*HAMID KACHMAR: REVIVING THE ANCIENT TIFINAGH SCRIPT
DATES AND EVENTS: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 6 – SUNDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2013
OPENING RECEPTION: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 5:30–7:30PM
LOCATION: SHERMAN GALLERY (775 COMMONWEALTH AVENUE, BOSTON)*
In Reviving the Ancient Tifinagh Script, Kachmar renders the ancient Amazigh script, Tifinagh, into textual and visual compositions that represent a struggle for identity, cultural survival, and self-conception. For centuries, the Tifinagh script has been politically suppressed; painted out of Amazigh people’s collective consciousness. For Hamid and many other cultural activists of his generation, Tifinagh represents not just the ancient script of a still widely spoken indigenous language, but also a symbol of the struggle for cultural survival.
Kachmar’s materials and techniques evoke metaphors, moods, and expressions of his home country and his experiences abroad. Hamid uses the Tifinagh script and Amazigh motifs in written, painted, carved, and woven compositions that are sometimes overtly textual and sometimes purely visual without any semantic meanings. The artist states,
“Tifinagh script has been omnipresent in my work for more than two decades. It is a very intimate, loyal, and existential relationship that has linked the script of my mother tongue, Tamazigh, and me; a relationship that began at age thirteen when I first knew that my Amazigh “Berber” language had a script of its own.”
The exhibition is curated by Cynthia Becker, Associate Professor of Art History, in Boston University’s Department of History of Art and Architecture and presented as part of Boston University’s African Studies Center 60th Anniversary celebration.
PAINT THE TOWN MOROCCAN EXHIBITION
SPITALERI GALLERY AND ATRIUM GALLERY, APRIL 1 – MAY 28, 2012
In honor of the Academy Art Museum’s Paint the Town Moroccan! Fundraiser on May 5, a new three part Moroccan Exhibition has been installed.
The largest component of the show features mixed media pieces by Hamid Kachmar that draw upon the traditions of North Africa to create compelling symbolic forms. A second group of objects features traditional, intricately carved doors and screens on loan from The World Bank Art Program. The architectural elements reflect the strong craft traditions of Morocco. Finally, two photographs by Moroccan-born artist Lalla Essaydi, on loan from the International Finance Corporation, combine Arabic calligraphy and a strong contemporary esthetic.
The mixed media pieces of Hamid Kachmar reflect his inner view and understanding of the indigenous Amazigh visual language through patterns and symbols.
From the artist’s perspective, he seeks to convey the perceptual language of patterns and symbols represented in Amazigh cultural objects, especially the finely woven tapestry.
He has had numerous exhibitions in the USA as well as in Canada, France, Spain and Morocco. Many pieces have found their way into private collections.
*The Textile Museum of Canada, Toronto *
May 18-Nov.20 -2011
Magic Squares: The Patterned Imagination of Muslim Africa in Contemporary Culture
Taking the Textile Museum's permanent collection of African Islamic artifacts as its starting point, Magic Squares asks four contemporary artists – Jamelie Hassan, Hamid Kachmar, Alia Toor and Tim Whiten – to respond to the prevalence of the square in Muslim African art, in particular to the spiritual qualities associated with a shape that both reflects the universe (North, South, East, West) and can contain it (in spaces such as courtyards or game boards). Personally, I'm most excited to see how Kachmar and Toor, artists well known for their eye-popping interweaving of the spiritual and the sensual (not to mention the political), will respond to the TM's potent artifacts. Magic indeed.
March 24 to April 24-2010
Signs Symbols & Words a group show.
International Visions Gallery
March 19th 2010
Amazigh Culture in Spotlight at Conference in Washington
The Amazigh culture and language were the highlight last Friday at the George Washington University Elliot School of International Studies conference organized as part of a series of activities celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Washington Moroccan Club.
Several panels explored different aspects of the Amazigh language and culture. Participants included IRCAM's Agnaou Fatima Khalid Ansar, Fatima Sadiqi, CHAABIHI Ahmed Mustapha Jlok Belaid Akkaf which highlighted the work now being done at various research centers that make up the Royal Institute of Amazigh Culture (IRCAM). US based academics, researchers and artists such Abassi Abdelaziz, Driss Benmhend and Hamid Kachmar were also among the panelists at the conference.
