The Future of Tradition — the Tradition of Future 100 Years after the Exhibition "Masterpieces of Muhammadan Art" in Munich

EXHIBITION 17.09.10 – 09.01.11

In 1910, the exhibition "Masterpieces of Muhammadan Art" was held on the Theresienhöhe in Munich. With almost 3,600 exhibits, it was the largest display of art from the Islamic cultural sphere ever shown, even to this day. It gave the Western observer a comprehensive historical view of the arts in countries influenced by Islam. It also paved the way for deeper, scientific research.

Objects that were thought of as quaintly folkloric or as being applied arts were suddenly elevated to the rank of "masterpieces". Seen from our standpoint, the exhibition of 1910 undoubtedly represents a turning point: It replaced the conventional and dominant idea of Orientalism and exotic fantasy and led to an objective consideration of the visual culture of the Islamic world.

Exactly one hundred years later the exhibition at the Haus der Kunst will be remembering this epoch–making show and will carry out an important change of viewpoint: It includes, among others, contemporary art, design, photography and fashion and offers artists and institutions the possibility of participating in the exhibition with their own concepts. The display in the main room, for instance, was created by Samir El Kordy, one of Egypt's most innovative young architects. 

The current developments in the field of Arabic typography will also be shown thanks to a cooperation with Huda Smitshuijzen and the Khatt Foundation, Center for Arabic Typography and Design.

The exhibition will be divided into three parts: At the core will be a re-installation of about thirty of the most famous artworks from the 1910 exhibition. Artists who still use traditional elements of Islamic Art in their work, like ornamentation and calligraphy, will be gathered around the historical objects. They exemplify the various concepts of a modern movement, which makes use of Western, avant-garde aspects, but does not place emphasis on them. The outside ring with 10 cabinets is occupied by the works of contemporary artists and institutions. 

The works are devoted to topics such as urbanism or politics and they grapple with the rapid changes in Cairo, Damascus and the Golf Region. The Palestinian Wafa El Hourani, for example, presents his tragic-comic future model of the Qalandia refugee camp, and the works of the Moroccan Yto Barrada focus on the  destructive exploitation of nature and growth at any cost. The Iranian artists Tala Madani, on the other hand, transforms the role of men in her paintings and animations. And the Iranian film maker, Abbas Kiarostami, rediscovers the universe language of feelings in his film "Shirin".

The exhibition "Future of Tradition – the Tradition of Future" will be held as part of the series Changing Views.
www.changing-views.de

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The Tradition of the Future – The Future of Tradition, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2010, Samir El Kordy, Tradition of the Future – The Future of Tradition: the Installation, 2010; Round Iron Shield, Persian-Mongolian, 15th century; Battleax, late 15th century, Egypt or Syria, both © Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, photo Wilfried Petzi
The Tradition of the Future – The Future of Tradition, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2010, Samir El Kordy, Tradition of the Future – The Future of Tradition: the Installation, 2010; Round Iron Shield, Persian-Mongolian, 15th century; Battleax, late 15th century, Egypt or Syria, both © Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, photo Wilfried Petzi
The Tradition of the Future – The Future of Tradition, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2010, Yto Barrada, Gran Royal Turismo, 2003, detail © Courtesy of the artist and Gallery Sfeir-Semler, photo Wilfried Petzi
The Tradition of the Future – The Future of Tradition, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2010, Yto Barrada, Gran Royal Turismo, 2003, detail © Courtesy of the artist and Gallery Sfeir-Semler, photo Wilfried Petzi
The Tradition of the Future – The Future of Tradition, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2010, Wafa Hourani, Qalandi 2087, 2009, Rüdiger K. Weng, Nadour Collection, Krefeld / Paris, photo Wilfried Petzi
The Tradition of the Future – The Future of Tradition, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2010, Wafa Hourani, Qalandi 2087, 2009, Rüdiger K. Weng, Nadour Collection, Krefeld / Paris, photo Wilfried Petzi
The Tradition of the Future – The Future of Tradition, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2010, Nadine Touma / Dar Onboz, 9 Books / 1 Room, 2010, photo Wilfried Petzi
The Tradition of the Future – The Future of Tradition, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2010, Nadine Touma / Dar Onboz, 9 Books / 1 Room, 2010, photo Wilfried Petzi
The Tradition of the Future – The Future of Tradition, Mounira Al Solh, The Mute Tongue, 2010, snapshots Courtesy of the artist
The Tradition of the Future – The Future of Tradition, Mounira Al Solh, The Mute Tongue, 2010, snapshots Courtesy of the artist
The Tradition of the Future – The Future of Tradition, Abbas Kiarostami, film still from
The Tradition of the Future – The Future of Tradition, Abbas Kiarostami, film still from "Shirin", 2008 © Abbas Kiarostami and MK2 / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
The Tradition of the Future – The Future of Tradition, Rachid Koraïchi, Les Maitres invisibles [The Invisible Masters] © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, photo Ferrante Ferranti
The Tradition of the Future – The Future of Tradition, Rachid Koraïchi, Les Maitres invisibles [The Invisible Masters] © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, photo Ferrante Ferranti
The Tradition of the Future – The Future of Tradition, Maha Maamoun, film still from
The Tradition of the Future – The Future of Tradition, Maha Maamoun, film still from "Domestic Tourism II", 2008, Courtesy of the artist

Stretch your view


Stretch your view

Picture Gallery


Exhibition catalogue

The Future of Tradition

Edited by Chris Dercon, León Krempel, and Avinoam Shalem MORE