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[BKARTS] DAFATIR: Contemporary Iraqi Book Art at South Florida's JCBA
JAFFE CENTER for BOOK ARTS
at Florida Atlantic University's Wimberly Library presents
DAFATIR: Contemporary Iraqi Book Art
through November 30, 2008
* * * * *
DAFATIR: CONTEMPORARY IRAQI BOOK ART is a groundbreaking and thought-
provoking traveling exhibition curated by Nada Shabout of the
University of North Texas. It features the work of 17 contemporary
Iraqi artists, and is the first in-depth examination of the book form
in contemporary Iraqi art.
"Dafatir" is the Arabic word for "notebooks." As Venetia Porter,
curator for the Islamic Collections at the British Museum, writes in
the exhibition catalog:
"This important exhibition of Dafatir--artists' books--could also
have been called Seventeen Ways of Looking at Iraq. For the seventeen
Iraqi artists whose Dafatir are highlighted here have chosen the form
of the book to do just that. They focus on themes which express Arab
and Iraqi identities and demonstrate concern for the present ruin of
their homeland. There are books of poems and disturbing works which
chronicle the last tragic years of Iraqi history: the Saddam years,
the effect of sanctions during the 1990s, and after 2003, the
continuing human suffering, and the physical destruction of the
places which contain the tangible roots of Iraqi identity and culture.
"... The remarkable aspect of these Dafatir is that they enable us to
look at history directly through the eyes of these artists. The
importance the artists place on literature, the deep love of their
country and the evident pain they feel at the ravages it is still
undergoing are evident for all to see in these deeply compelling works."
This library-wide exhibition runs through Sunday, November 30, 2008.
This includes the main lobby of the Wimberly Library, the Wimberly
Administrative Offices (2nd floor west), and the lobby of the Jaffe
Center for Book Arts (3rd floor east). The exhibition may be viewed
anytime during regular library hours, which may be found at
www.library.fau.edu/geninfo/hours.htm?boca or by calling (561)
297-3770. A few of the books are being exhibited inside the Jaffe
Center; these may be viewed during regular JCBA hours: Monday through
Friday, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Other arrangements for groups are
possible; contact me for details.
DAFATIR EXHIBITION CATALOG
A 96-page color catalog of the exhibition is available through JCBA.
The catalog presents works from the exhibition, together with Venetia
Porter's complete foreword, as well as several essays by expert
scholars that explore the complexity of contemporary Iraqi art and
artists. It also includes artist biographies and statements. The
catalog, published by the University of North Texas, is an essential
reference source on contemporary Iraqi art, and contributes immensely
to the understanding of the development of modern Iraqi art through
controversial and debilitating times.
Minimum donation for the catalog is $25 for each book, with your
contributions benefitting the Jaffe Center for Book Arts. We thank
you for your support as we strive to bring you important and eye-
opening exhibitions such as this. It is entirely thanks to your
support that we can make these things possible. Meanwhile, I think
you'll find the catalog to be an invaluable resource.
Order catalogs by sending your check, payable to "FAU Foundation"
with "Jaffe Support Fund" written on the memo line, to:
Jaffe Center for Book Arts
Florida Atlantic University Libraries
777 Glades Road
Boca Raton, FL 33431
You may also purchase catalogs here at JCBA in person.
If you're not in our local area, you can get a sense of this
fascinating exhibition by visiting the JCBA website and viewing our
I can't stress what a difference it is to see these books in person.
I've spent the past four weeks with them as I've installed this show,
and have gotten to know them very well. Many are downright
breathtaking; some send shivers down the spine. The online
photographs really do not express what the actual pieces do. Still,
on our website you will find photos and information on a large number
of the pieces on exhibit, as well as a slideshow of the photos.
The Arthur & Mata Jaffe Center for Book Arts
Florida Atlantic University Wimberly Library
777 Glades Road
Boca Raton, Florida 33431
NOW ONLINE, The Bonefolder, Vol. 4, No. 2, 2008 at
For all your subscription questions, go to the
Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive.
See <http://www.philobiblon.com> for full information.