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Gallery Talk: Halal Metropolis

Halal Metropolis

Thursday, June 10, 2021
7:00 – 8:30 pm


Virtual Event


Lecture / Discussion
Open to the public
Free of charge

RSVP Required

This webinar/​virtual gallery talk will explore the work of several artists included in the Halal Metropolis Exhibition at the Stamps Gallery. Amna Asghar, Adnan Charara, and Endi Poskovic will sit down with Halal Metropolis curator and artist, Osman Khan, to discuss the motivations and aesthetics of the artwork they have contributed to this installation.

The Halal Metropolis exhibition, by artist Osman Khan, photographer Razi Jafri, and historian Sally Howell, explores the facts, fictions, and imaginaries of the Muslim population(s) in Detroit and Southeast Michigan as viewed through historical research, documentation of current conditions, and explorations of future desires. The Halal Metropolis is one where Muslims practice their faith freely and contribute to society with all of their talents and commitments. It is created dialogically and requires Muslims to be visible to one another and to non-Muslims. It encourages Muslims to organize and speak as believers, citizens, and artists.

Stamps events are free and open to the public, and we are committed to making them accessible to all attendees. This event will be online using the Zoom platform with an auto-generated Live Transcript available. Questions may be asked using the Q&A feature on Zoom. If you anticipate needing any additional accommodations to participate, please email asbaban@​umich.​edu at least one week in advance of the scheduled event so we can arrange for your accommodation or an effective alternative. After receiving your request, our team will follow up with you directly. This event can also be live streamed on Halal Metropolis and Stamps Gallery’s Facebook pages, @halalmetropolis and @umstamps.

Speaker Bios

Amna Asghar
Amna Asghar (b. 1984, Detroit, MI) lives and works in Detroit, MI and the Bronx, NY.

She received an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2014. Her work was featured in the Armory Show FOCUS section with Harmony Murphy Gallery, curated by Jarrett Gregory. She has shown at Klaus von Nichtssagend, New York, NY; Super Dutchess, New York, NY; Hotel Art Pavilion, Brooklyn, NY; Hawkeye Crates, Brooklyn, NY; NARS Foundation, Brooklyn, NY; Knockdown Center, Queens, NY; Washington Project for the Arts, Washington, DC; Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, CO; Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC and Para Site, Hong Kong, CN

Her work was recently included in the group exhibition Parallels and Peripheries, curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah at VisArts, Rockville, MD. She had her second solo exhibition at Klaus von Nichtssagend, New York, NY in the Fall of 2019. Asghar’s first museum solo will be in Spring of 2021 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.

Adnan Charara
Adnan Charara is a Lebanese-American artist who has lived and worked in the U.S. since 1982. With an unquenchable thirst to create since he was a child, he drew, painted, sculpted and assembled his way from Seattle to Boston to Detroit, where he currently makes his artistic home. Adnan works in multiple mediums with several ideas at a time, treating his studio practice like a detail-oriented factory. His hard-working dedication is masked, however, by his whimsical and humorous treatment of serious subjects. Adnan resides in Dearborn, a quick drive from the Cass Corridor neighborhood that houses his studio. He bought the historic Astro building in 2011 with an ambitious plan to develop it into a multifunctional space, including an exquisite gallery, gift shop, two store-fronts and his sprawling subdivided studio. That plan has come to life with the help of architects and designers, and he continues to focus his energy on both his artwork and his community involvement.

Adnan was featured on the PBS series Arab-American Stories in 2012. Recently he was nominated for a Smithsonian Fellowship and was honored by the Arab American Chamber of Commerce. In addition, he has served on the boards of several arts institutions, and has exhibited all over the United States and internationally, in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. 

In general, my art should be viewed as a visual representation of the human condition. The realization of my thoughts and emotions through the creation of my art is a way for me to express my inner self. In turn, I understand that my inner self is merely a particular manifestation of the human condition that connects everybody, and so it may be said that by expressing my inner self and revealing personal truths, I am attempting to reveal truths about us all.

More specifically, the creation of my art is an attempt to establish my identity, and to resolve my inner conflicts that have arisen from growing up as a foreigner in diverse communities. Born in Lebanon, raised partly in Sierra Leone, and finally in America, I have always been aware of my diverse surroundings as an outsider, and, in turn, how others have viewed me as different. These circumstances have compelled me throughout my life to contemplate such themes as ethnicity, identity, diversity, anxiety, fear, love, and acceptance, just to name a few. My art helps me realize these contemplations and provides opportunity for them to be discussed with others in hopes of forging a connection and an understanding between others and myself, and between emotions and the physical world.”

Endi Poskovic
Born and raised in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Endi Poskovic was educated in Yugoslavia, Norway, and the United States. His works have been exhibited worldwide in numerous important international biennials and triennials, and have brought him many notable awards and honors, including grants and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the United States Fulbright Commission, the John D. Rockefeller Foundation, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the Norwegian Government, the Camargo Foundation, the Flemish Ministry of Culture, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Macdowell, and the Art Matters Foundation, among others. Museum collections which hold works by the artist include the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Detroit Institute of Arts; the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University; the Art Museum of Estonia, Tallinn; Fondation Fernet Branca, France; Alive Jincheon Printmaking Museum, South Korea; the University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art and many others. He is Professor of Art in the University of Michigan Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design and Faculty Affiliate in the Copernicus Center for Polish Studies-University of Michigan, the Center for Japanese Studies-University of Michigan, the Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies-University of Michigan, and Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies-University of Michigan.

This exhibition is presented in partnership with the University of Michigan-Dearborn’s Center for Arab American Studies (CAAS), with support from the Knight Foundation, the Doris Duke Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the El-Hibri Foundation, the Community Foundation of SE Michigan, and the Michigan Humanities Council.