'Amen -A Prayer for The World'
The 2014 CARAVAN Exhibition of Visual Art is focusing on Egypt and the United States. Entitled "AMEN--A Prayer for the World,” 48 premier and emerging artists (30 Egyptian-both Muslim and Christian, and 18 Western--Christian and Jewish) were invited to participate in this unique visual art exhibition that was opened first in Cairo, Egypt on June 17 2014 at the Museum of Modern Art, then was followed by an exhibition in the United States at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. , and will move to New York City at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, known for the arts.
Each of the 48 participating artists has been given a life-size fiberglass sculpture in one of four poses of prayer to paint or decorate as they wish. The ‘model’ for the sculptural prayer form is Amun, the deity of ancient Thebes in the 11th dynasty (c. 21st century BC) who is considered the first to develop religion toward monotheism. The four sculptural forms therefore communicate a modern essence of Amun, each depicted with his face. In this exhibition the historic figure of “Amun” is being associated with the word “Amen,” an affirmation commonly used to conclude Christian, Muslim and Jewish prayers or blessings.
With the theme “AMEN—A Prayer for the World,” the exhibition seeks to express the deep, fundamental human acknowledgement of power and hope in the universe, for all peoples. Commenting on this interfaith arts initiative, Rev. Canon Paul-Gordon Chandler, the President of CARAVAN and the Co-curator of the exhibition explains,“While the peoples of the Middle East and West may express prayer differently, it is a commonality that unites us all, serving as a ‘universal bridge’”.
CARAVAN, an international inter-religious and intercultural arts non-profit, begun in 2009 in Cairo, Egypt, has the objective of building bridges through the arts between the creeds and cultures the Middle East and West. One of the flagship initiatives of CARAVAN is the globally recognized annual interfaith CARAVAN Exhibition of Visual Art. This unique exhibition brings together many of the Middle East’s premier and emerging artists to enhance understanding, respect, and deepen friendship between those of different faiths and cultures through the arts.