Hyperallergic, the forum for playful, serious, and radical perspectives on art and culture have chosen Ibraaz‘s Uncommon Grounds as their best art book of 2014. Speaking about the book Hrag Vartanian said:
Some of the most powerful images of the last few years have been coming out of North Africa and West Asia. Images of decapitation, war, revolution, protest, and upheavel from MENA nations have been seen on countless screens the world over. Edited by the always insightful Anthony Downey, Uncommon Grounds is a good place to start for those seeking to understand the role of new media in the region. This isn’t a conventional art book, but an exploration of new media and its impact on a land often manipulated and colonized (particularly through images) by foreign forces. Omar Kholief writes about politics, media, and art after the Arab Uprising; Franco Berardi considers the ability to activate networks of solidarity outside of the sphere of the economy; and Nat Muller thinks through the meaning and impact of death on social media. Downey explains why all this is crucial: “If artists are going to respond to the immediacy of events, and who is to say they should not, we nevertheless need to remain alert to how the rhetoric of conflict and the spectacle of revolution is deployed as a benchmark for discussing, if not determining, the institutional and critical legitimacy of these practices.”
Other books on the list included Our America: Latino Presence in American Art and Winnie Wong Yin Wong’s Van Gogh on Demand. Read the article in full over at Hyperallergic.
Ibraaz is the leading online critical forum for contemporary visual culture in the Middle East and North Africa. Visit ibtauris.com/ibraaz for more details about our publishing partnership.