The MAC presents three new exhibitions opening November 3.
Sandow Birk and Elyse Pignolet, The 99 Names of Godwith selections from Sandow Birk’s American Qur’an
Sandow Birk and Elyse Pignolet’s collaborative project, The 99 Names of God, is a series of illustrations depicting the five airports and departure gates involved in the attacks of September 11, 2001. The 99 Most Perfect Names of God are the names of God in the Qur’an and in the Hadith. The 99 names vary, and they often appear in elaborate calligraphy and with extensive decorations. The motifs adorning the texts and the drawings are derived from ornamentation found in historical, hand-illuminated Qur’ans.
Sandow Birk investigates the Qur’an as the divine message from God to mankind in his series American Qur’an. Birk follows the centuries old tradition of using color inks to render the calligraphy by hand. Birk seeks to deconstruct negative stereotypes against Islam, and present the Qur’an in accessible format to American society, in hopes of fostering an understanding about its relationship to Judeo-Christian beliefs.
The MAC exhibition will include selections from the full series comprising more than 300 pages that illustrate the 114 suras of the Qur’an. Substantial research and travel informed Birk’s work on the American Qur’an. He completed a three-moth residency at Cité International des Artes in Paris and was granted access to one of the largest collections of hand-illuminated Qur’ans in the world at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin, Ireland. American Qur’an has received tremendous acclaim across the country through various publications including The New York Times, Associated Press and the San Francisco Chronicle. The series has traveled to prestigious institutions including an exhibition in 2011 of 100 panels at The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh.
Christopher Blay, Machine Time
Christopher Blay’s time machine project is an interactive live performance and art installation. Machine Time explores conceptual space and time through a fabricated mechanical means, modeled after the way that a camera is able to manipulate space and time through its own processes. The installation is based on a mid-century flight test facility and launch control station, manned by uniformed assistants who engage actively with the selected time travelers. When the session begins, participants are asked to answer questions about their destination of choice. Where would you like to go? What experiences would you like to revisit, or create? In this case, time travel is both a conceptual and a virtual space. Like the camera, the time machine manipulates space and time by referencing the past, present and future through typed in and dialed choices made by the machine’s operator.If you are interested in sitting in the time machine and time travelling, please email a recording from your phone or other recording device to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 682-214-2111 and leave a detailed message.The recording should include your full name, where you would travel to, and a minute or two about what your trip would mean to you. Twelve respondents will be selected to experience time travel on November 3, 2012 at the opening reception. Please include the spelling of your name in your email.
The sound heard by participants and time travelers is brought to you by the Austin based band, Montopolis. Montopolis will play live at the opening reception improvising and reacting to the performance. Montopolis is a project of the musician Justin Sherburn.
New Works Gallery
Morehshin Allahyari, Re: apologies to many wonderful Iranians
Re: Apologies to the Many Wonderful Iranians is an installation that explores and combines personal memories of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988) with the constant awareness of life filled with drumbeats of war against Iran and the intensified sanctions targeting the lives of the Iranian people. It is a response to the recent unethical and proud reports and discussions that praise sanctions and wars on Iran to stop the Iranian government’s nuclear activities; Rejecting and ignoring the results of sanctions on the lives of the ordinary people and their suffering; Forgetting the mentally and emotionally exhausted citizens, floating between political wars. Legitimatizing mass slaughter that sanctions accompany. Keeping the invisible war invisible without filling-in the gaps.
An opening reception with the artists will be held Saturday, November 3, 2012 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm.
An artist talk with Sandow Birk and Elyse Pignolet will take place before the opening reception on Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 5:00pm.