Tarjama/Translation presents recent work from the Middle East and Central Asia and their diasporas as a complex and dynamic undertaking. Rather than providing a panoramic and fleeting exposure to contemporary “Middle Eastern” and “Central Asian” art, Tarjama/Translation focuses on selected artistic processes of cultural and critical translation.
Contemporary artists are perhaps the greatest translators. Their work transforms experience, perception, and thought into materials and acts of communication by scrutinizing everything at hand—beliefs, culture, and society. In Tarjama/Translation, language and textuality remain important, but the exhibition includes different strategies of visual translation to address the complexities of the present.
Tarjama/Translation sees the work of translation as a highly varied practice, from specific visual and textual maneuvers to the larger sense of revealing fissures in the self, community, and site. It focuses on how contemporary artists map the dislocations of history and track newer dilemmas created by a globalized world saturated with media and popular culture.
This exhibition has been organized by ArteEast and curated by Leeza Ahmady; Iftikhar Dadi, associate professor, Department of the History of Art/interim chair, Department of Art; and Reem Fadda, PhD candidate in the Department of the History of Art.
Major support for Tarjama/Translation has been provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
Additional support was provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the A. M. Qattan Foundation.
The Johnson Museum’s presentation was funded in part by the Cornell Council for the Arts and the Jarett F. Wait and Younghee Kim-Wait Fund for Contemporary Islamic and Middle Eastern Arts.