Northfield, Minnesota 55057

An art exhibit titled ?Dafatir: Contemporary Iraqi Book Art,? curated by Iraqi art historian Nada Shabout, will be on exhibit Jan. 6?Feb. 12 at the Carleton College Art Gallery. The exhibit, the centerpiece of several Carleton events on Iraqi art, is free and open to the public.

Dafatir, which translates as ?notebook? in Arabic, features books as art and demonstrates how artists transform the book into sculptural and poetic objects referencing everything from modern poetry to current events. The work of 17 Iraqi artists will be displayed, all drawn from the collection of London-based Iraqi artist Dia al-Azzawi. The works range from radiantly colored abstract paintings realized in three dimensions to material and metaphorical responses to contemporary events.

?This exhibition demonstrates that artists will be artists even in adverse circumstances,? says Carleton?s director of exhibitions Laurel Bradley. ?Iraq is not just a war zone, but a place of rich history about which we Americans know almost nothing. Its artistic traditions are steeped in poetry and a reverence for the written word. This exhibition demonstrates that the book is being reinvented in dynamic ways by contemporary Iraqi artists.?

Several related events will be held during the exhibition. Curator Nada Shabout will speak on ?Iraqi Art: Continuity Through Contemporaneity? on Thursday, Jan. 12 at 7:30 p.m. in Boliou Hall, Room 104. Her talk will be followed by the exhibit?s opening reception in the Art Gallery from 8:30 to 10 p.m. The 2004 award-winning film ?About Baghdad,? which documents that city after decades of oppression, war, sanctions and occupation, will be shown on Wednesday, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. in Boliou Hall, Room 104. Stuart Mather Gibson, an adviser to Iraq?s Ministry of Culture, will speak on ?Saving Iraq?s Cultural Heritage? on Tuesday, Jan. 24 at 4:30 p.m. in the Gould Library Athenaeum. Finally, Iraqi artist Mohammed al-Shammarey will speak on ?Art from the Ashes? on Tuesday, Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m. in Boliou Hall, Room 104, and will lead an informal discussion on ?Art and Life in Iraq Today,? on Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 4:30 p.m. in Gould Library Athenaeum.

The Carleton College Art Gallery is located near First and Winona Streets in the lower level of the Music and Drama Center. It is open daily at noon and closes at 6 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, 10 p.m. Thursday-Friday, and 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The Art Gallery has limited disability accessibility. For more information, call the Art Gallery at (507) 646-4342 or visit

The Carleton art gallery is sponsoring the exhibit, the film, and Shabout and al-Shammarey?s lectures. The film is co-sponsored by the Carleton Film Society. Gibson?s lecture is sponsored by the economics department. The exhibition was organized by the University of North Texas Art Gallery, Denton, Texas and supported by the Texas Commission on the Arts. For more information and disability accommodations, call director of exhibitions Laurel Bradley at (507) 646-4342.

Added by carlmedr on December 20, 2005

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