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February - March 2012
On Geometry and Speculation
A parallel between Islamic Art of the Islamic Golden Age and Contemporary Western Art
ESAV (Ecole Supérieure des Arts Visuele de Marrakech)
Curated by Hicham Khalidi
As part of Marrakech Biennale - 4th Biennale - Surrender
With the artists Martijn van Boven and Tom Tlalim, Julia Dault, Marjolijn Dijkman, Germaine Dulac, Aurélien Froment, Berit Greinke and Alessandro Altavilla, Navid Nuur, Lisa Oppenheim, Amalia Pica, Esther Polak and Ivar van Bekkum, Mike Rijnierse, Bram Vreven.
Though often overlooked, much of Western science is rooted in medieval Islamic philosophy. Greek and Indian scientific manuscripts were translated into Arabic under the reign of Caliph Harun al-Rashid and his son al-Mamun long before finding their way into medieval European society. Individuals like the Banu Musa brothers, Al Farabi, Avicenna, Averroës, Ibn al-Haytam, and Mohammed ibn Moesa al-Chwarizmi used these texts to pioneer studies in mathematics, optics, astrology, and alchemy. Underlining Islamic thought of this period was premise that God is a single and complete entity. Scientists questioned how God’s unity could have produced the universe’s infinity. This search for the infinitude of God in combination with aniconism inspired mathematical models for representing the world. According to Laura Marks, professor of art and culture studies at Dena Wosk University and author of the book Enfoldment and Infinity, An Islamic Genealogy of New Media Art, these acts of abstraction corresponded directly to contemporary Islamic architecture and design. As her research shows, within contemporary art, and within new media art in particular, lies a latent, deeply enfolded, historical inheritance from Islamic art and thought. The exhibition On Geometry and Speculation brings together Dutch and International artists in an effort to render explicit this lineage from the Islamic Golden Age to contemporary art.
Lectures by Gosse de Kort, Xandra van der Eijk, Martijn van Boven and Tom Tlalim
Performances by: Berit Greinke and Alessandro Altavilla, Esther Polak and Ivar van Bekkum Screening: Field Notes From a Mine, Martijn van Boven and Tom Tlalim
Catalogue by Hicham Khalidi, copy editing by Amanda Sarrof and includes chapter six Bagdad, 830: Birth of the Algorithm / Enfoldment and Infinity: An Islamic Genealogy of New Media Art by Laura U. Marks.