Artist-in-Residence from United Arab Emirates Examines Space and Time in Lecture about 'Directions' Exhibition

August 27, 2010

An artist-in-residence at the University of the Arts, Mohammed Kazem, a native of the United Arab Emirates who draws inspiration from meticulously precise numbers, will give a talk about his solo exhibition "Directions" September 3 at the University's CBS Auditorium (320 S. Broad St., Philadelphia) from noon – 1 p.m. "Directions" is on display at the University's Gallery 224 (333 S. Broad St., Philadelphia) through September 4.

Kazem believes that nothing is immovable because time constantly passes and the position of moving objects continuously changes. Utilizing site coordinates determined by his global positioning system (GPS), Kazem gives precise data on distances, surfaces, heights, and the positions and direction of motion of objects. He fills plastic numbers with soil and stones from various geographic locations and presents an installation in which GPS coordinates and elevation figures are supplemented with the time and date.

"Directions" includes "White Papers," paintings representing voices, shadows and lights from the city of Chemnitz, Germany, and Philadelphia; "Space 05-10," a collection of 80 images of notable world landmarks (including Philadelphia's City Hall and Kimmel Center and the Sphinx in Egypt) with a blue sky as a background; and video and photos documenting his work with school children in Germany who cut coordinates from leaves and tossed them in a river, a process Kazem says “integrates the intricate mathematical human system with its arbitrary opposite."

Kazem, who resided in Philadelphia for eight weeks to produce most of the works displayed in the exhibition, studied painting at the Emirates Fine Arts Society (1984 – 1987). He also directs the summer workshop of the Dubai Art Atelier. He has staged solo exhibitions in Sharjah (6th Shajah Biennial) and Abu Dhabi. Kazem's residency at the University of the Arts is supported by the Emirates Foundation, Al Bustan Seeds of Culture and the University of the Arts MFA Program, led by Director Joe Girandola.

This lecture is sponsored by the University's MFA Program in Studio Art (Ceramic, Painting and Sculpture), a two-and-a-half year course of study committed to training artists at the highest professional levels, offering an MFA degree with specializations in Ceramics, Painting and Sculpture. The University of the Arts Low Residency MFA program celebrates a vibrant 16‐year history that includes alumni with successful gallery representation nationally and visual artist/educators at every university level.

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