MAPping the world through art

Guggenheim UBS MAP

This Global Art Initiative amplifies exposure and access to contemporary art from three culturally dynamic regions: South and Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa. MAP exhibitions, customized education programs, artist projects, and online materials help focus attention on vibrant artistic practices in each region and foster lasting relationships among artists, institutions, scholars, and visitors.

Guggenheim honors art from Middle East and North Africa with the exhibition "But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise: Contemporary Art of the Middle East and North Africa"

The exhibition, which represents the third phase of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative, is organized by curator Sara Raza and opens April 29 at the Guggenheim Museum in New York . It will then travel to Pera Museum in Istanbul in 2017.

Sara Raza

Sara Raza, Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, Middle East and North Africa

About the exhibition

The exhibition underscores an important central question: How is the designation “Middle East” defined and understood both regionally and internationally? But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise considers the impact of historical colonization and present-day globalization, and examines how the region is marked by its intertwined histories and its social, religious, cultural, and creative traditions.

The exhibition includes installation, painting, photography, sculpture, video, and work on paper, and examines a range of topics emerging from Raza’s curatorial investigations pertaining to themes of origin, migration, the expression of ideology through architecture, and the excavation of buried meaning.

As with all phases of the MAP initiative, But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise features artworks that have been recently acquired for the Guggenheim’s permanent collection under the auspices of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund. Curatorial research for the exhibition was developed with an eye toward building on the Guggenheim’s distinguished history of internationalism, as well as providing new scholarship on visual culture from the Middle East and North Africa and its diaspora.