de Saisset Museum

South Bay's free museum of art and history

The Veil: Visible and Invisible Spaces

January 15 - March 11, 2011


This traveling exhibition features more than thirty works of art that explore the veil in its broadest and most universal contexts. Organized into three thematic sectionsthe sacred veil, the sensuous veil, and the sociopolitical veilthe show aims to transcend current  clichés and stereotypes of Islamic practices and to investigate the importance of the veil throughout human history.

The veiling of women, men, and sacred places has existed in countless cultures and religions throughout history. Veiling expands far beyond Islam and the Middle East, yet is vastly misunderstood and today it is a battleground for power and political agendas. The artists included in this exhibition examine issues such as modesty, oppression, liberation, freedom of expression, spirituality, nature, and magic. They represent diverse backgrounds, spiritual practices, and points of view. Through their work, the artists in this show challenge, condemn, embrace, and praise the veil.

A visual companion to the curator Jennifer Heath's edited volume, The Veil: Women Writers on its History, Lore, and Politics (University of California Press, 2008), this exhibition includes works in a variety of mediums, including painting, sculpture, photography, installation, and new media.

Artists in the exhibition include Sama Alshaibi, Tulu Bayar, Tiffany Besonen, Elizabeth Bisbing, Christine Breslin, Jo-Ann Brody, Fatma Charfi, Juliet Davis, Rebecca DiDomenico, Yassi Golshani, Ana Maria Hernando, Valari Jack, Tsehai Johnson, Tania Kamal-Eldin, Deb King, Mary Kite and Ana Baer-Carillo, Shakuntala Kulkarni, Anita Kunz, Judith Selby Lang, Victoria May, Aphrodite Desirée Navab, Brenda Oelbaum, Sara Rahbar, Larissa Sansour, Mary Tuma, Kim Turos, Kerry Vander Meer, Eve Whittaker, Sherry Wiggins, and Helen Zughaib. In addition, The Veil features the 23 artist portfolio, Reinterpreting the Middle East, in book form.

Generous support for The Veil: Visible and Invisible Spaces provided by The Boulder Arts Commission and The Puffin Foundation, Ltd., with special thanks to Firyal Alshalabi, Mercury Framing, and Women's Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality (WISE).

Images, left to right: Anitz Kunz, Girls Will Be Girls, pigment print. Mary Tuma, Homes for the Disembodied, 50 continuous yards of silk.


The Veil: Visible and Invisible Spaces

Visit the official exhibition website and find out where The Veil is showing next.