"It is important to promote the Amazigh culture abroad and to show what Morocco has undertaken in the field of language promotion and Amazigh culture," said the rector of IRCAM, Mr. Ahmed Boukous.
"There is a very important work that has been achieved since the creation of IRCAM and which deserves to be known nationally and internationally as well," he added.
Despite the rosy pronouncement by Mr. Boukous in Washington, Several Amazigh language-rights groups have recently announced that Moroccan schools are falling short in teaching Amazigh to students despite agreements to incorporate Amazigh classes in all Moroccan schools. "Schools are having trouble teaching Amazigh to students for the required hours per week, as stipulated by an agreement between the Moroccan Ministry of Education and the Royal Institute of Amazigh Culture", said IRCAM member Ahmed Assid.
Other Interventions in the Washington conference focused on themes including "the Amazigh issue in Morocco," the teaching of Amazigh in Morocco: a constant challenge, "the transition from oral to written literature Amazigh and Translation" and on aspects of art and Amazigh music.
La culture amazighe à l'honneur lors d'une rencontre à Washington
Washington, 19/03/10 - La culture et la langue amazighes ont été mises en exergue, vendredi, à Washington lors d'une rencontre organisée dans le cadre des activités célébrant le 20-ème anniversaire du Washington Moroccan Club.
Le but de cette rencontre est de promouvoir la culture amazighe à l'étranger et surtout de montrer ce que le Maroc a entrepris dans le domaine de la promotion de la langue et de la culture amazighes, a indiqué le recteur de l'Institut Royal de la Culture Amazighe (IRCAM), M. Ahmed Boukous.
Il est important, a affirmé M. Boukous, de promouvoir à l'étranger ce qui a été réalisé au niveau de l'aménagement de la langue amazighe, en matière d'enseignement de la langue ainsi que de recherche scientifique sur la société, les coutumes, les traditions, la littérature et les expressions artistiques.
"Il y a un travail très important qui a été réalisé depuis la création de l'IRCAM et qui gagnerait à être connu au niveau national et international également", a-t-il ajouté.
Evoquant la question de l'enseignement de l'amazighe au Maroc, M. Boukous a relevé qu'il s'agit d'une expérience "très originale qui n'a pas son pareil au niveau international en matière de revitalisation de la langue et de la culture amazighe".
Il est important de souligner que le Maroc s'est engagé dans un processus démocratique, notamment dans le domaine culturel, a-t-il dit, estimant que le Royaume représente un modèle aux niveaux du Maghreb et international.
"Il n'y a aucun pays où les langues nationales soient autant reconnues et promues que dans le Maroc", a fait valoir M. Boukous.
Dans d'autres pays, "les langues nationales dites régionales ou minoritaires n'ont quasiment aucun statut et n'ont aucune place dans l'enseignement, ni dans les médias", souligne-t-il, rappelant au passage le lancement d'une chaine de télévision d'expression amazighe au Maroc, "un acquis extrêmement important et dont l'équivalent n'existe pas dans nombre de pays".
Le Maroc, poursuit-il, s'est distingué dans le domaine de la gestion de la diversité linguistique culturelle et est en parfait accord avec les conventions internationales, notamment la convention de l'UNESCO de 2005 sur la protection de la diversité culturelle.
La rencontre a connu des interventions de chercheurs de l'IRCAM, dont Fatima Agnaou, Khalid Ansar, Fatima Sadiqi, Ahmed Chaabihi, Mustapha Jlok, Belaid Akkaf qui ont mis en lumière les travaux réalisés et ceux qui sont en cours de réalisation dans les domaines spécifiques aux différents centres de recherche qui composent cet institut.
Des universitaires et chercheurs marocains installés aux Etats-Unis tels Abdelaziz Abassi, Driss Benmhend et Hamid Kachmar ont également été parmi les panelistes de cette rencontre.
Les interventions ont porté sur différents thèmes dont "la question amazighe au Maroc", "l'enseignement de l'amazighe au Maroc: un défi constant", "le passage de l'oral à la littérature écrite amazighe et à la traduction", ainsi que sur les aspects de l'art et la musique amazighes.
