993 Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory – Moscow, Russia, Master of Arts, Contemporary Music and Pedagogy department
1977 – 1988 Music and Arts School & Academy – Krasnodar, Russia
2012-present Multimedia & video project “Land of Good”
2013 – 2014 Multimedia project “THEMIX”
1993 – 2014 Singer, DJ, performing artist
Projects include among others (commissioned): Sensation White festival – Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Winter Olympic Games, Unilever – Sochi, Russia. Innercity festival, ID&T – Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Marlboro Mxtronica festival – The Middle East tour, Russia tour, Ukraine tour. Playground festival – Jakarta, Indonesia. Russian Standard, Maxxium – Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Tomorrowland festival- Antwerp, Belgium. Mysteryland festival, ID&T – The Netherlands. Heineken events – Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Philip Morris Tour – Moscow, Sochi, Russia; Almaty, Kazakhstan
2014 YPO privet viewing – Los Angeles, USA
2014 Hilton Hotel – Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2014 Ontdek de Kunst van Zuid, Amsterdam Arts Village – Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2016 Vroom & Varrosieau Land of Good, Amsterdam
GROUP EXHIBITIONS and FAIRS
2015 UnderGround|Water exhibition @ MertonD.Simpson Gallery, New York, USA
2015 Beirut Art Fair, Beirut, Lebanon
2015 Art Nocturne, Knokke, Belgium
2015 @ Dock Gallery, Rotterdam, NL
2016 Beirut Art Fair, Beirut, Lebanon
2016 Resistance & Persistence exhibition, René Mouawad Garden, Beirut, Lebanon
“RESISTANCE AND PERSISTENCE“ – WHEN CONTEMPORARY ART INVITES ITSELF INTO THE PUBLIC SPACE IN BEIRUT
From October 5 to October 24, 2016 René Mouawad Garden (Sanayeh). ART IN MOTION inaugurates its first intervention, « Resistance and Persistence », in the heart of the city of Beirut.
Artists from the MENA region as well as international artists exhibit their works linked to the historical importance of Rene Mouawad Garden (Sanayeh) and inspired by the theme “Resistance and Persistence”. The selected international artists produce their works “in situ”, interacting with local artistic practices as well as locally sourced materials from the region.
THE EXHIBITING ARTISTS
Mustafa Ali (Syria) | Ziad Antar (Lebanon) | Bokja Design (Lebanon) | Chaouki Choukini (Lebanon) | Karine Debouzie (France) | Nancy Debs Hadad (Lebanon) | Yazan Halwani (Lebanon) | Zeina Hamady (Lebanon) | Ghaleb Amin Hawila (Lebanon) | Nabil Helou (Lebanon) | Thomas Houseago (United Kingdom) | Abdel Rahman Katanani (Palestine) | Vika Kova (The Netherlands) | Hanaa Malallah (Irak) | Randa Nehme (Lebanon) | Marwan Rechmaoui (Lebanon) | Lufti Romhein (Syria) | Houmam Al Sayed (Syria) | Xander Spronken (The Netherlands) | Xavier Veilhan (France) | Atelier Yok Yok (France) | Ada Yu (Kazakhstan) | Cathy Weiders (Belgium) | Ghassan Zard (Lebanon)
Rania Halawi, Rania Tabbara, Valerie Reinhold
RESISTANCE AND PERSISTENCE
By bringing together 24 Lebanese and international artists and making their works engage in a dialogue in a public space, full of history, ART IN MOTION, organizes here a leading event that is representative of its values and ambitions that is investing in public areas, inviting the general public to look at art and engage with it.
Sculptures, installations, video, conceptual art, design, performance, are choreographed within the theme: “Resistance and Persistence”, that is at the heart of our polemic today. Reconciliation between a painful past and a chaotic present is possible … Art enables us to identify our points of reference. Public debates are organized throughout the duration of the event; validating that art is not merely cultural; it is integrated within the workings of society. These open talks envision that art is a sustainable heritage for one and for all. In addition to that, several meetings with artists and experts in contemporary art highlight local achievements and their impact on the regional and international art scene. Also, introductory workshops on different forms of expression have been organized: workshops on the integration of Arabic calligraphy in contemporary art, workshop on architecture…
Press release in French: here
Press release in English: here
Article from Le Figaro here
Article from L’Orient Le Jour here
Different forms of artistic practice, such as sculpture, installation, video, design and performance, engage in a dialogue within the theme “Resistance and Persistence”.
Artworks – Photos courtesy @ Elias Visuals
Opening – Photos courtesy @ Elias Visuals
Hilarious Seth Meyers, kind hearted Seth Meyers! Thank you for supporting our project, for the love of Amsterdam, orange football shirts and obviously great memories! We suggest a Famous City New York with Seth Meyers on the cover to make up for the fact you were not on the cover.
The exhibition at Art’otel, Amsterdam is on show until 9 February: come and visit us, buy the book and support a great and caritative project!
More information: www.famouscityamsterdam.com
We were invited to curated the “Colours” issue of Selections, a leading Art Magazine from the Middle East. We decided to focus on a personal area of interest: the use of colours in relation to different materials.
We were thrilled to have Akili Tommasino and Pendar Nabipour as our contributors. A big thank you to the artists for their time and great insight: Jean-Michel Othoniel, Jacob Hashimoto, Nabil Nahas, Marcel Wanders, Hadieh Shafie, Anish Kapoor, Sidney Regis, Hoda Tawakol, Nadim Karam, Maha Malluh and Farhad Moshiri.