Benaki Museum, Kerameikos Building Complex
“I can't make love to you unless I imagine a palm tree”
Lawrence Durrell, Balthazar (The Alexandria Quartet), 1957
Since arriving in Athens in September 2015, Navine G. Khan-Dossos has heard a curious story, told and retold in different ways. It is about the removal of the palm trees from the urban landscape of Athens as a way of visually “re-orientating” the city towards Europe rather than the ‘Orient’.
Imagine a Palm Tree is a performance of painting open for visitors of the Benaki Museum of Islamic Art to watch and interact with. This performance will lead to the creation of a floor-to-ceiling mural on the top floor of the museum, that is scheduled to open in April 2016, and to a series of relevant events throughout the spring and summer.
Navine G. Khan-Dossos (b. 1982) is a visual artist, based in Athens. One of the preoccupations of her practice is the complex relationship between Islam and the West. Khan-Dossos approach to her research is rooted in a traditionally ‘western' history of art education, whilst her painting is based on a rigorous training in the philosophy and crafts of Islamic art. Her interests include Orientalism in the digital realm, geometry as information and decoration, image calibration, and aniconism in contemporary culture.
Navine Khan-Dossos studied History of Art at Cambridge University, Arabic at Kuwait University, Islamic Art at the Prince’s School of Traditional Art in London, and holds an MA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art & Design, London. During 2014 – 2015, she has been a participant at the Van Eyck Academie in Maastricht.