East-West Divan: Contemporary Art from Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan

Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
June 2009 - October 2009
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The exhibition presents recent works by ten artists from three countries better known in the West for stereotypes of terrorism and Islamic extremism, than for their rich artistic heritage and vibrant contemporary cultures.

East-West Divan will challenge these negative perceptions with works by both emerging and established artists, whose works meditate upon the links between the artistic traditions of Venice and the Persian artistic heritage shared by all three countries in the exhibition. The exhibition will include new works of art responding to traditions such as miniature painting, calligraphy and Islamic geometric design, revealing how contemporary artists have found new ways to critique, challenge and transform this cultural inheritance.

June 2009 - October 2009