Ismaili Centre reopens Zamana Space with major new exhibition by Kevork Mourad

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Installation view, Time Immemorial, Modern Art Museum of Yerevan, Armenia, 2018. Photo Ed Tadevossian, Courtesy Kevork Mourad

The Ismaili Centre’s Zamana Space, reopens to the public with an exciting new exhibition entitled, Seeing Through Babel, by Syrian-Armenian artist Kevork Mourad. Not only does this show mark Mourad’s UK premiere but significantly re-establishes the Centre as a key arts venue. Liakat Hasham, President of the Shia Imami Ismaili Council for the United Kingdom, says:

The Ismaili Centres are symbolic markers of the permanent presence and core values of Ismaili communities around the world. Incorporating spaces for social and cultural gatherings, intellectual engagement and reflection, as well as spiritual contemplation, they are bridges of friendship and understanding, and serve to enhance relationships among faith communities, government and civil society.

The Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims — generally known as the Ismailis — are a community of ethnically and culturally diverse peoples living in over 25 countries, mainly in Central and South Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, North America and Australia. They are united in their allegiance to His Highness the Aga Khan, the 49th hereditary Imam (spiritual leader) and direct descendant of Prophet Muhammad.

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Kevork Mourad. Photo Connie Tsang

This exhibition is presented in partnership with the Aga Khan Museum, Toronto. The Museum was established and developed by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), which is an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). The Museum’s mission is to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of the contribution that Muslim civilizations have made to world heritage while often reflecting, through both its permanent and temporary exhibitions, how cultures connect with one another.

Syrian-Armenian artist Kevork Mourad’s way of creating work is unique to himself, and this month — from now until June 30— visitors can witness him putting together a six-metre structure at the Ismaili Centre. The work will be completed by July 1, the official opening date, and will then be on display at the Centre’s Zamana Space until August, 2019.

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.

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.

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Exhibition dates: 1 July 2019–15 August 2019

Open invitation to view the artwork being created: 21–30 June 2019, 11am–6pm

Exhibition Launch/Private Press View: 1 July 2019, 6–8pm

Meet the Artist Public Day: 6 July 2019

The Ismaili Centre, 1 Cromwell Gardens Cromwell Gardens Entrance South Kensington, London SW7 2SL

For more information see: https://the.ismaili/united-kingdom/seeing-through-babel

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Freelance journalist covering fine art, photography, film and tech. UK based

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