BROOKLYN, NY.- The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts
(MoCADA) and the Museum for African Art
present Perspectives: Women, Art and Islam, an exhibition of five female artists whose major connection is their personal relationship with Islam. Perspectives, curated by Kimberli Gant and Lisa Binder, will be on view at MoCADA, 80 Hanson Place in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, from June 4 - September 13, 2009, and is presented in conjunction with Muslim Voices: Arts and Ideas, a multi-institutional celebration of the extraordinary range of artistic expression in the Muslim world.
Spanning three continents and the mediums of video, photography and installation, Perspectives features work by Fariba Alam (United States), Zoulikha Bouabdellah (Algeria), Mahwish Chisty (Pakistan), Safaa Erruas (Morocco), and Nsenga Knight (United States), who explore the connections, or lack thereof, between the practice of Islam and the various Muslim communities in their lives. Alam infuses ceramic tiles with personal archival photography of family in Bangladesh; Bouabdellah carves out space for gold high-heels in a series of prayer rugs, and takes self-portraits with couscous pots; Knight interviews Muslim women from her Brooklyn community for a video installation; Christy projects Kufic script into a pool of water; and Erruas uses multiple sections of soft white textiles to set out the gallery's walls as spaces of perceived femininity. Each work challenges preconceptions, defies categorization and raises timely questions about gender and the Islamic faith.
MoCADA and the Museum for African Art join BAM, Asia Society, and New York University's Center for Dialogues as a part of Muslim Voices: Arts and Ideas. Muslim artists and speakers spanning the globe from as far away as Asia, Africa, the Middle East and as near as Brooklyn will gather for an unprecedented ten-day festival and conference. Through performances, films, exhibitions, talks, and other events-ranging from the traditional (calligraphy, storytelling, and Sufi chanting) to the contemporary (video installations and Arabic hip-hop)-the festival offers New York audiences the opportunity to experience and learn about the cultural diversity and multiple perspectives that represent the Muslim world.