October 8 ,2009 to December 04 ,2009
Dislocation/Relocation/Diaspora: The Art of Hamid Kachmar will open in the Stone Center’s Robert and Sallie Brown Gallery and Museum on October 8 with a 7 p.m.
For more information, contact:
Upcoming exhibit : "Intricacies of Identities"
When: March 20th to April 14t
Where: Parish gallery, Georgetown
Who: Kachmar's mixed media solo show
The High Atlas Foundation's Fourth Annual Reception
Wednesday, October 15th 2008 • 6:00pm-8:00pm
At The Urban Center at the New York Palace Hotel
457 Madison Avenue, NYC
Hamid Kachmar, Mixed Techniques
Alan Keohane, Black and White Photography
Dennie Kirtley, Color Photography
Signed prints from The Butter Man
by the illustrator, Julie Klear Essakalli
Signed copies of The Butter Man book — a children’s story set in the High Atlas Mountains by Elizabeth Letts Alalou and Ali Alalou
*First African Regional Summit and Exhibition*
The National Gallery of Art is organizing the First African Regional Summit & Exhibition on Visual Arts with the central theme Promoting the Visual Arts for Sustainable Economic Growth and Development in Africa. The set Objective of the event is the promotion of visual Arts as a strategy for achieving rapid economic development in the African region as envisioned in the New Partnership for African Development. (NEPAD). The event has been scheduled for September 7-13, 2008 at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, Nigeria.
Among others, the event is designed to bring together about 1,500 leaders in business, politics, media, Government and the creative industry from Africa to discuss the key issues shaping the sector.
About 52 African countries have been invited to participate. The event will feature exhibition, invited paper presentation, business meetings, art networking, study tour of the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja) and its environs and summit state banquet.
March 30th to May 4th, 2008
NEW DOOR CREATIVE GALLERY
“Essence and Substance”: March 30 through May 4, 2008
Artist Reception: Sunday, March 30, 3-6PM Gallery Talk: Sunday, April 20, 3PM
BALTIMORE, MD –In “Essence and Substance”, Moroccan artist Hamid Kachmar weaves a wealth of cultural symbolism and imagery of the Amazigh (Berber) aesthetic and long tradition into a body of work that is fresh and modern. Many of the works by the mixed media painter appear to have been the finding of an archeological dig, suggestive of submerged memory or latent knowledge; gleaming relics that remind the viewer of something perhaps forgotten and happily remembered. The show includes works in a variety of scale and mixed media.
It is rare that an artist can achieve the kind of universal appeal independent of efforts toward commercial intent. Born in southeastern Morocco, the artist has exhibited throughout Europe and the United Sates. Deeply nurtured within the context of the Amazigh aesthetic that is rich in symbolism, pattern and color, and the son of a traditional weaver, Kachmar utilizes not only the variety of textile materials he often employs, but also expertly manipulates texture and metaphor into a warp and weft of functionality that transcends the object . This process is described by the artist:
“In process, I dialogue and negotiate with my materials that I consider as mystical gateways.
A deal is pursued to allow both myself and materials to express the mystery of our state of being.”
Kachmar’s inspiration is multifaceted, greatly influenced by his fascination of an ancient past. He aims however, to translate this fascination into works that are contemporary and relevant to the modern psyche. The objects and paintings that comprise this show demonstrate how deftly the artist travels between memory and ‘the now’ without loss in translation. Widely collected during the past ten years, the works of Kachmar have been exhibited throughout the United States, Spain, France and Morocco. He currently lectures on experimental studio and mixed media at Howard University in Washington, D.C.
Located in the Station North Arts District, New Door Creative Gallery features the work of abstract and conceptual artists. Hours are by appointment. For more information,
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March 2nd to March 18th, 2008
The Annual Howard University Faculty Show
Where: Parish Gallery-Georgetown
Who: Kachmar's new works will be exhibited.
So what? Get inspired!
Local Professors Display Talents Outside Classroom
By Marissa Amendolia | Mar 13 2008 | Art ,The Hoya,Georgetown University's Newspaper
Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of M Street, Parish Gallery is hosting a unique exhibit that defies the mantra of “Those who cannot do, teach.” Featuring the recent work of 13 members of the Howard University faculty, the exhibition “Visions and Voices” covers a range of media and genres, truly representing the diversity of the artists’ ideas and styles. The gallery presents the works in no particular order so that the different pieces of one artist or similarly-themed works are not necessarily found together, adding to the sense of a broad range of styles. The artists’ work goes to show that a university is the birthplace of ideas not only for students, but also for the faculty.
