But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise: Contemporary Art of the Middle East and North Africa

MILAN AND NEW YORK—From April 11 through June 17, 2018, Galleria d’Arte Moderna (GAM), Milan; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and UBS present But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise: Contemporary Art of the Middle East and North Africa (Una Tempesta dal Paradiso: Arte Contemporanea del Medio Oriente e Nord Africa) in Milan.

Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise
Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige Latent Images, Diary of a Photographer, 177 Days of Performance, 2015 354 copies of printed artist’s book, 177 metal shelves, and color video, with sound, 120 min; Dimensions variable Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund 2015.88 © Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige Installation view: But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise: Contemporary Art of the Middle East and North Africa, Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Milan, April 11-June 17, 2018 © Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, 2018 Photo: Carlotta Coppo

The exhibition marks the final presentation of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative, a historic collaboration between the Guggenheim and UBS representing the largest international research, collection-building, and presentation initiative the museum has undertaken to date. MAP’s distinctive, artist-driven program, which began in 2012, underscores a mutual commitment by the Guggenheim and UBS to support contemporary art and education through a total of eight international exhibitions, more than 125 acquisitions, curatorial scholarship from three global regions, and extensive public programming.

Organized by Sara Raza, Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, Middle East and North Africa, in collaboration with Paola Zatti, Chief Curator, Galleria d’Arte Moderna, and Omar Cucciniello, Curator, Galleria d’Arte Moderna, the exhibition features a range of artistic voices and critical concerns from a rapidly evolving region and its international diaspora. Works by thirteen artists explore the intersecting themes of migration, displacement, architecture, geometry, and history through a range of mediums, including works on paper, installation, photography, sculpture, and video. But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise was first shown at the Guggenheim Museum in April 2016.

Abbas Akhavan,But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise
Abbas Akhavan Study for a Monument, 2013-16 (detail) Bronze and cotton, overall dimensions variable Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund 2015.83 © Abbas Akhavan Installation view: But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise: Contemporary Art of the Middle East and North Africa, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, April 29-October 5, 2016 Photo: David Heald

“This exhibition presents challenging ideas and uncompromising artistic strategies, all of which help us to reflect upon a vital region of today’s world,” said Richard Armstrong, Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation. “The culminating Milan presentation celebrates the extraordinary influence of a group of artists whose works and ideas have helped shape contemporary art. It is our hope that the impact of the works themselves, the relationships fostered through the MAP project, and the ideas articulated in its multiple presentations continue to resonate thanks to MAP’s unprecedented reach. We are grateful to our visionary collaborator UBS and to our colleagues at partner institutions around the globe, including our friends at GAM. By working on the ground with artists, arts professionals, and audiences, we can tell a richer, more expansive history of modern art and more faithfully represent the art of our time.”

Ali Cherri, But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise
Ali Cherri Trembling Landscapes—Makkah (Paysages Tremblants–Makkah), 2014 Lithograph with ink stamp, 70 x 100 cm, edition 1/7 Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund 2016.5.6 © Ali Cherri

“The Middle East and North Africa are at the center of sweeping global change,” said Fabio Innocenzi, UBS Italy Country Head. “We are proud to be able to help bring this exhibition to the Galleria d’Arte Moderna so that our clients, employees, and the public can participate in intercultural conversations through contemporary art on society and global issues. We have a long history of supporting cultural endeavors around the world, and for many years in Italy, and continue to use contemporary art to bring together ideas, inspiration, and opinion to shape richer lives.”

PUBLIC AND EDUCATION PROGRAMS

But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise is accompanied by a range of public and academic programs, including a robust opening week schedule:

  • An evening of music and discussion with the Barenboim-Said Akademie and West-Eastern Divan Orchestra featuring a chamber music performance followed by a lively dialogue with select orchestra members and exhibition artist Ergin Çavuşoğlu (April 11)
  • A seminar for students at Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti (NABA) with exhibition artist Gülsün Karamustafa (April 13)
  • A two-day pop-up film festival hosted at Anteo Palazzo del Cinema co-presented by Reel Palestine and the Guggenheim Museum, featuring films Ouroboros (2017) by Basma Alsharif and Electrical Gaza (2015) by Rosalind Nashashibi, as well as a collection of short films (April 14–15)

    Ahmed Mater,But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise
    Ahmed Mater Disarm 1–10 (from Desert of Pharan), 2013 Ten chromogenic transparencies in lightboxes, 31 x 37 x 5 cm each, edition 1/5 Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund, 2015.96 © Ahmed Mater
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