Presented by Blanton Museum of Art
Please note the Blanton Museum of Art is temporarily closed.
Beginning Friday, March 13, 2020, the Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas in Austin is temporarily closed and will reopen, if the situation allows, on Tuesday, May 5. This includes the galleries of the Michener Building, “Austin” by Ellsworth Kelly, and the Blanton Café and Museum Shop.
In the meantime, explore a variety of our digital resources on our #MuseumFromHome page!
We look forward to seeing you when we reopen.
The Blanton will screen the third and final installment of Egyptian artist Wael Shawky’s widely-acclaimed series Cabaret Crusades, his epic exploration of the religious wars fought in the Medieval period. Cabaret Crusades III: The Secrets of Karbala (2014) is, like all three works in the trilogy, based on the 1983 book The Crusades through Arab Eyes by the French-Lebanese writer Amin Maalouf. Interested in history’s interpretation more than history itself, Shawky created a highly stylized visual language using marionette puppets of blown glass and a handmade, revolving set. Though the film’s source material was originally written in French, Shawky had excerpts translated into classical Arabic–a nod to the book’s title and concept–in order to create his script. The puppets speak in that language, with subtitles in English. The result is a mesmerizing, visually stunning journey through a conflict whose effects still resonate in today’s world. “History and theater are caught up in each other. That’s why I chose the title Cabaret Crusades.”
The Secrets of Karbala commences with the Battle of Karbala in 7th-century Iraq. Shawky focuses on the historical power struggle between the Shiites and Sunnis within Islam, and takes us on a journey through time to mediaeval cities like Aleppo, Damascus, and Baghdad. By re-enacting the events through hand-blown glass puppets, Shawky shows us how history as we know it is both fragile and unreal. Who is pulling the strings?
Organized by Carter E. Foster, Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs, Blanton Museum of Art
Opens: December 21, 2019
Closes: April 19, 2020
To make special arrangements for your course, contact:
Siobhan McCusker, Museum Educator, University Audiences
You may also visit the University Programs page and complete the online request form:
Date and Time
Blanton Museum of Art 200 East Martin Luther King Junior Blvd. Austin Texas 78712