Dongola Limited Editions – artnet article – Cities Under Quarantine

Dongola Limited Editions – artnet article – Cities Under Quarantine

Despite the Beirut Blast, a Lebanese Publisher Is Forging Ahead With a Project to Unite 50 International Middle Eastern Artists

Each artist involved in the effort is creating an artist’s book documenting their life in the past few months

Before the explosions of August 4 hit Beirut, Abed Al Kadiri, a Lebanese artist known for his large-scale paintings about Middle Eastern social issues, was gathering materials for “Cities Under Quarantine: The Mailbox Project,” a planned show featuring works created during lockdown by more than 50 Middle Eastern artists.

His aim was to find a gallery where the works, which highlight the survival of creativity during moments of crisis, could be shown to the rest of the world.

“Right before the Beirut explosion, we were in the midst of creating an online platform to communicate with museums and institutions that would be interested” in the works, Al Kadiri told Artnet News from Beirut.

But the blast that rocked the city—and which even destroyed his own exhibition, “The Remains of the Last Rose,” at Galerie Tanit—put everything on hold.

Al Kadiri is now creating a new body of work to raise money to help rebuild Beirut’s most affected areas. But the Mailbox Project is still a top priority.

In April, when much of the world was under lockdown, Al Kadiri mailed out more than 50 blank books to Middle Eastern artists around the world working in isolation.

Each was handmade and hand-stitched in-house at Dongola, the publishing company Al Kadiri co-founded, and designed with each individual artist in mind by Reza Abedini.

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Dongola Limited Editions – artnet article – Cities Under Quarantine