Artists featured in In this Moonless Black Night
Ammar Al Beik
b. 1972, Damascus, Syria; lives in Berlin, Germany
Working in a variety of media, Ammar Al Beik creates narratives through subtle nuances often alluding to sociopolitical issues. Inspired by his surroundings, Al Beik seeks to reveal the complexities of human relationships.
Born in Damascus in 1972, Ammar Al Beik developed an early passion for photography, later branching out to work with cinematography and installation. He is currently working on his integrated PhD in the Philosophy of Art, researching thus far across Tokyo, Berlin and Rolle. In many of his projects, he has focused on Syria, including the instability of society under political repression, the popular resistance that led up to the war and the subject of exile. His photographic works are recognisable for their frequently shocking or unsettling narrative based subject matter and their experimental lens.
Exhibiting and screening his work, Al Beik has produced and directed 10 films, participated in more than 50 international film festivals and been awarded a number of prizes. His works are housed in private and public collections such as the Centre Pompidou; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, LACMA; and Museum of Modern Art, MoMA, New York; Collections Arte, Strasbourg, France; BBC, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris and The Samawi Collection, Dubai.
Azza Abo Rebieh
b. 1980, Hama, Syria; lives in Beirut, Lebanon
Azza Abo Rebieh is a Syrian artist and printmaker who graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Damascus in 2002 and is recently based in Beirut. She was the Artist Protection Fund fellow at the American Academy in Rome for 4 months (2019-2020), and the winner of the first prize of the Youth Printmakers in Damascus. Her drawings have been exhibited internationally including at The Drawing Center, New York and a solo exhibition in 392 Rmeil 393 Gallery, Beirut. Her collection, “TRACES” was presented at King’s College London and Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris. Rebieh’s artwork was obtained by The British Museum in London in 2014, as well as The Ostrobothnian Museum in Vaasa, Finland.
b. 1986, Paris, France; lives in Paris, France
Born to Syrian parents in Paris in 1986, Bady Dalloul is a French-Syrian multimedia artist whose work reflects a strong socio-political and historical dimension. His practice both confronts and brings together the imaginary and the real, while challenging the process of writing history.
Dalloul graduated from the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris in 2015 with honors from the jury. His work has been exhibited at the MAC/VAL (2017), the Arab World Institute, the Gulbenkian Foundation (2018), the Palais de Tokyo (2020) and IVAM of Valencia (2020). In 2017, he was nominated for the Prix découverte des Amis du Palais de Tokyo, and in 2018 he was awarded the Prix des Amis de lʼIMA. His work is part of the collections of the Arab Museum of Modern Art (Mathaf) Qatar, MAC/VAL, the Kadist Foundation, the Frac Île-de-France and the Institut du Monde Arabe.
b. 1988, Minneapolis, MN; lives in Saint Paul, MN
Essma Imady is an installation and film artist based in the Twin Cities. Her practice addresses the political aspects of the personal, the formation of identities, and the complicated political relationship between vision and knowledge. Essma grew up in Damascus, Syria, where she started her career in 2009. Due to the war, she moved to Minnesota in 2011 where she continued to expand her vision as an artist.
She has exhibited and performed at several key galleries and museums both nationally and internationally including: The Minneapolis Institute of Art, The Walker Art Center and in 2018 was named Artist of the Year by the Twin Cities publication, City Pages.
b. 1983 Bani Walid, Libya; lives in Munich and Berlin
Born in 1983 in Libya, Hiba Al-Ansari is a young emerging Syrian artist who currently lives and works in Munich and Berlin. Her practice, which consists of sculpture, installation, photography and mixed media, focuses on a deeply personal lending of physical shape to the human experience of war, as the human remains obscured in her multi-media practices. The artist explores the spaces and materials which belong to the country she has left behind, and through her works communicates war as an everyday reality.
