“Love Letters and Other Necessary Fictions” part of Exhibition: ‘Text Embodied: Transformation of Text into an Experience of Art’ Artists: Anila Agha, Amina Ahmed, Saira Ansari, Siona Benjamin, Khalil Chishtee, Simeen Farhat, Swati Khurana, Amir Parsa Qasim Riza Shaheen & Imran Nafees Siddqui Curated by Aisha Z Khan May 3 – May 31, 2013
Twelve Gates Arts 51 North Second St., Old City Philadelphia, PA 19106 firstname.lastname@example.org 215.253.8578
The contemporary artists in ‘Text Embodied’ embody the written word into their work. The treatment of text as image goes back to early Islamic history. In a recent reading from his new book Aisha’s Cushion at Twelve Gates, Jamal J Elias spoke about the text-image relationship in the art of the Islamic world: “[Monumental epigraphy] operates polysemically, at one level functioning as text with its denoted or connoted meanings, while at others it can be seen as operating iconically as a visual art form inseparable from other elements of the decorative or illustrative program of which it forms a part.” The inclusion of political, social, and even personal concepts utilizing text have come a long way since the culmination of the contemporary calligraphic art movement in the 1980s (in Pakistan), for which Rashid Araeen can be called the pioneer of text-based art. The artists in ‘Text Embodied’ have, in more recent times, brought text back to personal but interrogatory space.