The Afghan Modern @RKD

Nigel Lendon Gallery Rugs 316_01_668

Perhaps it is only from the outside that one can decode aspects of the visual culture of a country like Afghanistan and formulate a proposition like “The Afghan Modern”. To propose an indigenous modernism within a distant culture is, inevitably, an act of cultural projection. And yet the bodies of work we have encountered beg the kind of formal analysis and iconographic interpretation that applies in any number of contemporary cross-cultural circumstances.

Nigel Lendon Gallery Rugs 316_05_668

Afghan Modern @RKD is a small exhibition of ten conflict carpets from Afghanistan at Nigel Lendon’s studio space (@RKD) at Wamboin, near Canberra. The exhibition may be viewed by appointment (iconophilia@gmail.com) until 24th March.

Nigel Lendon Gallery Rugs 316_03_668

The essay posted on Rugs of War summarises my thoughts about this group of Afghan conflict carpets produced in the years from 1988 to 1992, in which the dominant visual framing device is a map. Innovative in character, these carpets are distinct from other conventional uses of the map in the same medium during the same period, which I have written about elsewhere. These particular examples are, I suggest, artefacts that collectively constitute an instance of a regional, or indigenous, modernism which has emerged independent of any cultural dependency or external influence, and which signals a break with the continuity of local traditions. In this sense, at least, it is like any other modernism.

Nigel Lendon Gallery Rugs 316_04_668

continued HERE

2 comments ↓

#1 Launch of RKD… | glass central canberra on 03.16.16 at 10:46 am

[…] We couldn’t make it up for the opening, alas – which was fab by all accounts – but he’s just dropped a post into iconophilia (which, after all, is the next best thing to being there!) Check it out here. […]

#2 Body Politic – last days – Melissa Cameron on 04.21.16 at 10:59 am

[…] The ever-involved Meredith Hinchliffe has also reviewed the show for City Arts. Many thanks to her for her support. Also artist Nigel Lendon, who opened my exhibition, has a great website/blog, and writes about his collection of rugs from Afghanistan with militaristic motifs at this post The Afghan Modern @RKD. […]

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