Syrian-Armenian Artist Kevork Mourad Addresses Divisions in Humanity by Recreating Babel

Syrian-Armenian artist Kevork Mourad will create a six-metre hanging sculpture live in situ as part of his upcoming exhibition, Seeing Through Babel – and you’re invited to watch 

‘Where Babel separated, visual art connects,’ says Syrian-Armenian artist Kevork Mourad, who launches his solo exhibition, Seeing Through Babel, at The Ismaili Centre, South Kensington, this summer.

In the Old Testament story of Babel, mankind is punished for attempting to construct a tower to heaven, an act of hubris that led God to create multiple languages to prevent such collusions happening again.

For this exhibition – running from 1 July until 15 August 2019, in partnership with the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto – Mourad explores the story of Babel, using visual imagery as a means to connect people across the language divide.

Kevork Mourad will create a six-metre hanging sculpture in situ before the public prior to the exhibition launch (photo: Connie Tsang)

Making artworks in public is an integral part of Mourad’s practice, so as a prologue to the exhibition he will live create a six-metre hanging sculpture at the gallery between 21 June and 30 June, holding talks daily at 11.30am and 2.30pm.

The work, which uses the artist’s trademark techniques – monotypes and drawing onto the surface of the work – is designed to allow visitors to walk in and around it, allowing closer consideration of its themes.

‘I have often thought of the story of Babel, as it is said to be a moment that divided mankind’

‘I have often thought of this story, as it is said to be a moment that divided mankind,’ says Kevork, who was born in 1970 in Syria, studied in Aleppo, obtained his Masters of Fine Arts in Armenia and then moved to New York City to where he establish his practice. ‘I see it as a moment when diversity was created.’

Through visual language, his work ‘can connect people who speak different languages and come from different cultural backgrounds,’ he says.

A painter and video artist, Mourad has performed his animated and live visuals around the world, in places such as the Brooklyn Museum, Nara Museum in Japan, Art Institute of Chicago and Walt Disney Concert Hall, in a commission of Handel’s Israel in Egypt that was later performed by Master Voices in Carnegie Hall.

The exhibition will be installed in The Ismaili Centre’s Zamana Space, which reopens to the public with this exhibition. While you’re there, make sure to explore the world of jewellery, textiles and one-of-a-kind objects for sale at The Ismaili Centre, inspired by the Collections at the Aga Khan Museum (take a look at some of them in the photos below).

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Exhibition dates: 1 July-15 August 2019
Open invitation to view the artwork being created: 21-30 June 2019 (11am–6pm)
Exhibition Launch/Private Press View: 1 July 2019 (6-8pm)
Meet the Artist Public Day: 6 July 2019
Address: The Ismaili Centre, 1 Cromwell Gardens, Cromwell Gardens Entrance, South Kensington SW7 2SL
Further information:


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