Art Review: Mitra Tabrizian, ‘This is That Place’, Tate Britain, 3 June to 10 Aug ‘08

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Janet Rady writes: Running concurrently at Tate Britain with ‘Lure of the East’, is the photographic exhibition of the works of Mitra Tabrizian, the Iranian artist and film director, or as she prefers to be known, ‘cultural practitioner with a special interest in or concern for, Iran’.   (See Kazbah listing here)
Mitra Tabrizian. Road to Nowhere, from the series Borders 2005 - 2006

Scarcely known in the United Kingdom, Tabrizian has lived and worked in London since READ THE REST…

Dance Review: London Belly Dance Festival

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Michaella Wings of Isis Courtesy of Maani VadgamaIt’s 1030am on a grey Saturday, 12 April, Lemma Shehadi writes, and it’s the very start of the London Belly Dance Festival at the Cockpit Theatre near Marylebone organised by the glamorous Michaella pictured right.

Red, orange, pink sashes and glimpses of skin rush past, creating a jingle jangle from metallic sequins. Female voices chat speedily in Hebrew , each sound constantly on the move, twisting from one end of the room to the other. The occasional Arabic comes out elongated and emphasised “ooooooooooooh Ahlaaan!”(Hello) “ Yalla, yalla!” (let’s go, let’s go!).

Daniel Vice is the choreographer/art supervisor tiny, trim, tanned, his shoulders twist and hips bounce as he walks. “Hellooooooo, lovely to meet you, just wait here I’m going to get you a day pass” and everywhere he turns he is stopped READ THE REST…

Art Review: ORIENTS SANS FRONTIERES, Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton, Paris 9 February – 10 May

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ORIENTS SANS FRONTIERES, an Exhibition at the Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton, 60 rue de Bassano, 101 avenue des Champs Elysées, Paris, 8e, 9th February – 10th May 2008 

By Janet Rady.

Exhibiting artists:  Adel Abidin; Lida Abdul; Amal Saade; Joana Hadjithomas, Khalil Joreige; Malekeh Nayiny; Yin Xiuzhen; Mohammad Ali Talpur; Chen Shaoxiong; Bita Fayyazi; Abdessiam Oulahbib.

To utter the words ‘Orient’, ‘Frontiers’ ‘Silk Route’ and ‘Croisière Jaune’ (Yellow Journey), the legendary Citroën expedition, in one breath instantly evokes a certain exoticism; add the House   of Louis Vuitton and, finally, contemporary Middle Eastern / Asian art and you   cannot but avoid totally igniting your imagination. READ THE REST…

Music: Mehdi and his turbo Kalashnikov rocked the Kazbah

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MOMODownstairs at MOMO’s is the Kemia Bar, which opens its doors to the public every Tuesday for evenings of live music arranged by Enchanted Tunes – entrance is free, though capacity is limited so get there early. Tuesday 8th April saw the return of the Mehdi Haddab phenomenon.

“Éclate nous!” (Rock Us!) ordered Mourad Mazouz (MOMO) and that is exactly what happened as Mehdi and his new band, The Speed Caravan, shook the joint.  The Speed Caravan is Mehdi on Oud, Hermione on things digital, Pasco on bass and Bruno vocal/rap.

Mehdi, diminutive and bashful, clad in a retro leather jacket with catchy red and yellow stripes down its sleeves, took the stage and with few words began playing in an intense Hendrix like trance: eyes squeezed tight, hunched over his Oud as if the powerful chords and riffs emanated from his core in a blur of frenetic fingering and hand movements.  In his hands, Mehdi’s electric Oud is nothing less than a lethal weapon, electro rock “avec du désert”.


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