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Rebels against taboos: Paris shows naked body in Arab art

Published time: April 11, 2012 14:38
Edited time: April 11, 2012 18:38
Paris displays nudity in Arab art (Mouvement décomposé, 2010, by Mehdi-Georges Lahlou)

Paris displays nudity in Arab art (Mouvement décomposé, 2010, by Mehdi-Georges Lahlou)

An art exhibition in Paris is trying to break age old taboos. ‘The Body Uncovered’ focuses on the naked body in Arab art.

­It’s being held at the Arab World Institute and is aimed at showing that despite religious restrictions and social censure towards Arab artists; many are still daring to express themselves.

The show “challenges the stereotypes usually associated with the Arab world that reduce it to the single image of religious fanaticism,” the institute’s chairman Renaud Muselier told AFP.

The organizers managed to attract some 70 modern and contemporary Arab artists to the project, which they feared might have failed to gather enough artwork. The 200 works feature the nude body, eroticism and even forbidden homosexuality through painting, photography, sculpture, video art and other mediums.

“We didn’t expect to find an iconography so rich and diverse and we were surprised that so many Arab artists address this question,” the show’s co-curator Philippe Cardinal told AFP.

Many of the artists were born in Arab countries, but now have moved to the West to work.

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