Lombard-Freid Projects is pleased to announce Heat Wave, a group show of works by Fikret Atay
(b.1976, Turkey), Bani Abidi (b. 1971, Pakistan), Maya Schindler (b. 1977, Israel), Mounira al Solh (b.
1978, Lebanon), Eko Nugroho (b. 1977, Indonesia) and Noa Charuvi (b. 1979, Israel). With a look to the
future, this will be the final exhibition in our location at 531 West 26th Street, before inaugurating our new
ground-floor space at 518 West 19th Street this September.
Heat Wave brings together six fresh voices from Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Pakistan and Turkey.
Though varied in terms of geography, language and tradition, these international artists are bound
generationally and unified by an interest in representing elements of cultural and political specificity
through expressions and symbols of the everyday. Using humor, critique, irony and introspection, the
work of each artist proposes a distinct strategy for active engagement – whether borrowing from popular
culture (Atay, Nugroho) or photojournalism (Charuvi), expanding the language of documentary into the
realm of fiction (al Solh) or examining tensions (Abidi) and repositories of national identity (Schindler).
Fikret Atay lives and works in his hometown of Batman, Turkey, a Kurdish city near the border with
Iraq. In his most recent video work, Batman vs. Batman (2009), the mayor of the city plays a superhero
who brings a lawsuit against Warner Bros. over rights to the name of the famed comic book character. As
with all his videos, narrative simplicity and modest filming techniques produce insightful works that insist
on their local context without being didactic. Recent exhibitions include, Fikret Atay, Viafarini, Milan,
Italy; Bonner Kunstverein, Germany; King of the Ring, E.N.S.A.D, Strasbourg, France; L’argent, Le
Plateau, Paris, France. Atay has participated in the biennales of Lyon, Istanbul, Sydney and Cairo.
Bani Abidi’s Karachi series (2009) treats one of the central dilemmas of Pakistani nationalism at the
level of quotidian experience. The six photographs that together constitute the series are all taken at dusk
during the month of Ramadan when observant Muslims break the ritual daily fast. Each photograph stages
an incongruous scene of a lone figure engaged in a domestic task under the glow of a street lamp. The
names of the photographed, as indicated in the titles, call attention to the fact that they belong to the non-
Muslim minorities (Christian, Hindu) in Pakistan. Abidi implicates the intersection of private and public
space as the site of the increasingly problematic conflicts of this multi-religious city. Recent exhibitions include the 10th Lyon Biennale, France; Hanging Fire: Contemporary Art from Pakistan, Asia Society,
NY; The View From Elsewhere, Queensland Art Gallery, Sydney; 7th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea.
Born in Jerusalem and living in New York, Maya Schindler addresses the aesthetics and semiotics of
political, social and linguistic boundaries. Included in the exhibition will be, Flags (2010), an installation
of seven flags made of fiberglass and thick layers of white acrylic paint. The raw materiality of the
colorless sculptural flags becomes a poignant way to reinvent a symbol and question expressions of
allegiance that are commonly taken for granted. Recent exhibitions include, Present Progressive,
California State University Art Museum, Long Beach; Seeing is Believing, Zaum Projects, Lisbon,
Portugal; Wishful Thinking Wishful, Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania.
Heat Wave will showcase two works from Mounira al Solh’s series, The Sea is a Stereo, which focuses
on a group of men who sit on the beach in Beirut everyday, without concern for weather or war. In the 13-
minute video, Paris without a Sea (2008), the boundaries between reality and fiction are blurred as the
artist interviews the men and then voices-over their lines herself. The comic effect of this technique and
light-hearted jest of the dialogue masks a more profound, yet present, reflection on the habits and routines
one holds onto in the face of uncertainty. A series of four photographs entitled Elvis (2009), depict the
gesture of one character showing the artist photographs of himself as a young man and of his son living
abroad with his family. Recent exhibitions include, Volkskrant Prize, Stedelijk Museum Scheidam,
Netherlands; 2009 Istanbul Biennial, Turkey; Be(com)ing Dutch, Van Abbemuseum, Netherlands and the
Lebanese Pavilion, 2007 Venice Biennale, Italy.
A native of Yogyakarta, Eko Nugroho is a self-made artist whose work has come to international
attention in the past several years. Working in a diverse range of media, from murals to shadow puppets,
video projections to paintings, Nugroho’s images reflect Indonesia’s politically charged environment
through fantastic and darkly humorous satires populated by surreal characters that fuse human, machine,
animal and plant. Featured in Heat Wave will be new pieces including a vibrant large-scale embroidery
and several smaller scale works of textile and watercolor, whose graphic comic book quality portrays
figures with alien-like heads. Recent exhibitions include, It’s all about Coalition, National Museum of
Singapore; 2009 Jakarta Biennial, Indonesia; Dorodoro, Doron!, Hiroshima Contemporary Art Museum,
Japan; 10th Lyon Biennale, France; Beyond the Dutch, Centraal Museum, Netherlands.
New York based, Israeli artist Noa Charuvi paints from photojournalistic images taken in Gaza. Her
colorful canvases abstract the demolished buildings ravaged by the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The Bedroom (2010) depicts the traces of life in what was once a domestic setting; furniture and
belongings are strewn across the interior as the torn walls expose the room as a destroyed landscape. The
site-specificity of the source images, in contrast with her process of deconstructing the photographed
forms creates a body of work that demands attention and observation.