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    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
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Current Exhibition

Halim Al-Karim EXHIBITED AT THE SAATCHI GALLERY

Hidden War
Halim Al-Karim
Hidden War

1985

Lambda print

138 x 324 cm
Iraqi artist Halim Al-Karim underwent a harrowing experience during the first Gulf War. Opposing Saddam’s regime and its compulsory military service he took to hiding in the desert, living for almost 3 years in a hole in the ground covered by a pile of rocks. He survived only through the assistance of a Bedouin woman who brought him food and water and taught him about gypsy customs and mysticism. Al-Karim has since emigrated to America, however, these events have had a profound effect on his life and form the basis for his art practice.
Hidden Face
Halim Al-Karim
Hidden Face

1995

Lambda print

138 x 300 cm
In this body of work, Al-Karim presents a series of triptychs, each comprised of three faces. Some are well known figures, such as Saddam Hussein in Hidden Face, others are film stills, artworks, or artifacts. Presented as enlarged panels their distortion is compounded,
raising the question not of what they represent but of their deeper meaning and interconnectivity. Hidden Face was made in 1995, years before the famous photo of Saddam in custody; the figure is in fact made up, based on how Al-Karim imagined the dictator would look in the future. The two flanking out of focus figures are suggestive of world leaders – still in power – whose support of Saddam’s regime has been forgotten. Al-Karim has blurred their identities to show the duplicity of their motives, scripting them as anonymous accomplices who will never stand trial.
Hidden Prisoner
Halim Al-Karim
Hidden Prisoner

1993

Lambda print

158 x 369 cm
In this series of work, photography is used for its non-physical qualities: a medium which quite literally creates an image from light, capturing the transient and interwoven nature of time and
memory. The Sumerian artifacts featured in Al-Karim’s Hidden Prisoner and Hidden Goddess were photographed in the Louvreand the British Museum; Al-Karim describes seeing them internedbehind glass, far away from their home, as a painful reminder ofvisiting his friends and family who were held as political prisonersat Abu Ghraib during Saddam’s regime.
Hidden Theme
Halim Al-Karim
Hidden Theme

1995

Lambda print

138 x 300 cm
Al-Karim’s Hidden series is a response to the artists own unimaginable experiences and his ongoing observances of the turbulences in his homeland. With pieces titled Hidden War, Hidden Victims, Hidden Witnesses, Al-Karim raises the awareness of not only the devastating effects of violence, but its many manifestations - both physical and psychological – from the political to the economic and domestic. His works adopt a skewed sense of scale and resolve to conceptually shift between the macro and the micro, the societal and individual, physical and emotive, offering a tranquil and meditative pause and space for reflection and catharsis.
Hidden Victims
Halim Al-Karim
Hidden Victims

2008

Lambda print

186 x 372 cm
Al-Karim merges aspects of Sufism - such as the belief in Divine Unity - with obsolete traditions, especially those of ancient Sumer, the grand empire which ruled in what is now Iraq from 6000-4000 BC. Sumerian symbols often appear in his images, and his photographs of women are in part inspired by a ritual which could elevate girls to the status of goddesses.
Prisoner Goddess
Halim Al-Karim
Prisoner Goddess

1993

Lambda print

124 x 372 cm
Al-Karim’s approach to image-making is as an outward projection of his inner-consciousness and a visual manifestation of spiritual awakening and serenity. His evasive dream-like images evoke a range of instinctual emotive responses, the ability of true perception existing as a preternatural power within each of us, which can be understood and harnessed through the pursuit of metaphysical enlightenment.
Hidden Witnesses
Halim Al-Karim
Hidden Witnesses

2007

Lambda print

138 x 300 cm
Hidden Doll
Halim Al-Karim
Hidden Doll

2008

Lambda print covered with white silk

200 x 360 cm
In pieces such as Hidden Doll, Al-Karim presents his photographs beneath a tautly stretched layer of white silk fabric that operates as both a physical veil masking the portraits and a metaphorical filter or screen. This ’barrier’ between viewer and image can be conceived as a liminal space, a transcendental portal between being and becoming, where the mystical properties of change take place.
Hidden War 2
Halim Al-Karim
Hidden War 2

