Week 7 Activity: Visiting LACMA museum

This week’s activity is visiting a museum. I visited the LACMA museum for this activity, and I enjoyed a lot of the different art works there. We can see many different art work like contemporary, modern, Islamic,… in this museum. I enjoyed seeing all the works of arts that the museum displayed and they were all wonderful, however there was one piece that stood out to me completely. I found it astonishing that there was an “Islamic Art Now: Contemporary Art of the Middle East” because I did not know that I could find Middle Eastern art here in the States.

Out of the whole exhibit an artist and his art stood out to me and moved me emotionally when I looked at his artwork. Wafaa Bilal is an Iraqi American and many of his pieces of art are displayed here at the LACMA, but his artwork “Chair” is what moved me the most because of the different types of forms that can be found in the photograph. The art work “Chair” is a photograph that is simple at first look, yet has a lot of meaning and clues to the war back in the Middle East when you go to the details.

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His art work “Chair” is a photograph that stands out to me the most because of how simple it is, yet how much meaning and clues it has to the war back in the Middle East. At first glance it looks like just an ordinary chair, it is dusty, and there is no one around. Not that much to look at on the surface. However, because I know about the history of the Iraq war and how I am affected by it, the picture is tremendously significant and symbolic to me. When examined closer I realize that there is light gray ash on the ground, cracks and holes in the wall, and an extravagant chair covered in dust.

Another pictures that was interesting for me, was Rumia. In this photograph a partially nude woman covers her breasts with lemons while brazenly posing in front of an Ottoman fountain and colorful tilework; the composition evokes nineteenth-century Orientalist paintings in which the imagined exoticism or “otherness” of the Middle East reflected a Western fantasy of the East, especially its women. The scene recalls a favorite Orientalist theme of ladies of the harem bathing, but the actual setting appears to be the Rockefeller Archaeological Museum in Jerusalem.

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