reACT - Shrapnel


Wednesday, 18th October 2017, 18:00 - 20:00


Curator: Mishelle Farer

Artist: Michael Erdman


Shrapnel is a sculptural installation born out of the artist’s passion for languages, writing systems and methods of expression. Shrapnel seeks to challenge the common media representation of Arabic and Arab culture as violent, conducive to civil strife and terrorism. Shrapnel hopes to problematize the manner in which Arabic language and culture - and, for that matter, any language and culture - comes to be associated exclusively with one subset of expression and production, rather than a reflection of human creativity and ingenuity. With this in mind, Shrapnel “assaults” the audience with an explosion of comical figurines based on the letters of the Perso-Arabic script and adorned with the headgear of various Muslim communities. The figures, made out of synthetic clay, are assembled in clusters spelling out common Arabic and Persian phrases, such as “Welcome” or “beautiful”. Shrapnel shows Arabic and other languages of Asia and Africa to be languages of wit, satire and exceptionally creative literary and cultural production.