The Global Islamic Studies Center (GISC) at the University of Michigan is pleased to welcome Los Angeles artist Sandow Birk for a public lecture, co-presented by the Penny Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series, on his latest epic project, American Qur’an. Birk spent nine years creating a hand-transcribed and illuminated manuscript of the Holy Qur’an in English. Through the project, he seeks to make the message of the Qur’an, unknown to most Americans, less exotic and ominous and more accessible by contrasting the text with scenes of everyday life in the contemporary United States. The project has been exhibited widely and is now available as intended, in book form.
The work of Sandow Birk deals with contemporary life and is frequently developed as expansive, multi-media projects. With an emphasis on social issues, his work often includes themes of inner city violence, graffiti, political issues, travel, war, and prisons, as well as surfing and skateboarding. He has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards including an NEA International Travel Grant to Mexico City, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship, a Getty Fellowship, and a City of Los Angeles (COLA) Fellowship. He has been an artist in residence at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC, and at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris.
The lecture will take place on Monday, March 28 at 5:30 PM in Stern Auditorium at the University of Michigan Museum of Art, 525 S. State Street, Ann Arbor. Admission is free and open to the public.