Index / Activities / Exhibitions / Kitāb al-Filāḥa (The Book of Agriculture) and the Alpujarras

Kitāb al-Filāḥa (The Book of Agriculture) and the Alpujarras

From April 10, 2018 until May 13, 2018Monday through Saturday, from 11:00 to 7:30 p.m. Sundays and holidays from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Casa Árabe headquarters / Hall of Columns (at Calle Alcalá, 62) Basement Level Monday through Saturday, from 11:00 to 7:30 p.m. Sundays and holidays from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Free entry until the event’s capacity is reached.

Casa Árabe is exhibiting a series of photo engravings accompanied by two hand-bound books which are works by artist Tariq Dajani.

The project, on display at the Casa Árabe headquarters in Madrid until May 13, combines a variety of topics and was initially inspired by a trip for personal discovery and exploration in the Alpujarra Mountains of Granada, where Dajani lived from 2012 to 2016.

The Muslim civilization in Al-Andalus, which lasted more than half a millennium, is known for its amazing monuments and scholarly works in science, medicine and philosophy. It is less known for its achievements in agriculture and livestock farming, which form the basis for food production and sustainability in any society. Dajani’s interest led him to discover that the Muslims had compiled several books on these subjects. The most famous of these was the Kitāb al-Filāḥa (The Book of Agriculture) compiled in the twelfth century by Ibn al-’Awwām al-Ishbili of Seville. This book, which consisted of more than a thousand pages of text and drawings, was the most thorough treatise on the topic in its era and was also translated into Spanish.

Dajani felt obligated to explore this subject from a visual perspective, through photographs, and not based solely on documentary sources, with an artistic interpretation that would let the imagination and feelings run free. He was attracted to the idea of creating abstract images, still-lifes and changing landscapes. The still-life paintings by Spanish masters (Cotán, Velázquez, Zurbarán and Goya), with their staged presentation of objects, use of shadows and light, and relatively simple compositions, inspired his photographic approach, along with the landscape photography of José Ortiz-Echagüe.

The impressions we can see in the exhibition were produced in the form of photo engravings. The images, along with the additional materials, including an essay, an abstract history and some of the original citations in Arabic, written in the ancient Arabic style of the times, were combined into two hand-bound books, one in in English and the other in Spanish, and limited to 100 editions.

Tariq Dajani
Born in England, Dajani grew up in both the Middle East and Europe, which helped him gain an understanding of and appreciation for different cultures and traditions. His passion for creative expression led him to a career in photography. He worked in London, Stockholm and Dubai, where he formed a distinctive style that thunders with truth and emotion. His work is contemporary, yet he is a purist at heart, who shows intellectual depth and classical realism. He has had many exhibitions held in Europe and the Middle East, and two books published to date. Tariq Dajani currently resides in Galicia, Spain.
Kitāb al-Filāḥa (The Book of Agriculture) and the Alpujarras