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Visual Sirens: Collections of Final Warnings curated by David Najib Kasir

Sep 18–Jan 23, 2022

7:00am–12:00 am

AIR Space,

The Space

Art has always stood as a document of the time and conceptual space in which it was created. Visual Sirens: Collections of Final Warnings brings together eight artists who, in the past twenty years, have endured life through several wars, political upheavals, environmental catastrophes, racial divides, genocides, ethnocides, civil wars, and a global pandemic.

Announcing simultaneously the mortal plight and longevity of their cultures and cultural achievements, the artists endeavor to document, build a communicative and narrative understanding, and, most significantly, to sound the alarm for change towards a better world. Through paintings, sculptures, and installation works this exhibition considers positive cultural innovations alongside their historical and contemporary cultural destruction, and in the process, ask the question: how can we look away?

This exhibition is guest curated by David Najib Kasir, a Milwaukee-based painter whose work is comprised of personal narratives and cultural history or events. In recent years, Kasir's work draws on stories from his parents’ journey to the U.S. and the current crisis from where they migrated (his mother migrated from Syria, and his father, Iraq). As an artist born here, Kasir reveals his cultural identity in paint and designs to inform viewers on the recent wars in Syria, in hopes of helping them develop an understanding of the millions of voiceless Arabs now living in chaos and disarray.

By using beautiful traditional Arab designs called Zellige to dress the figures in his work, Kasir shows the beauty of a culture and the tragedy as families try to hold on to it and each other as everything around them falls apart.

Kasir has a BFA in painting from Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (2001) and is the proud father of two young adult daughters (one being an artist themselves).

Artists on display include: David Najib Kasir, Waldek Dynerman, Valaria Tatera, Assaf Evron, SaraNoa Mark, Samuel Youssef, Nadia Khallouki, and Bahar Sabzevari.


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