From 2005 to 2008, she completed a painting and sculpture study at Adham Ismail and Walid Ezzat Institute of Fine Arts in Damascus. From 2007 to 2012 she studied oil painting at the Academy of Fine Arts Damascus. From 2014 she continued her studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich in the class of Gregor Schneider and received her diploma in sculpture in 2017.
b. 1970, Qameshli, Syria; lives in New York, NY
Born in Qameshli, Kevork Mourad is a visual artist best known for his technique of live drawing and animation on stage with musicians, in which art and music harmonize with each other. Sanctuary City III was inspired by the idea that certain cities have declared themselves safe spaces for refugees and migrants. Mourad sought to create a piece with layers one can imagine slipping into and feeling shielded by. The work is inspired by the mosaic architectural elements that form his visual representation of Aleppo, the city he grew up in, as well as the city where his Armenian ancestors took refuge over a hundred years ago.
Mourad received his MFA from the Yerevan Institute of Fine Arts in Armenia and has held resident teaching artist positions at Brandeis University, Harvard University and the College of the Holy Cross. He is a member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble and is featured in the film Music of Strangers (2016). He has performed nationally and internationally, including at The Aga Khan Museum, Toronto; The Art Institute of Chicago; The Brooklyn Museum of Art; Carnegie Hall; Nara Museum, Japan; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
b.1976, Damascus, Syria; lives in Berlin, Germany
Born in 1976, Khaled Barakeh is a Berlin-based Syrian conceptual artist and cultural activist. Driven by his observations of longstanding social injustice, Barakeh approaches creative practice as a tool for societal change; manipulating commonplace visual and cultural touchstones to expose and undermine stagnant power structures.
Barakeh graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Damascus, Syria in 2005, and completed his MFA in 2010 at Funen Art Academy in Odense, Denmark, and a Meisterschuler study in 2013 at the Städelschule Art Academy in Frankfurt, Germany. In a recent major shift in his practice, Barakeh developed coculture in 2017 - a non-for-profit umbrella organisation with a suite of initiatives that leverage artistic thinking to directly address issues of contemporary mass migration. Among these projects is the SYRIA Cultural Index and the Syrian Biennale. Barakeh has exhibited at Hamburger Kunsthalle, The 11th Shanghai Biennale, The Frankfurter Kunstverein, Salt Istanbul, The Busan Biennale, State Gallery of Lower Austria, Krems and MKG Hamburg, among many others.
b. 1986 Damascus, Syria; lives in Tucson, AZ
Born in 1986 in Damascus, Syria, Lara Haddad is a Syrian multimedia artist and photographer, whose work examines displaced identities and their relationship to popular ideologies and propaganda. Her work is inspired by news media images whether appropriated in her multimedia installations or referenced in her photographic work.
Hadded came to the United States for a visit in 2012, and did not return to Syria. In 2016, she received an MFA in Photography from the University of Arizona. She has participated in group exhibitions internationally, including at Cini Foundation, Venice, Italy; Steinfeld Warehouse Tucson, AZ; Colorado Photographic Art Center, Denver; and the Middle East Center, London School of Economics.
b. 1984, Damascus, Syria; lives in New Haven, CT
A Syrian-American artist and architect, Mohamad Hafez was born in Damascus, raised in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and educated in the Midwestern United States. Expressing the juxtaposition of East and West within him, Hafez’s art reflects the political turmoil in the Middle East through the compilation of found objects, paint and scrap metal. Using his architectural skills, Hafez creates surrealistic Middle Eastern streetscapes that are architectural in their appearance yet politically charged in their content.
Hafez is the recipient of a 2018 Connecticut Arts Hero Award for his extensive and continuous body of work on issues such as the Syrian civil war, the worldwide refugee crisis, and an overall desire to counter hate speech. He currently serves as a 2018 Yale University Silliman College Fellow, Interpreter in Residence at U-Chicago Oriental Institute, and artist-in-residence at the Keller Center of Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago. His artwork has recently been featured in several highly acclaimed exhibitions and profiled on National Public Radio, The New York Times, The Guardian, and The New Yorker. In 2019, he was selected as one of the 40 under 40 artists in the Middle East by London’s Apollo Magazine.
b. 1981, Swaida Al-Kafer, Syria; lives in Paris, France
Nagham Hodaifa is a Syrian artist whose drawings and paintings address the theme of female temporality transmitted through gifts. Most of her paintings dealing with this subject are of the artist’s height, but are intentionally headless and faceless.
