The Center for Book Arts is beyond excited to be organizing our next exhibition, Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here, in collaboration with Alwan for the Arts, Columbia University Libraries, International Print Center New York, and Poets House. Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here assembles artists’ responses to the tragic 2007 bombing that resulted in the destruction of al-Mutanabbi Street, a cultural and intellectual hub in Baghdad. The street was named after al-Mutanabbi, a famous Iraqui poet, and was renowned for its many bookstores.
|Al-Mutanabbi Street before the bombing|
Following the attack, poet and bookseller Beau Beausoleil founded the Al-Mutanabbi Street Coalition. He co-produced this major traveling exhibition with Sarah Bodman, Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Fine Print Research in Bristol, UK. They put out a call for book artists to contribute work reflecting the idea that “reflected both the strength and fragility of books, but also showed the endurance of the ideas within them.” They received over 250 contributions of artists’ books. Each artist was asked to submit three copies of their work, to allow for simultaneous tours in Europe and the US. The third set will be donated to the Iraq National Library.
The Center’s portion of the exhibition will open on July 10th. The International Print Center New York (IPCNY) is already displaying a preview of the show, and the show will open at the other locations on different dates throughout July. The complete schedule is on our website here. So make sure to visit all 4 locations! And, in the meantime, here is a preview of some of the work that will be on display:
|Fractured Terrain by Karen Kunc|
|By Marcela Peral|
|A Sun-book By Bettina Pauly|
|By Ama Bolton|