Common Grounds

Contemporary art from the Middle East

DAAR (Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency), The Red Castle and the Lawless Line, the width of the line crossing the "Red Castle" in Battir, 2010 © DAAR/Amina Rech

This exhibition was the first in Munich to present a wide spectrum of artistic works by contemporary artists from the Middle East. News coverage from the region in Western media is generally dominated either by conflicts in public space or images of luxury and ostentatiousness in the emerging cities of the Gulf nations. The exhibition juxtaposed these images with artistic works which examine the transformation of the Middle East in a variety of ways. One of the focuses of the exhibition was the topic of collecting and archiving. All of the artists featured in the exhibition are active in the international scene. Parastou Forouhar and Abbas Akhavan, for example, have left their home country of Iran and now reside in Germany and Canada respectively. While Forouhar applies imagery which explicitly takes issue with the Iranian political system, Akhavan is known for his site-specific installations which are characterised by intimate rooms, as if the viewers were at home, in their backyard or garden. The title of the exhibition refers to the linguistic theory of “common ground”, a concept which posits that a mutual sphere of knowledge exists between two interlocutors which allows dialogue to succeed. The exhibition was supplemented by an extensive accompanying programme with lectures and tours. A performance and dance programme, readings and a film series were developed in cooperation with other cultural organisations based in Munich.

Artistic director: Verena Hein
Artists: Abbas Akhavan (CA), DAAR (PS), Parastou Forouhar (IR), Babak Golkar (IR), Dor Guez (IS), Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige (LB), Hazem Harb (PS), Susan Hefuna (EG), Bouchra Khalili (FR/MA), Sophia Al Maria (US/AE), Ahmed Mater (SA), Nasser al Salem (SA)


Museum Villa Stuck

Prinzregentenstr. 60

81675 München (external link, opens in a new window)