1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Interesting selection but would have liked a more critical writing., 24 Sept. 2013
I don't usually write reviews but I felt Col Mustard's was so ill-informed that it needed balance.
It seems Col Mustard has not read the editors' statements or the ambition they have for the book. If he had they would find his expectations are completely misguided. The authors purposely set out to profile less well known photographic artists (after all the well known ones are easier to find as evidenced by Col Mustard's role call) Rose Issa writes "How could we satisfy our readers without choosing artists who are already established? We wanted to involve equal but lesser known talents from a wide variety of backgrounds." p11 This seems a more exciting goal than trotting out what we have already seen in other publications. Secondly the author's are independent curators and do not seem to be associated with the galleries who represent the artists. The numerous prestigious posts they have held is a measure of their stature and independence. Thirdly the authors are very knowledgeable having curated many international exhibitions on Arabian lens based arts with 4 decades of experience between them. If you want to check their credentials and find out more about the authors [...] and [...]
That said the selection is interesting although there is overlap with the V&A's recent book 'Light from the Middle East.' The the two books do complement each other though. In this book artist statements accompany the works providing interesting insight. The V&A's book has a good essay by Marta Weiss. Both the authors contribute an essay to Arab Photography Now but they are reasonably light. It would have been great if this book had also included more critical analysis as the authors certainly have the background knowledge to write something thought provoking. Photography is at an exciting juncture in the Middle East and North Africa and 'Arab Photography Now' gives us a flavour of some of the emerging talents.