Exhibition documenting US culture, issues opens at national gallery

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An exhibition documenting US culture and divides at the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts in Amman on October 23, 2021. (Photo: Handout from the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts)
AMMAN — The Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts recently opened a photography exhibition documenting different aspects of the US.اضافة اعلان

The “I Hear America Singing” exhibition features contemporary photography from the US and deconstructs the idea of the country having a singular national identity and conveys the United States kaleidoscopic diversity. 

Through a combination of digital, analogue, conceptual, and archival approaches, the photographers exhibited offer a nuanced landscape of American identity and its ideological elisions. Their work helps to broaden the lexicon of the country’s visual culture and the people it represents. 

“One of the museum’s goals is to receive foreign exhibitions and hold exhibitions from Jordan and the Arab world outside Jordan,” Khalid Khreis, director general of the national gallery, said in an interview with Jordan News
He said that the exhibition features 16 male and female artists from various states in the US, and it is a critical expression of the reality that America is experiencing now “with cultural pluralism.” 

Each artist tackles a specific topic, but the exhibition was divided into three main genres of photography — landscape, portraiture, and American history that deal with some of the problems existing in America.

 “There are many exhibits, but for me and a large number of the audience, the exhibits of Alex Maclean were liked the most,” Khreis said. “He worked on a series of agricultural places from the air — pictures of barren places in the year 2016, and arid lands in 2009 demonstrate a tension between civilization and nature.” 

“This expresses human intervention in nature and the destruction of natural places in building residential places or malls, some exhibits include depicting the historical heritage by representing the indigenous Americans, and some artists also dealt with political topics such as refugees and racism,” he said.
The director general said that “there is a belief that everything that comes from America is bad, no; and on the contrary, there are many good things that come from them, such as fine art.”

“Photographers are pioneers,” he said, adding that the exhibition aims to show the reality of US culture and the photographers’ unwillingness “to sacrifice the principles and values for which America was established on.” 

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