Coverage, 2015

Excerpt from ‘The Rape of Memory’ by David Elliott:

Coverage, more than a play on words, is the title of the large fabric work with which this exhibition concludes. Decorative, geometric arabesques uniformly cover thirty-six differently coloured pieces of fabric, roughly the size of a scarf, a flag or a towel; over each of them the enlarged logo of the Qatar-based Al Jazeera Media Network is silkscreened. Shown together they create the impression of a screen of almost impenetrable tracery, or a curtain, a barrier.

 

With a reputation for accurate, unbiased reporting from the Middle East and worldwide, Al Jazeera is acknowledged as providing a balancing view from that of the western media. Broadcast in English, and a number of other languages, as well as Arabic, it has developed an authoritative voice. But like all powerful bodies, it is subject to criticism and, for the artist, the suspicion lingers that covering the news from whatever perspective necessarily means concealing facts or views, particularly when this relates to issues of gender and religion (the scarf) or nation (the flag). These not necessarily vexatious but complex issues have, in the pressure cooker of concealed interest and fundamentalism of all kinds, become flattened, simplified and reduced to appear as little more than faint impressions on different sides of the same worthless coin.

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