Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Dar Al Anda, Amman

I went to several galleries that are part of the Image Festival held by the French Institute in Amman. The first one was in the Electricity Hangar and it was very interesting. I loved being there because, besides the creativity of the photography artists, there was a video exhibit with the theme of chaos and had photos about the Russian invasion of Czech back in the 60s. That was particularly interesting to me because I had no idea about the area, the history or the time when I read a story by Milan Kundera that references Prague. I had a very interesting conversation with one of the artists, who was the winner, it was nice to hear from him how he works and thinks.

Yesterday I was in the Balad, specifically Basman Street which is famous for its electrical equipment shops. I was done with my electricity experiments and took a bus back to the University of Jordan area. Just 5 minutes after I got into the bus and it started moving I noticed an Image Festival banner. I had no idea that there was an Image Festival exhibit there. Being very tired and already paid the Bus driver I hesitated for a moment but of course I asked him to drop me. I went to the venue which happened to be the oldest historical house with the most integrity and learnt about the Diwan of the Duke ديوان الدوق. I was very happy to meet Mr. Bsharat who opened the historical place as a historical exhibit open to the public. There wasn't much art, but the place was interesting because of its age. I talked to some of the visitors and they told me about some Image festival exhibit that was particularly interesting and that ends today. I thought I must visit it.

That exhibit was at Dar Al Anda. So I went there and I saw interesting oil paintings of trees. I found a Home magazine from 1994. I thought, ok these are interesting but I must see more to be satisfied. I went downstairs and saw some old pictures of Amman from the early 1900s (around 1914-1989). There was a fantastic panoramic photo of the city from 1941, if I recall correctly, it was for 300JD, which is nothing for someone who really wants it.

I went back upstairs and past the oil painting of the trees. I went inside a tall and narrow rectangular and at one of its ends there was an office. I was just amazed by the variety of the arts there. Amazing Sudanese work: both paintings and what the artist called garad, I think, it was gourd in English. They were interesting half-globes that are used for drinking and also as a musical instrument in rural areas in Sudan. The artist, who I was very lucky to meet, told me about his technique and I shared with him my love for the art both his and others' that was presented there. He also has painting that uses more than a single material: oil-paint but also animal fur.

The show room also contained sculptures. The most interesting of which was a tap. I so wanted that one but I was shy to ask for its price.  In my mind, the tap fits perfectly on my desk as it is not so invasive and complicated, but simple with a flat squared base from which a pipe goes up and ends with a tap. The interesting part is that the tap is open and what comes out of it are birds, not water. That would add lots of imagination and vitality to my cold boring desk.

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