It is the art of war.
A new exhibit in Crown Heights will highlight works that explore life in and life beyond war-torn countries and conflict zones.
“Artistic Weapons of Mass Communication,” which opens at Five Myles gallery in Crown Heights on April 25, features pieces by artists with roots in the Middle East who are inspired by struggles in the region — resulting in a show that runs much deeper than the average exhibition, said an organizer.
“We need to see more work that shows that artists are anguished and not just looking after their career, but expressing their deepest despair,” said gallery director Hanne Tierney. “We have never before shown artists like these who have such incredible existential concerns.”
Two artists in the exhibition both focus their works on the experience of Palestinians who have been displaced from their homes because of the years long Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Tierney said. Palestinian-American artist Rajie Cook, whose parents immigrated to the U.S. before he was born, does this by creating intricately constructed miniature silent theaters that he attaches to walls. John Halaka, who is Palestinian and was born in Egypt, creates fabric photographs out of fragmented portraits, taking faces apart and putting them back together.
Iran-born artist Samira Abbassy has contributed a multi-panel oil painting called “Eternal War,” that looks at the repeated patterns of war, genocide, occupation, and exile throughout history. The gesso panels depict holy wars through the ages, from the Crusades through to today’s conflicts.
Tierney said the works in the show are more profound than art for art’s sake.
“I am very drawn to art that does something very important rather than just drawing on itself, and that is what is happening here,” said Tierney
“Artistic Weapons of Mass Communication” at Five Myles [558 Saint Johns Pl. between Classon and Franklin avenues in Crown Heights, (718) 783–4438, www.fivem