Noor Behram Project Wall goes on display at H&R Block Artspace

26 March 2012

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (March 26, 2012) – A new Project Wall will be installed this week at the H&R Block Artspace at the Kansas City Art Institute, 16 E. 43rd St.

Pictured: "American Predator,” Noor Behram, 2011, photograph. H&R Block Artspace Project Wall artist March 2012.

The Project Wall, entitled “American Predator,” was created by Noor Behram. The work was selected by artist Trevor Paglen and accompanies the current exhibition, “On Watch,” which explores contemporary surveillance strategies in art and global culture. According to Raechell Smith, director and curator at the Artspace, the Project Wall by Behram provides a rare and eerie glimpse from the other side of the controversial U.S. drone missile campaign.

Unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, frequently fly near Behram’s home in North Waziristan. In this remote northern region of Pakistan, the photographer has documented the missile campaign, ongoing since 2004.

Behram’s documentation includes photographs and video footage of the escalating presence of drone activity in the tribal areas of Pakistan, as well as the aftermath of missile attacks aimed specifically at militant or extremist targets, exacting a higher cost to civilian populations than is officially reported. Targeted missiles have been reported to hit homes, public marketplaces and community meetings known as ‘jirga.’

The project was realized through the cooperation of Paglen, an American artist and writer known for creating work that explores the secret activities of the U.S. military and intelligence agencies, and Reprieve UK, an international aid organization dedicated to ensuring fair trials, recognizing human rights and providing legal assistance worldwide.

The Artspace Project Wall, situated on the western façade of the Artspace and facing the intersection of 43rd and Main streets, is an ongoing site for temporary public art projects that feature selected and commissioned works by international, national and regional artists.

About the H&R Block Artspace

Since 1999, the H&R Block Artspace at the Kansas City Art Institute has been dedicated to presenting quality exhibitions of contemporary art and a range of public programs for students, educators, artists, arts enthusiasts and the general public. The Artspace receives important support from the H&R Block Foundation, the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency, and private contributions. The Artspace is located at 16 E. 43rd St., one block east of Main Street. Public hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free. For more information about upcoming exhibitions and public programs, visit the Artspace on the Web at www.kcai.edu/artspace or call 816-561-5563.

About the Kansas City Art Institute

The Kansas City Art Institute is a private, independent four-year college of art and design awarding the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with majors in animation, art history, ceramics, digital filmmaking, digital media, fiber, graphic design, illustration, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture and studio art with an emphasis on creative writing. The college also offers certificate programs in Community Arts and Service Learning and in Asian Studies for students enrolled in the B.F.A. program. KCAI hosts “Current Perspectives,” a free public lecture series; free exhibitions at the H&R Block Artspace gallery; and evening, weekend and summer classes in art, design, multimedia studies and desktop publishing for children, youth and adults. Founded in 1885, KCAI is Kansas City’s oldest arts organization. For more information, visit KCAI on the Web at www.kcai.edu.

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For more information, contact Cat Szalkowski, 816-802-3458, or cszalkowski@kcai.edu.