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Safar/Voyage: Contemporary Works by Arab, Iranian and Turkish Artists

April 20, 2013 – September 15, 2013
Audain & O'Brian Galleries

See more, hear more & read more about the artists and artworks in the exhibition using the Safar/Voyage web app: safar.moa.ubc.ca

Safar/Voyage is the first major exhibition of contemporary art from these regions to be shown in Vancouver.  It is constructed as a journey in the company of 16 artists, each of whom is neither fixed inside the territories of the Middle East nor permanently diasporic. These artists define themselves and the world according to their own creative representations, often informed by culturally specific conditions.

Wrapping the globe, their diverse artworks speak to the universal theme of voyage (a translation of the Persian safar), from the external and geographical to the internal, emotional, and existential. They acknowledge the realities of political turmoil and revolution, and how politics frames both trauma and desire, whether individual or collective. Voyage is seen to take many forms. Expressed in media ranging from painting, sculpture, and video installation to performance and a carpet, it is as innocuous as tourism (with a twist), as disturbing as war—the violent crossing of borders—and as philosophical as the transience of life. The artists of Safar/Voyage are positioned as our guides, their visions mined for reflections on some of the most urgent issues of our time.  

The artists featured are Adel Abidin, Tarek Al-Ghoussein, Nazgol Ansarinia, Kutlug AtamanAyman Baalbaki, Ali Banisadr, Taysir Batniji, Mona Hatoum, Susan Hefuna, Raafat Ishak, Y.Z. Kami, Farhad Moshiri, Youssef Nabil, Hamed Sahihi, Mitra Tabrizian, and Parviz Tanavoli.

The exhibition is curated by Dr. Fereshteh Daftari, former curator at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. MOA Coordinating Curator Dr. Jill Baird, Curator, Education & Public Programs.  The exhibit will be accompanied by a publication.The exhibition features a wide range of public programs including curator and artist talks, musical performances, as well as the Hassan and Nezhat Khosrowshahi Distinguished Lecture Series featuring talks by noted architects and scholars Nader Ardalan, Daniel Roehr, Hossein Amanat, and Abbas Amanat. 

Safar/Voyage is made possible through the generous support of:

Presenting Sponsor: Deloitte; Publication Sponsor: UBS Bank (Canada); Lead Media Sponsors: CBC & The Vancouver Sun; Other Sponsors:  Wesbild Holdings, Canvas Magazine, Chubb Insurance Company of Canada, HUB International Insurance Brokers, The Canada Council for the Arts, 
SDV Logistiques (Canada) Inc., Lamar Transit Advertising, the Consulat général de France à Vancouver, and Robert McInnis.

We would also like to thank the Safar/Voyage Exhibition Volunteer Committee for their exceptional work to make this exhibition possible:

Mrs. Nezhat Khosrowshahi, Chair; Mrs. Rosalie Stronck, Vice Chair; Mrs. Maymanat Bakhtiar; Mr. Hank Bull; Mrs. Fiona Entwistle; Mrs. Yulanda Faris; Mrs. Shawne MacIntyre; Mrs. Marjan Navabi; Mr. Sohrab Saeb; Mr. Parviz Tanavoli; and Mrs. Lisa Turner.

For a printable listing of public programs and events, click here

Image Credit:  Kutlug Ataman, Strange Space, 2009. Courtesy of the artist & Thomas Dane Gallery

Related Events

For School Groups

Safar/Voyage “For Teens, By Teens” Education Programs

Grades: 8-12
Duration: 1 hour 30 min
Dates offered: April 24 – May 31 –Tuesday to Friday
Time: 10:30am
For booking contact: bookings@moa.ubc.ca or 604-822-3825

The Safar/Voyage school program encourages students to explore social, political, and emotional contexts through understanding contemporary art. The program has been designed by local secondary school students for their peers and emphasizes student response and meaning-making through a tour and a hands-on activity.  The goal, as articulated by our student developers, is to inspire student confidence in their own artistic interpretations. For pricing and more information, please visit the Booking Info page.

Exhibition background and a program outline for teachers – click here


Safar/Voyage: Contemporary Works by Arab, Iranian and Turkish Artists
Fereshteh Daftari and Jill Baird    

This book was inspired by the Safar/Voyage exhibition on display at the UBC Museum of Anthropology.

Copies will be available for purchase at the MOA Shop. 

Please click here for more information.