Axis of Light: Arts from the Middle East
Axis of Light — Eight Artists from the Middle East
Director: Pia Getty
Axis of Light is a journey across borders and histories into the work of eight eminent artists all closely attached to the Middle East and North Africa. From Jannane Al Ani's beautiful yet haunting marked landscapes to Ayman Baalbaki's large-scale paintings of war-affected buildings to Mona Saudi lovingly watering her stone sculptures or Rachid Koraïchi's homage to years of human mark making, viewers are transported between history, politics and poetry.
The histories unfolding are marked by war and exile — yet, as Baalbaki serenely notes, "It is difficult to put into words, but nonetheless [war/destruction] is something which becomes very natural, it makes up a part of your life." Throughout the film, nothing is presented sensationally: Shirin Neshat speaks of conflicting forces in her work, Mona Hatoum positively refers to "identities in flux" and Etel Adnan talks of a close by age when "the country will be the computer" while Youssef Nabil goes from exile to paradise. Interwoven with graceful calligraphic titles by Golnaz Fathi, the works are beautifully filmed and the artists have been subtly directed as to express themselves generously through accounts that seem a perfect balance between personal and universal.
Pia Getty's film projects include a series of filmed conversations, of women in search of peace, from around the world, which was followed by China Power — Art Now After Mao. Her most recent work is Axis of Light. A passionate filmmaker and environmentalist, she studied Art History at Georgetown University.