Too early, too late. Middle East and Modernity is an exhibition project curated by Marco Scotini, aimed at exploring the relationship between Western modernity and Middle Eastern culture and history. The exhibition’s distinguishing feature – like last year’s version, dedicated to Eastern Europe – is that the works displayed all belong to private Italian collections.
Designed bearing in mind Focus East, also presented at Arte Fiera 2015, which looks towards Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean area in search of emerging systems of contemporary art, this exhibition presents the works of sixty artists working in these areas: from Turkey, gateway to the East, to Lebanon and the Arab States. Their work is a constant exploration of crucial issues such as cultural identity, traditions, comparison and even conflict with our own traditions.
The curator has chosen to base this exhibition on comparison, given that some of the participating artists are Europeans who have always been interested in the complex relationship between Western and Eastern cultures.
The choice of title, taken from the 1981 film of Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, Trop tôt/Trop tard, also relates to the idea of comparison. A true masterpiece of the history of cinema, this film focuses on the French and Egyptian revolutions of 1789 and 1952, expressing through a temporal metaphor the difficulties of truly understanding the reasons behind what is foreign to us.