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Press Release
Talween

Opening: Thursday, September 24, 2020
Visiting Hours: 4 pm to 8 pm
Visiting Days: September 25 to December 15, 2020
Visiting Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 4 to 8 pm

Opening: Thursday, September 24, 2020
Visiting Hours: 4 pm to 8 pm
Visiting Days: September 25 to December 15, 2020
Visiting Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 4 to 8 pm

Opening: Thursday, September 24, 2020
Visiting Hours: 4 pm to 8 pm
Visiting Days: September 25 to December 15, 2020
Visiting Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 4 to 8 pm

Talween* is a framework suggested for the study of these works. It can provide an alternative perspective into the current pieces; one that can potentially differ from how the artists have viewed or described their work.

This approach is inspired by the Sufic term Talween, which refers to the spiritual transformation of human beings. As so, rather than what the artists state, or report, about the pieces, the approach focuses on the interactive consequences in the artist’s path in creating the work. Seen through this perspective, the artist can be compared to a mystical traveler who aims to explore and discover the truth whose absence is the very reason for the journey; one that will gradually take the artist to understand the inherent transformations and spiritual revolutions. We must also consider that the world is itself a traveler going through Talween (transformation), and as long as human beings are part of it, they too shall be subject to similar revolutions.

Perhaps this was best put centuries ago by Ibn Arabi in his Revelations, where he wrote that each traveler experiences a state of Tamkeen (submission) while going through Talween (transformation), meaning that the continuous spiritual journey has established itself in their heart and the traveler has submitted their spirit to the changing of states.

The artists, going through such transformations, have expressed their questions and answers, and while these themselves were put into the same cycle of change, concepts have reached a state of bareness and purity. In other words, the process has resulted in the expression of a truth, one inspired by the essence of Talween.

In addition to the visible traces of the aforementioned journey in the works and expressions of each of these artists, there appears to be certain parallels to our present-day society that are worth serious explorations and delving into their many aspects and layers. Surely, it cannot be claimed that the detailed approach is limited in scope and practice to these artists, and perhaps numerous contemporary artists with comparable concerns and styles can also be studied through a similar lens.

* Talween (lit. ‘to change by applying paint on’, ‘to change color), and Tamkeen (lit. ‘submission) are a pair of terms in Persian mysticism/Sufism that have been frequently used together in Sufic literature. Their initial introduction is generally attributed to the Persian mystic Al-Hallaj (c. 858-922), but they were later developed further by Abu Nasr as-Sarraj (d. 988), Khwaja Abdullah Ansari (1006-1088), and most notably Ibn Arabi (1165-1240). Although their definitions have varied through history, Talween, in essence, covers the many and different experiences or qualia of one (the mystical traveler) who is going through an allegorical journey in search of the (singular) truth and that travelers ability to discover and perceive each of those qualia while going through spiritual transformation phases. Meanwhile, Tamkeen is the state of complete acceptance of the establishment of those in the heart and submission to their enduring effect, while the traveler transcends into new realms.

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