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Thursday, May 11, 2006


55. Palestine-Kamal Bulata
"Revolution" by Kamal Boullata

The reason I'm so passionate about art is not because it's beautiful, because I strongly believe that art doesn't necessarily have to be beautiful. The reason also isn't because art inspires me, nor is it because art is an expression of human creativity. I'm passionate about art because I see the story of civilization in art.

Does that make me a smart ass? Or does it mean that I am anxious to find a deeper identity? Maybe it's because it helped me formulate myself, or perhaps I find relief from frustration in the one thing that stands as proof of my ideals. I don't know. I can't explain.

I should sit down once and try to articulate these thoughts. At the moment though, I'm anxious to express these feelings, but I find myself incapable in my current state of mind, so I will quote from a book about Kamal Boullata, a contemporary Palestinian artist:

"Behind this passion for geometry lies the tradition of icon painting which forged the beginnings of his artistic training, a tradition that has maintained a venerable continuity between Byzantinium and the Arab Islamic civilizations of the Middle East. Indeed, a correspondence necessarily manifests itself through this common heritage, where the contemporary artist leaves a trace of the secret of his initiation, of his voyage to the distant past.
"Centuries ago the same language of geometry was employed in my culture of origin". In a brightly colored acrylic work titled "Jacob's Ladder," Boullata uses color and geometry to reflect the architecture, tilework and light of Palestine, and uses the title of the piece to evoke the three monotheistic religions."

Does that make sense? Is it possible to relate the above excerpt to what I said?
During this time of intolerance and inability to celebrate diversity, art is the only satisfaction that allows me to freely indulge in the continuity of civilizations in the part of the world that my being stems from.

By combining Byzantinium with Arabo-Islamic influencs, Boullata celebrates what most of us forget.

We need a revolution of thought.

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