Mirror of the Orient
Insuperabile ed introvabile
Inspired by a series of journeys to the Middle East and Asia, photographers Roland and Sabrina Michaud offer striking testimony to the endurance of Islamic cultures with The Orient in a Mirror. Using the mirror as their motif, the Michauds pair traditional Islamic art miniatures, some of which date back eight centuries, with their own photographs of the Middle East taken over a period of nearly 50 years, beautifully evoking a lasting civilization rooted in faith and tradition.
People and landscapes, souks and bazaars, beggars and children: one is struck by the unchanged character of the faces, the lives, and the land, hundreds of years apart. A photograph of a barber performing a "bleeding" in Morocco in 1958, for example, faces a painted miniature of virtually the same scene, created in Iraq in 1240. Through their pairings, the photographers provoke a fascinating interplay between past and present, art and reality. Furthering the timeless feel of the photographs and the miniatures are extracts from the Koran and The Thousand and One Nights, as well as beautiful examples of Arab calligraphy.