American Qur'an

February 21, 2018 - 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
Sandow Birk
Ahmadieh Family Conference Hall

This presentation will outline Birk's project of hand-transcribing the entire Qur'an according to historic Islamic traditions and illuminating the text with relevant scenes from American life. Nine years in the making, the project was inspired by a decade of extended travel in Islamic regions of the world. Los Angeles artist Sandow Birk is a well-travelled graduate of the Otis/Parson's Art Institute. Frequently developed as expansive, multi-media projects, his works dealt with contemporary life in its entirety. With an emphasis on social issues, frequent themes of his past work include inner city violence, graffiti, political issues, travel, war, prisons, as well as surfing and skateboarding. Birk was the recipient of a 1995 NEA International Travel Grant to Mexico City to study mural painting, a 1996 Guggenheim Fellowship, and a 1997 Fulbright Fellowship to paint in Rio de Janeirio. In 1999, Birk was awarded a Getty Fellowship for painting and in 2001 he received a City of Los Angeles (COLA) Fellowship. In 2007, Birk was an artist in residence at the Smithsonian Institute and in 2009 he was in residence at the Cité Internatioale des Arts in Paris. Birk's most recent project involves a consideration of the Qur'an as relevant to contemporary life in America. This event is presented by the John Hope Franklin Center, and the Duke Islamic Studies Center. A light lunch will be served. Parking is available in nearby Trent Rd. and Erwin Rd. parking decks.

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