Rayyane Tabet: the arabesque as cultural appropriation between East and West

In Arabesque – the third exhibition of Building Cycles at Storefront for Art & Architecture – the Lebanese artist examines the migration of ideas through the language and the ornamental element.

“Arabesque”, hosted in Storefront for Art & Architecture, deals with the theme of the arabesque and the origin of this word. Terms such as grotesque, Moorish and Arabic, in fact, came into European languages starting from the sixteenth century; yet, there is no equivalent expression in Arabic. A linguistic paradox that bears witness to the cultural appropriation between East and West.

The concept of ideas’ migration is deepened by Rayyane Tabet through two stories: Julia Morgan (1872-1957), an American Arts and crafts movement’s representative – which weaves different architectural styles – and the Parisian professor Jules Bourgoin (1838-1908), who traveled to the Middle East and North Africa fora research on architectural details and ornaments, streamed into various publications.

Artist :
Rayyane Tabet
Storefront for Art & Architecture, 97 Kenmare Street, New York
Opening dates:
23 January-18 April 2020

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