Minimalistic Art at Hadhramaut [Archives:1998/10/Last Page]

March 9 1998

Marianne Manda, a German graphic artist has helped to organize a minimalistic art performance at the gate to Wadi Hadhramaut and two fires are going to be set off March 14th on the peaks of two mountains there. The performance commemorates the tragedy of the famous Arabic couple Leila and Majnun whose love has been expressed in song, poetry since time immemorial. The story of love been consumed to death is symbolically represented by the two fires consuming themselves into the dawn. The fires will be set off on the mountains simultaneously, burn for half an hour and then glow till dawn. The silence of the memorial performance will only be interrupted by Arabian music related to the story to be retold.

Manda is no stranger to Yemen Times, her work has appeared in the past as she is a regular visitor to the Arabian peninsula and Yemen. Her recent bibliography reveals that she has received a public grant for the 7th Saxon symposium of graphic reproductions last year and has been working as an assistant lecturer at Salzburg International Summer Academy for 7 years. Currently she is holding a graphic art exposition at the Hadda Art Gallery where her graphic piece on extroversion lies as a prominent example of her style.
A first impression of her work since 1995 reveals more courageous lines; there are essences of bodily form, metamorphasizing subjects made more vibrant by these strokes. Do the changes in background color add to the suggestivity of personality changes? Is there a metamorphosis of a human consciousness as in “Cadmium” done in 1995?

Even her more somber colored works with brave dark graphic stokes like “Earth” done the same year, reveal a yearning to be born. Repeated human elements find new expressiveness in bold churning lines, like in her vibrant “Universum”. Here the observer can sense the cosmic rays reaching out to the creation of man in his earthly world.
Manda can now be thought of as expressing immemorial themes not only through her graphic work but by attempting to commemorate the most famous Arabic pair of lovers at the Wadi Hadhramaut. Their hearts afire with passion, alive today as a thousand years ago, are being depicted by the two fires she will set off this week.
Martin Dansky, Yemen Times