The Arty Semite

Saudi Artist Criticized for Israel Exhibit

By Ezra Glinter

  • Print
  • Share Share
Detail from ‘Evolution of Man,’ Ahmet Mater, 2010.

An online petition is calling for the censure of Saudi artist Ahmet Mater for his participation in an Israeli art exhibit, The Art Newspaper reports. Mater, who is also a practicing medical doctor, is a prominent member of the contemporary Saudi art group known as “Edge of Arabia.” His best-known work, “Prognosis,” is a series that has been acquired by The British Museum.

The recent controversy concerns Mater’s 2010 work, “Evolution of Man,” which is currently on display as part of “West End,” an exhibit at Jerusalem’s Museum on the Seam. The museum is “a socio-political contemporary art museum” which, according to its website, seeks to “raise controversial social issues for public discussion.” Mater’s work consists of X-ray images showing the transformation of a gas pump into a person pointing a gun to his head.

The petition against Mater, which is to be presented to Saudie government officials, followed a series of critical posts on his Facebook page and accuses him of seeking the “normalisation” of relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel.

According to curator Raphie Etgar’s introduction to the exhibit, “Westend” seeks to examine the struggle between Islam and the West that has re-emerged in recent years. The exhibit includes seven non-Israeli Middle Eastern artists two of whom — Mater and Egyptian artist Moataz Nasr — still live in their home countries. According to Etgar, a private American collector lent Mater’s work to the museum, not the artist himself.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: West End, Saudi Art, Raphie Etgar, Museum on the Seam, Exhibits, Evolution of Man, Ahmet Mater

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.