2003

Lambda print covered with white silk

200 x 330 cm
Themes of reconciliation are central to Al-Karim’s work, both emotionally and in relation to Sufi tradition, where faith is inwardly focused and strives for unity between consciousness and God.
Contradictions and juxtapositions occur within his photos, but rather than creating tension, they have harmonious effect. As faces line up: beautiful and garish, monstrous and innocent, wizened and puerile, they form single conglomerate portraits, each segment completing the next, contributing to the understanding of the whole. In Hidden War 2, Al-Karim has covered his images with a transparent layer of cloth, urging the viewer to consider the hidden agendas behind the legitimising rhetoric of those who support the war

Halim Al-Karim's BIOGRAPHY

Halim Al-Karim
Born in 1963, Iraq
Lives and works in Denver Colorado, USA



SOLO EXHIBITIONS


2011
XVA Gallery, Dubai, UAE
NYU Abu Dhabi, UAE

2010
Witness From Baghdad, Darat Al Funun

2009
XVA Gallery, Dubai, UAE

2008
Darat Al Funon, Kuwait
XVA Gallery, Dubai, UAE

2007
Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder, USA

2006
XVA Gallery, Dubai, UAE

2005
Robischon Gallery,Denver, Colorado, USA
Gremillion Gallery, Houston, Texas, USA
Espace SD, Beirut, Lebanon
XVA Gallery, Dubai, UAE

2004
Saifi Village-Quartier des Arts, Beirut, Lebanon

2003
Four Walls Gallery, Amman, Jordan

2001
Princessehof National Museum of Ceramics, Leeuwarden, Holland

2000
Fibeitt Gallery, Amsterdam, Holland

1996
L'Entretemps Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon

1995
50x70 Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon

1994
Schauer Gallery, Paris, France

1993
French Cultural Center, Amman, Jordan

1992
Baladna Gallery, Amman, Jordan


GROUP EXHIBITIONS


2011
Iraqi Pavilion 54th Venice Biennale, Venice Italy

2010
Nujoom: Constellations of Arab Art from the Farjam Collection, Dubai, UAE
Peripheral Vision, Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE
Stux Gallery, New York, USA
Red Line Gallery, curated by Robishon Gallery, Colorado, USA
Milan Art Fair, Milan, Italy
Aspen Art, Colorado, USA
Behind the Mask, The New Art Gallery, Walsall, England
IF Galleria, Paris

2009
Saatchi Gallery, London, England
Bastakiya Art Fair, Dubai
Paul Klee Museum, Bern, Switzerland
Crossings Traversees, Rabat, Morocco
Hong Kong International Art Fair, Hong Kong
Arti Campi Gallery, Verona, Italy
Art Abu Dhabi, UAE

2008
Art Paris, Paris, France
Art Paris, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Asian Contemporary Art Fair, New York, USA
Radical Gallery, Zug, Switzerland

2006
Pinceaux pour Plumes", Sursock Museum, Beirut, Lebanon
Arteclásica 2006 - 3ª Feria de Arte Clásico Contemporáne,
El Centro Costa Salguero, Buenos Aires, Argentina

2004
Ceramic Delft, Delft, Holland

2003
Tegels, Corrosia Cultural Center, Almere Haven, Holland

2001
Contemporary Ceramics in Lebanon, AUB, Beirut, Lebanon

1999
Ceramic Millenium, Amsterdam, Holland
Pictura, Dordrecht, Holland

1998
Art Deco LA FIAD, Beirut, Lebanon
Global Ceramics 1, Landsmeer, Holland
Fleuris-98, Ede, Holland
Agial Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon

1997
Musee des Metiers de Mercure, Larochelle, France

1996
Parterre Gallery, Sommelsdijk, Holland
Babel Gallery, Amsterdam, Holland

1995
Salon des Art Decoratif – SAD, Beirut, Lebanon

1994
Salon d'Automne, Sursock Museum, Beirut, Lebanon

1993
International Art Festival, Amman, Jordan