Born in Syria in 1981, Nagham Hodaifa graduated from the Department of Painting, Faculty of Fine Arts, Damascus University and received her PhD in contemporary art history from the Paris-Sorbonne University. She has held many exhibitions and performances, sometimes creating multi-disciplinary events by combining painting with music, dance, poetry and calligraphy.
b. 1984, Hama, Syria; lives in Paris, France
Born in 1984, Nour Asalia is a Syrian researcher and artist who has lived and worked in Paris since 2011. As a PhD student at Esthétique, Sciences et Technologies des Arts at Paris VIII University, she works under the direction of Paul-Louis Rinuy on the notion of fragility in sculpture in the first half of the 20th century. She is particularly interested in contemporary Syrian art and her articles have been published on the sites of OrientXXI and Atassi Foundation. She has been a member of the Caravane Culturelle Syrienne since 2016.
Asalia graduated from the School of Fine Arts in Damascus in 2006 with a Specialized Graduate Diploma in Sculpture. In 2013, she received a Master 2 in Aesthetics and History of Contemporary Arts from Paris 8 University. Between 2009 and 2010 Asalia was a teacher at the Ecole des Beaux -Arts in Al-Swaidaa, Syria.
b. 1968, Damascus, Syria; lives in Paris, France
Oroubah Dieb is a visual artist born in 1968 in Damascus, Syria. Since graduating from the Institute of Practical Arts in Damascus in 1991, she has created many important works and has exhibited in numerous art galleries around the world. Since her arrival in France in 2016, she has focused on working with a chisel brush, approaching the subjects of exile, refugee camps, women and children.
Dieb also conducts support and prevention projects in refugee camps in Lebanon and runs workshops for children. She exhibits at the International Women Film Festival of Créteil, at Saint Briac, at the Cité Internationale des Arts – Site de Montmartre (for the festival Visions of Exile 2018), at the Pavillon Carré de Baudouin (for the festival Visions of Exile 2020). She has been a member of the agency of artists in exile since 2017.
b. 1970, Damascus, Syria; lives in Minneapolis, MN
Born in Damascus in 1970, Esid is known predominantly for his work photographing Arab communities and imploring the waning techniques of earliest photographers; in its modern context his legacy is a memory of trapped light on paper. Esid studied photography at the Technical Institute of Damascus. In 1994 he left Syria for Paris; in 1996 he moved to the United States where he currently resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Osama Esid’s work is exhibited in Africa, North America, Europe and the Middle East. He is a fellow of the McKnight foundation from Franklin Artworks in Minneapolis. In 2010 his work was acquired by the Tropen Museum in Amsterdam for its permanent collection and was part of Art FIFA World Cup. Esid has also presented his prints in international art fairs such as Art Hong Kong, Art Shangai, Art Dubai and Paris Photo. In 2013 he judged the Minnesota Fine Arts Fair. His most recent series, Solomon’s Tent, is a public exhibition by Northern Sparks in Minneapolis and Hafez Gallery in Saudi Arabia; his process has been featured on Minnesota Public Radio and TBT Minnesota Public Broadcasting Station.
b. 1980 Damascus, Syria; lives in Germany
Born in Damascus, Syria in 1980, Tammam Azzam received his artistic training from the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Damascus with a concentration in oil painting. His works are based on photographs coming together like chaotic mosaics which unfold into powerful abstractions resembling people, buildings, structures and disasters. Though Azzam captures a kind of chaos in his works, he also focuses upon the constructive nature of the synthesis.
Azzam first gained attention in 2013 when he was forced to leave his studio in Syria and began making digital photomontages in Dubai. In 2016, Tammam relocated to Germany to begin a residency at the Institute of Advanced Studies in Delmenhorst. Here he commenced an artistic phase exploring new materials and techniques in which he employed both painting and collage, riding the barrier between figurative and abstract art.