NY: Rochester

Afghanistan, War Rug with Map of Afghanistan. Knotted wool.

Afghanistan, War Rug with Map of Afghanistan. Knotted wool.

 

WHERE: Memorial Art Gallery.

WHEN: Sunday, August 21 through October 16, 2016.

BRIEF ABOUT: Two complementary exhibitions, Afghan War Rugs and War Memoranda examine the impact of war and violence on people and culture. Both exhibits were developed separately, however provide engage visitors in a safe and open dialogue on both historical and contemporary events.

About

Afghan War Rugs: The Modern Art of Central Asia – Maps, weapons, army tanks, portraits of kings, khans and military leaders are among the motifs that began appearing in otherwise traditional Afghan carpets in the 1970s and proliferated after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and the post-September 11 intervention by the United States.

     The artists who wove them, mostly women, emboldened their traditional nonfigurative styles and began producing rich pictorial images that better recount a more current cultural story.

     The 45 rugs in this show were selected for their exceptional quality, rarity and content. Many took as long as a year to weave. Most are from a distinguished private collection that is being exhibited in the US for the first time. They can be enjoyed as both avant-garde textiles and as decorative works reflecting the modernization of a 1,000-year-old tradition. The wealth of associations these rugs have with history, politics, culture, religion, and the increasing globalization of world trade represent an encounter of a timeless aesthetic tradition with the violent reality of contemporary central Asia.

 

Binh Danh and Robert Schultz, James Troy Ralph, 21 years old. Chlorophyll print, resin.

Binh Danh and Robert Schultz, James Troy Ralph, 21 years old. Chlorophyll print, resin.

 

     War Memoranda: Photography, Walt Whitman, and Renewal by Binh Danh and Robert Schultz exhibition probes the question “How do Americans remember war?” with soldiers’ portraits developed in the flesh of leaves, battlefield landscapes photographed using 19th-century technologies, and war poems of intimate reflection.




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