GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Sept. 14, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Nabil Mousa introduces Paradise Built on the Bones of the Slaughtered – a monumental sculpture for the ArtPrize® Seven competition – based on the Syrian-American experience; welded towers display religious texts burned to ashes.
Syrian-born, Atlanta-based artist Mousa (Nabil Mousa) is perhaps best known for his startling and inspiring installations influenced by three religions in perpetual inter-conflict: Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
For Paradise Built on the Bones of the Slaughtered, Mousa has created a mixed-media sculpture made of the burned remains of the Bible, Koran and Torah, which illustrates his disenfranchisement with religion. Mousa notes that the three religions all share the same God, and profess to preach tolerance and mutual respect. Yet "they're more notable today for their mutual antagonism, ill will, and violent acts," Mousa said of three faiths. "My answer to that is these burned tomes that enact a kind of cleansing ritual, in which self-reflection about faith and mutual responsibility is the hopeful end-result."
Mousa draws from a well of inspiration bearing witness to his cultural heritage. Whether working with painting or mixed-media installation, his work deeply expresses his notions of justice and civil rights. As a result, many of his exhibitions are political, educational, thought-provoking, and sometimes controversial.
With the installation, which will be installed in Grand Rapids' City Hall, Mousa asks viewers a pair of questions: which God do you want to take into your heart? The God of mercy and compassion or the God of vengeance and justice? "We have allowed others to focus our minds on our differences rather than the unifying message of love, forgiveness and mercy," Mousa notes.
About NabilMousa(Mousa) (b. 1966 in Syria. Lives and Works in Atlanta):
Born in Syria and raised in the United States, Mousa incorporates the cultural tensions of both countries into his practice, combining them with his own personal convictions. While earlier examples of his work strictly appropriate Middle Eastern and Mediterranean design motifs, more recent examples relax them, allowing for looser representations that symbolize his new life in the United States. In this way, politics is omnipresent in Mousa's work. This is not to say, however, that personal struggle is in any way diminished. Rather, Mousa's vested interest in all aspects of life has been the common thread in all of his works. Raised in a conservative Christian household, Mousa is always pitting socio-religious oppression with self-realization – from his earliest works examining the Muslim niqab to his more recent series inviting Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike to come together in creative reflection over 9/11. Using color in unexpected ways, Mousa lets intuition and affect guide his oeuvre. His work is always framed by hope for greater equality, no matter how naive or impossible that might seem in the face of ever-challenging political and religious difference.
About 874 SalamatinaProjects:
Founded by Oksana Salamatina in 2008, Salamatina Gallery opened in Americana Manhasset, at 2032 Northern Boulevard, Manhhasset. The gallery was among the first to exhibit in the city, and the space allowed for the mounting of several projects that were historic in scope and unique to the space, including young artists alongside historic figures. In 2014, Salamatina created 874 Salamatina Projects in Atlanta, GA. Exhibitions at 874 Salamatina Projects will include artists' historical surveys, site-specific installations, and retrospectives. The gallery will showcase an array of intergenerational, conceptual art - across a variety of media - in spare environs.
ArtPrize is an independently organized international art competition that takes place Sept. 23-Oct. 11 in downtown Grand Rapids, offering a novel and entirely intriguing cultural experience for artists and art enthusiasts.
874 SALAMATINA PROJECTS
874 Joseph E Lowery Blvd NW
Atlanta GA 30318
HOURS OF OPERATION
Tuesday-Thursday 11 AM - 5 PM and by appointment