Forgotten Enlightenments

Unknown stories about Islam in contemporary art

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European news outlets often present an image of Islam characterised by terror, religious fundamentalism and antiquated thinking. It would seem that Islam and enlightenment are diametrically opposed. This exhibition in Leipzig has questioned this oversimplified and unhistorical presumption. The exhibition investigated aspects of Islam and its relationship to the Enlightenment and explored points of convergence between the Orient and Occident through the medium of art. The project organisers wished to highlight the significance of Islam’s rich heritage for contemporary art: How do artists relate to the classical forms of Islamic art? What role does Islam’s prohibition against images play? How is spirituality connected to current aesthetic and social issues? For the exhibition on “Forgotten Enlightenments”, Halle 14 in Leipzig had teamed up with curators from Egypt and Turkey and has been working closely with the independent Cairo-based project “Out of the Circle” which serves as a network for young, up and coming artists from the Middle East and northern Africa. Together, the curators have presented a broad spectrum of artistic positions comprising a wide range of formats, e.g. painting, photography, installations, performances, sound art, media art and digital media.

Curators: Michael Arzt, Elham Khattab (EQ)
Artists: Adel Abidin (IQ), Azadeh Akhlaghi (IR), Emrah Gökdemir (TR), Manaf Halbouni (SY/DE), Zarah Hussain (UK), Soukaina Joual (MA), Yara Mekawei (EG), Mehreen Murtaza (PK), Erkan Özgen (TR), Anahita Razmi, Haythem Zakaria (TN) and others


No upcoming events at present

Previous events

  • 27 April, 2019 to 4 August, 2019: Exhibition

    HALLE 14 – Zentrum für zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig

Additional Venues:

Opening with numerous events staged during the tour of the SpinnereiGalerien: 27 & 28 Apr. 2019

Museum night performance in Halle/Leipzig, HALLE 14: 11 May 2019


HALLE 14 Zentrum für zeitgenössische Kunst

Leipziger Baumwollspinnerei
Spinnereistr. 7
04179 Leipzig (external link, opens in a new window)