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"Arab Visual Art," the exhibition now up at Gemmayzeh's 392Rmeil393 Gallery, is comprised of 20-odd word-based, Plexiglas works, whose shapes matter as much as the meaning of the words themselves.Haidar's work is indebted to classical Arabic calligraphy, obviously, but also European linguistics.In his collection "Calligrammes," French writer and poet Guillaume Apollinaire described his work as "shape poetry". Published in the beginning of the 20th century, the typographic shape of his poems assumed the form of the poem's subject. These works can be referred to as "imagetext," Rola continued, a notion much used in philosophy and linguistics to describe visual works combining images and words.Explaining the importance of Arabic calligraphy in the classical Islamic arts, Jad stressed that his mother's art should not be considered something that is detached from this tradition but as an effort to bring new perspective to the classical forms.Each of these works has a different shape and different meaning.
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