In the Old Testament story of Babel, mankind is punished for attempting to construct a tower to heaven, an act of hubris that led God to create multiple languages so as to prevent such collusions happening again. For this exhibition, Mourad explores the story of Babel, using visual imagery as a means to connect people across the language divide.
Making artworks in public is an integral part of Mourad’s practice, and it is his hope that many people will visit the gallery as he creates his six-metre hanging sculpture, Seeing Through Babel, between 21 June and 30 June, 11am-6pm. Mourad will also hold talks at 11.30am and at 2.30pm every day during this period. The work, which uses the artist’s trademark techniques – monotypes and drawing onto the surface of the work – is designed to allow visitors to walk in and around it, allowing closer consideration of its themes.
Observes Kevork: ‘I have often thought of this story, as it is said to be a moment that divided mankind. I see it as a moment when diversity was created.’ Describing his work, he points to how, through visual language, ‘it can connect people who speak different languages and come from different cultural backgrounds. Where Babel separated, visual art connects.’
Says Henry S. Kim, the Director and CEO of the Aga Khan Museum: ‘We are very pleased to be able to present an exhibition in London for the very first time and even more so that it is Kevork’s premiere in the city. He is an extraordinary artist who has developed a unique technique to tell stories visually.’
The exhibition will be installed in The Ismaili Centre’s Zamana Space, which reopens to the public with this exhibition. Liakat Hasham, President of the Shia Imami Ismaili Council for the United Kingdom, says: ‘The reopening of the Zamana Space after such a long hiatus is an important moment, as it offers the opportunity for The Ismaili Centre to contribute to the thriving arts corridor of Exhibition Road.’
The exhibition will launch on 1 July and opening hours will be Monday to Friday from 11am-6pm. The show is free to attend and booking is not required.
A video documenting the creation of Seeing Through Babel will be shown during the show.
In addition, visitors can also explore the world of jewellery, textiles and one of a kind objects for sale at the Centre inspired by the Collections at the Aga Khan Museum.