Apollo
Janet Rady

With the openings of the Venice Biennale, documenta, the Skulptur Projekte Münster, and Art Basel behind us, July in London continues to fill our diaries in the most exciting ways thinkable.  Not only is the bi-annual  Shubbak Festival with us again but also the start of CARAVAN's peacebuilding  I AM  exhibition comprising 31 Middle Eastern women artists, of which I am proud to be the curator.  Launched in May in Jordan, it will be showing at St Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square until 20th August, before touring around the US.  We hope you have a chance to see it.

As always in the newsletter, we highlight a selection of other important exhibitions taking place globally, relating to the Middle East.  And this month i n our Art Market section, with a mind on innovation, we examine the rise of the selfie and look at how this has transformed our world.  

With this latter topic in mind, if you are off on a 'selfie heaven' holiday soon, we hope you have a relaxing time.  
Basim Magdy
BASIM MAGDY: THE STARS WERE ALIGNED FOR A CENTURY OF NEW BEGINNINGS
14 April to 6 August, 2017
Arnolfini, Bristol, England

Basim Magdy's work is rooted in dreams, scientific theory and failed utopian ambitions. Full of humour and quiet melancholy, his works reflect on the present social and political climate and our collective failure as, in the desire for progress, we repeat the same mistakes over and over again in a recurring cycle of aspiration, action and defeat.
The Restless Earth
THE RESTLESS EARTH
by Fondazione Nicola Trussardi 
28 April to 20 August, 2017
La Triennale di Milano, Milan, Italy

The Restless Earth borrows its title from a collection of poems by Édouard Glissant, a Caribbean writer who probed the question of how different cultures can coexist. The exhibition shares in Glissant's project-a pressing and necessary one that tries to describe this unstable and agitated present as a polyphony of voices and narratives.
Nose to Nose Slavs and Tatars
NOSE TO NOSE
SLAVS AND TATARS
5 May to 14 July, 2017
Pejman Foundation: Argo Factory, Tehran, Iran

Across a range of sculptures, balloons, audio works and publications, "Nose to Nose" looks to the Sufi notion of hamdami, the breathing together of sensuality and spirituality. Their "Not Moscow Not Mecca" installation, first exhibited at the Vienna Secession in 2012, will be restaged as an anti-anthropocentric altar: a retelling of faith via fruits and flora. Slavs and Tatars' insistence on metaphysical and intellectual contamination marks their unique place in contemporary art.
Sa_dane Afif_ The Fairytale Recordings
SAÂDANE AFIF: THE FAIRYTALE RECORDINGS
18 May to 24 September, 2017
Frac Franche-Comté, Besançon, France

Saâdane Afif has developed a body of work that takes various forms (including performances, texts, sculptures, posters and installations). The Vanitas theme and an acute awareness of the inexorable disappearance of living beings-as well as, in his view, of the works themselves-lie at the heart of his oeuvre.
The Fairytale Recordings, a series of eight vases presented in its entirety for the first time in France since its creation at the RaebervonStenglin gallery in Zurich, is showcased at the Frac Franche-Comté exhibition.
Farideh Lashai
THE INVITED WORK: FARIDEH LASHAI
30 May to 10 September, 2017
Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, Spain

The Museo del Prado and the Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado are presenting the last work by the Iranian artist Farideh Lashai (Rasht, 1944 - Teheran, 2013), When I count, there are only you...but when I look, there is only a shadow (2012-13), a video installation inspired by Goya's Disasters of War.
_anakkale Art Walk
ÇANAKKALE ART WALK 2017: HOMELAND
6 June to 6 August, 2017
Çanakkale Art Walk, Osnabrück, Germany

40 Artists, 4 venues, 17 countries in dialogue over the theme "Homeland". Originally conceived as a parallel event to the 5th Çanakkale Biennial, the city of Osnabrück invites to the two-monthly "Çanakkale Art Walk 2017: Homeland". The groupshow, curated by Christian Oxenius in cooperation with CABININ - Çanakkale Biennale Initiative.
Isma_l Bahri
ISMAÏL BAHRI: INSTRUMENTS
13 June to 24 September, 2017
Jeu de Paume, Concorde, Paris, France

