Art

SCAD Museum of Art (South Carolina)

It is September 20th and champagne is settling in chilled, fluted glasses. Relish trays circle the museum floor, and a dark haired woman stands up to speak.

It is September 20th and the civil war in Syria has been declared a stalemate. Both sides have splintered into packs of wild dogs, and the preservation of the country’s cultural sites has become another battlefield altogether.

It is September 20th and the dark haired woman stands. Her new show opens at the SCAD museum in Savannah, yet she connects hundreds of people in the space to a world over 50,000 miles away—she just doesn’t know it yet.

Many publications spend a great deal of time solely on her Syrian background, and though she admits a large number of her pieces are devoted to joining both Eastern and Western cultures, she is even more vocal about her other influences–and rightly so. Just as a female artist doesn’t want her work known simply for feminist issues, Al-Hadid fears history will pigeon hole her due to a single aspect of her life.

It is September 20th. One day the war in Syria will end, but it is not today. Wounds will heal, buildings will be remade, and though it was not her intention, Al-Hadid’s work will remain a wary reminder, and an exquisite warning, frozen forever in her nation’s period of violence.

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