Several pieces carry strong political messages, such as those of Floyd Coleman, professor of art history, W.R. Owen-Hart, professor of ceramics and Reginald Pointer, assistant professor of ceramics. Coleman’s vivid and energetic pieces draw significance from their titles; without them, they are simply abstract art with vague meanings, but with them, they incite the viewer to analyze the works further. “Homage to Barack” is a small canvas with an abstract image of mixed media. Owen-Hart’s sculpture entitled “Katrina, the Shame of America” is the first piece one sees when walking into the quaint gallery, and it is one of the more memorable works. The sculpture is the shape of a woman’s abdomen, with representations of dollar bills at the base. On the back of the work, the image of Barbara Bush and an unsympathetic quote regarding the Hurricane Katrina evacuees stands as a foil to an evocative image of women cloaked in an American flag. Pointer’s work is reminiscent of — and possibly functional as — a chess set. However, the pieces of the set feature engraved faces with painful or distressed expressions, and the overall tone of the work is rugged and violent. “My current body of work is about communication, or the simple lack of it,” said Pointer in his artist’s statement. “Two forces coming together in harmony or in tension.”
Also on display are the folk art-esque works of lecturer Hamid Kachmar and professor Alfred Smith. Kachmar’s large, bold work features earth tones and interesting elements such as spoon heads and engraved hieroglyphics. “Materials like textiles, wood or paper and techniques I employ to construct my artworks are activities within which process became one with the meaning,” he explains in his artist’s statement, “sort of intertwining autobiographic references with metaphors of a universal order.” Kachmar was born in Morocco, and the influence of native art continues to play a strong role in his work, as evident from the pieces on display at the gallery. Smith’s work is similar in technique — he combines natural materials such as raw textiles with colorful beads and buttons in his work. His piece “Caribbean Grace” evokes exactly the emotion of the title; cheerful yet tranquil words and phrases printed on pink ribbon along with subtle rhinestones lighten up a base of painted natural textile.
Besides painting and sculpture, the gallery also features photography by lecturer Terry deBardelaben, professor Starmanda Bullock and production assistant Raven Featherstone — yet all of their work is distinctly unique. While deBardelaben’s installation of images features photographs of African children, Featherstone’s large panoramic work collages computer-edited pictures of urban structures. Bullock’s work, on the other hand, unmistakably draws inspiration from the work of Andy Warhol, with heavily enhanced images repeated in different tones across the artwork.
This display of the work of Howard University faculty is an annual event aimed at displaying the personal achievements of individuals that are often perceived as purely instructors, and whose personal artwork is often eclipsed by the many impressive accomplishments of their students. “I have known many of these artists over the years,” says Parish Gallery owner Norman Parish, “and it gives me great honor in presenting their creative talents to the commercial world of fine art.” But this year’s “Visions and Voices” stands as a particularly interesting look into the diversity of backgrounds and inspirations of the various artists. To their students, each artist may just be another professor. But, as “Visions and Voices” illustrates, just as each has a unique teaching style, each has a distinct artistic style.
September 5-6, 2007:
Guest speaker and artist in residence at Radford University, Radford Virginia.
June 2- June 30, 2007:
Group show " Memory as Future" to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Children's Studio School of the Arts and Architecure at Urban Arts complex Gallery,
Mei-Mei Chang,Chinedu F.Osuchukwu, Floyd Coleman,Jose Cuevas, David C.Driskell, Irma Fransic,Hamid Kachmar,Malia Kai,Kweli Smith, Rogelio Maxwell,Jenny Parker,James Phillips,Kebeech Tekleab, Desepe deVargas,Franklin Wassmer.Elizabeth Wyrsch.
May 20, 2007 at 2:30 pm
Panel discussion " Body of Evidence" at The National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian.
Moderator: Norman Parish
Panelists: Floyd Coleman
April 4 -June 30, 2007:
Faculty show at Howard university art gallery.
March 16-April 17, 2007
Solo show "Transculturality in Wool, Wood and Words" at Parish Gallery in Georgetown.