Syrian-born, Atlanta-based artist Mousa (Nabil Mousa) is perhaps best known for his startling and inspiring installations influenced by three religions in perpetual inter-conflict: Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
For Paradise Built on the Bones of the Slaughtered, Mousa has created a mixed-media sculpture made of the burned remains of the Bible, Koran and Torah, which illustrates his disenfranchisement with religion. Mousa notes that the three religions all share the same God, and profess to preach tolerance and mutual respect. Yet “they’re more notable today for their mutual antagonism, ill will, and violent acts,” Mousa said of three faiths. “My answer to that is these burned tomes that enact a kind of cleansing ritual, in which self-reflection about faith and mutual responsibility is the hopeful end-result.”
Mousa draws from a well of inspiration bearing witness to his cultural heritage. Whether working with painting or mixed-media installation, his work deeply expresses his notions of justice and civil rights. As a result, many of his exhibitions are political, educational, thought-provoking, and sometimes controversial.
With the installation, which will be installed in Grand Rapids’ City Hall, Mousa asks viewers a pair of questions: which God do you want to take into your heart? The God of mercy and compassion or the God of vengeance and justice? “We have allowed others to focus our minds on our differences rather than the unifying message of love, forgiveness and mercy,” Mousa notes.
ArtPrize® Seven - Grand Rapids Michigan September 23 - October 11, 2105
City Hall Refuses ArtPrize Entry 12 days before ArtPrize begins.
Interviews with Nabil Mousa
Mousa introduces Paradise Built on the Bones of the Slaughtered – a monumental sculpture for the ArtPrize competition – based on the Syrian-American experience; welded towers display religious texts burned to ashes.
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