Homage to Al Mutanabi

Venue: Al-Riwaq Gallery, Manama
Al Mutanabi
(303-345 H, 915-965 A.D), the Arab's unchallenged poet par excellence, was born in Kufa, one of the early Islamic cities of Iraq, and an important literary metropolis. Cognizance of the fact that he was uncontested in both knowledge and poetic eloquence, drove him to the extent of alleging himself to be a prophet, thus acquiring his celebrated nickname: al-Mutanabi (lit. the prophesier).

A problematic intellectual and a man of great ambitions, Al-Mutanabi sought after power and eventually became close to certain rulers by virtue of his poetic gifts.

Although he was an age of great turbulence and sharp divisions, it was nevertheless one that coincided with the peak of Islamic civilization which the capital Baghdad truly incarnated.

The Poetry of Al-Mutanabi, being the art that survived through the ages, is deeply rooted in the conscious of the Arab nation and its influence has been unfailingly consistent throughout the centuries. Not only was Al-Mutanabi an advocate of Arab ethical and esthetical standards, but his poetry is deeply concerned with the mental, physical and psychological condition of man and life.

Rafa Nasiri, in his attempt to portray a visual image of Al-Mutanabi: the man and his poetry, moves beyond the domain of the written word to grasp the pulses over a tormented soul and a rebellious mind of a man who had endeavored to survive amid the obscurity of political rivalries and intellectual complexities. conceiving a classical literature by means of a totally modernistic expression, Nasiri's attempt, as shown in this present collection of art works, is not to illustrate the poetic text, but rather suggests a parallel vision to assert the integrity of the arts.

May Muzaffar