Violins 2006 This English version by Agha Shahid Ali (with Ahmad Dallal), was crafted from the poem of the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish:
Violins follow me everywhere in vengeance
Violins seek me out to kill me wherever they find me
Violins weep for Arabs leaving Andalusia
Violins weep with gypsies going to Andalusia
Agha Shahid Ali (आगा शाहीद अली) (1949 - 2001) was an English poet of Kashmiri ancestry and upbringing. His poetry collections include The Half-Inch Himalayas, A Nostalgist's Map of America, The Country Without a Post Office, Rooms Are Never Finished (finalist for the National Book Award, 2001), Call Me Ishmael Tonight, a collection of English ghazals. Ali was also a translator of Faiz Ahmed Faiz (The Rebel's Silhouette; Selected Poems) and editor (Ravishing DisUnities: Real Ghazals in English). He was widely credited for helping to popularize the ghazal form in America.
Recital at the CCJ, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Caetano Veloso, vocals Jaques Morelenbaum, Cello
Monique Gardenberg, Fernando Grostein Andrade
You Tell Us What to Do2010 after "You Tell Us What to Do," a poem by Faiz Ahmed Faiz,
translated from Urdu to English by Agha Shahid Ali
When we launched life
on the river of grief,
how vital were our arms, how ruby our blood.
With a few strokes, it seemed,
we would cross all pain,
we would soon disembark.
That didn't happen.
The Dead Are Here 2009 This Poem is the 13th chapter from Shahid's elegy "From Another Desert."
The Arabic love story of Qais and Laila is used. Qais is called Majnoon (literally "possessed" or "mad") because he sacrificed everything for Love.
Tonight the air is many envelopes
again. Tell her to open them at once
and find hurried notes about my longing
for wings. Tell her to speak, when that hour comes,
simply of the sky. Friend, speak of the sky
when that hour comes., Speak, simply, of the air.
Collection; Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres This series started in 1998 with portraits of seated women holding empty blankets. The paintings are done in oil on aluminum wire mesh 68" x 44" each.
A porcelain sculpture of this narrative is now being produced at the legendary Sevres porcelain factory in Paris
It may be the nature of our time that those who reveal what we would rather not acknowledge are ignored or worse, expelled. This may seem clearly true in the world of politics and social relations, yet is equally true in art, though the exclusion may be less obvious. The art world, after all, is composed of unarmed camps that manage contest by making invisible all that they feel the need to deny.
Izhar Patkin is an artist who has faced up to the test of critical expulsion, and has survived his time in the wilderness quite well, thank you. Full Story and other miscellaneous texts
anodized cast aluminum, life size
92 x 75 x 40” (edition 5) Public Collections: Guggenheim Museum, NY Ringling Museum, Florida
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California
Don Quixote 'reading' The Adventures of Don Quixote Part II, while looking in a mirror. (catalog)
Miguel de Cervantes’ volume one of Don Quixote was published in 1605. After its success, a man by the name of Alonzo Fernández de Avellaneda decided to cash in on Cervantes' success and write a Volume Two. In Cervantes’ 1615 part II, Sancho tells Don Quixote: “ . . . he told me that your worship’s story is already in print under the title of The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote de la Mancha. He says that I’m mentioned too under my own name of Sancho Panza, and so is the lady Dulcinea del Toboso, and so are other matters which happened to us in private. It made me cross myself in wonder, to think how the story-writer could have learnt all that.”
I had the opportunity to watch Izhar Patkin paint his Black Paintings, in a big, filthy, unheated room on Broome Street. I used to visit this studio almost daily while the work was in process. I rarely stayed very long, but the painting changed each day, and I didn’t want to miss a thing. And the painting wasn’t the only thing that changed. Graham Greene once said that the difference between writing a short story and writing a novel is that the person who finished a novel is not the same person who started it.Full Story
HM: One of the surprise entertainments of The Black Paintings you showed last spring (at the Limbo Gallery, New York City) was to watch the reaction of the viewer. It was though you took them by the hand over the threshold into the idea of narrative in contemporary art - it was done on such a big scale and with such an explicit literary connection to Genet’s play that they couldn’t miss it - but once they were inside there seemed to be a language problem. it was like watching a group of travelers entering a foreign country and trying to order a meal. There was food all over the place but no Berlitz handbook . . . Full Story
blown glass sculpture
168” x 84” x 84” Collection;
Guggenheim Museum , NY.
14 ft. blown glass sculpture of a dancing God figure combining the legends of Shiva Nataraja, Carmen Miranda and Josephine baker.
The Meta Bride 1983 Enamel paint on pleated illusion (tulle), 9’ x 8’ collection: Whitney museum of American Art, New York
A black bride painted on white tulle curtain was the centerpiece of this exhibition, which closed on Easter Sunday with a live performance in the gallery.
Judenporzellan 1998-02 enamel on chrome coat paper, sizes variable Collections; Jewish museums, NYC and Berlin -
Open Museum, Tefen, Israel
Large-scale collages in a technique that involves cutting, folding and weaving stenciled paper. “Judenporzellan” is based on the story of an 18th century law, which forced Berlin’s Jewry, the Mendelssohn family among them, to buy inferior and overpriced porcelain from the king’s failing factory. (catalog)