Safar/Voyage: Contemporary Works by Arab, Iranian and Turkish Artists
Safar/Voyage is the first major exhibition of contemporary art from these regions to be shown in Vancouver. It is constructed as a journey in the company of 16 artists, each of whom is neither fixed inside the territories of the Middle East nor permanently diasporic. These artists define themselves and the world according to their own creative representations, often informed by culturally specific conditions.
Wrapping the globe, their diverse artworks speak to the universal theme of voyage (a translation of the Persian safar), from the external and geographical to the internal, emotional, and existential. They acknowledge the realities of political turmoil and revolution, and how politics frames both trauma and desire, whether individual or collective. Voyage is seen to take many forms. Expressed in media ranging from painting, sculpture, and video installation to performance and a carpet, it is as innocuous as tourism (with a twist), as disturbing as war—the violent crossing of borders—and as philosophical as the transience of life. The artists of Safar/Voyage are positioned as our guides, their visions mined for reflections on some of the most urgent issues of our time.