September 13, 2022 Back To News

Hospitable Thoughts: Saudi artist Abdulnasser Gharem’s New York show explores control and authority

Climate Refugee, 2022

The Middle East Institute (MEI) published an article about Abdulnasser Gharem’s solo exhibition, Hospitable Thoughts.

Hadani Ditmars writes, “Gharem’s unique combination of insider/outsider, patriot/dissident, and soldier/artist is used to great effect in his work. With an alchemist’s sleight of hand, he fuses traditional craft with modern political commentary to produce artistic gold. Speaking in secret code — often literally using provocative phrases spelled backwards — he confounds would-be critics and lets viewers decipher his artistic intent.”

Additionally, Arab News published an article about Hospitable Thoughts: “Climate change the ‘defining war’ of our time, warns Saudi artist Abdulnasser Gharem in New York show”

Rebecca Anne Proctor writes, “Dozens of light and dark gray rubber stamps form a map of the world on an aluminum board hung on a wall. Observed from afar, it looks like a painting. But ‘Climate Refugee’ — a new work from the acclaimed Saudi artist Abdulnasser Gharem — isn’t supposed to be observed from afar. As one gets closer, the real message of the work becomes clearer. Tiny blue and turquoise stamps are placed in areas containing the most refugees. And embedded in the work are phrases that include: ‘When innocent immigrants are killed, it’s neither a moral failure nor a sin, merely a technical error.’ And ‘Refugee camps are optimal forms of mercy killings.’ And ‘The appearance of foreigners threatens our way of life.’

Read More:
Middle East Institute (MEI)
Arab News

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