"Instruments", the exhibition at the Jeu de Paume, presents a selection of his principal works along with two new works, conceived and produced for the occasion. This set of eight video works reflects the main themes running through his œuvre; such themes as fundamentals, duration, scale, and transformation, but also visibility and invisibility, mystery and solving the mystery.
Anarch_ologie
ANARCHÉOLOGIE
15 June to 11 September, 2017
Centre Pompidou, Paris, France

The different artistic projects assembled in this exhibition are all concerned in one way or another with archaeology itself. In forms both visual and discursive, Ali Cherri, Christoph Keller, Oliver Laric, Amina Menia, Jumana Manna, Christodoulos Panayiotou, Maria Taniguchi, and the collective Umashankar and the Earchaeologists - consisting of Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Nida Ghouse and Umashankar Manthravadi - all cast a lucid and critical eye on the archaeological imaginary and its effects today.
Shubbak Festival 2017
SHUBBAK FESTIVAL 2017
1 to 16 July, 2017
Various venues across London, England

Shubbak (meaning 'window' in Arabic) is London's largest biennial festival of contemporary Arab culture. Founded in 2011 by the Mayor of London, Shubbak is now an independent charity whose founding Chair was Omar al-Qattan. Shubbak connects London audiences and communities with the best of contemporary Arab culture through ambitious festival programmes of premieres and commissions of visual arts, film, music, theatre, dance, literature and debate.
I AM
2 July to 20 August, 2017
St Martin-in-the-Fields Church, London, England

I AM is a peacebuilding exhibition that premiered in Amman, Jordan under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah involving 31 of the Middle East's premier contemporary women artists that promotes and celebrates the many accomplishments of Middle Eastern women in shaping our world into a peaceful and harmonious one.

I AM will visually celebrate the rich, diverse and crucial contributions that women from the Middle East make to the enduring global quest for harmony and peace. In this way, the exhibition aims to challenge existing stereotypes and misconceptions about Middle Eastern women by showing how they dynamically and very significantly contribute to the fabric of local and global culture.
Frieze Sculpture 2017
FRIEZE SCULPTURE 2017
5 July to 8 October, 2017
The Regent's Park, London, England

Selected by Clare Lilley (Director of Programme, Yorkshire Sculpture Park) and featuring leading international galleries, Frieze's first-ever summer exhibition in The Regent's Park will bring together 25 new and significant works by leading 20th-century and contemporary artists from around the world, including Magdalena Abakanowicz, Rasheed Araeen, Urs Fischer, KAWS, Alicja Kwade, Michael Craig-Martin, Jaume Plensa, Thomas J Price, Ugo Rondinone, Sarah Sze, Hank Willis Thomas and Emily Young.
Liverpool Arab Arts Festival
LIVERPOOL ARAB ARTS FESTIVAL (LAAF)
8 to 16 July, 2017
Various venues across Liverpool, England

This year LAAF explores the theme of 'The space between us', responding to Liverpool's city-wide 67-17: 50 Summers of Love season, celebrating the release of the Beatles' Sgt Pepper's album. The title is taken from a lyric from Within You Without You a track on side 2 of the album written by George Harrison, which tells of overcoming the forces that prevent us from recognising what unites the world.
TIPS: ART ADVISORY & THE ART MARKET

No-one can deny that most of us now live in the world of the selfie, from posts on Facebook to Instagram to defining moments captured purposefully on our 'phones, the culture of the selfie has radically changed the way we perceive ourselves.  This month we look at the effect this technological phenomenon has had on the art world.

WHAT'S INSPIRING THIS MONTH

Ouzville

Entrepreneur Turns Beirut Slum Into Vast Canvas

BEIRUT -  It has a tough reputation, but for one entrepreneur Beirut's Ouzai neighborhood is the perfect canvas upon which to paint dreams of a better Lebanon.
Having left the area as a child and made his money working across the globe, Ayad Nasser has returned to Lebanon to create a place he has named "Ouzville".
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