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Iqra’

August 9, 2009

Syrian-Brazilian artist Hilal Sami Hilal: above, oxidized paper in cartographic brocades; below, Sheharzade (2007), elaborately intertwined books twist in and out of one another. He manages to translate what is rarely achieved: an ‘Orient’ in the Occident without carrying cultural deadweight baggage. And he executes it in the most extraordinary lightness. Even metal becomes a whisper in his hands. If I am gushing it is because I want to know more about this capixaba (from the state of Espírito Santo, Brazil). So far I have only found an exhibition book based on his work displayed at the Museum of Modern Art in Rio, and a few exhibit links (with pitifully small images) online, but he doesn’t have nearly the attention he deserves, in any language.

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