The exhibition is a journal of photographs and text by Max Pam from his travels across Yemen in the late 1990s.
Working exclusively in black and white and utilizing a square format, Pam translated his exploration and experiences into a series of images and diary entries, reflecting his distinctive style: a layering of words and images.
Pam travelled across the country, sharing in the everyday lives of its people from the capital, Sanaa, to Shibam, Taizz, and Al Mukallah; then through the desert, along the country’s coastline and up into its mountain regions, returning with an intimate journal of his experiences.
The additional layers of ephemeral material and writing creates a record of a very specific moment in time, giving an in-depth insight into his creative processes;
“…Because a lot of things you can’t photograph, but you can draw and write about… they are important to me; those other ways of defining experience.” Max Pam
During his teen years in Melbourne, Australia, Max Pam was drawn into the counter culture of surfing and was intrigued by the imagery in National Geographic and Surfer magazines, which planted the wanderlust for travel. He left Australia at the age of 20 in 1969 to work as a photographer which lead him to travel around the world.
Here are some of photos and text from the exhibition, including words by Max Pam about his experience in Yemen. I am looking forward to seeing the photos and book in person.
What could I say about Yemen that did it justice. I tried in my journal to work it honestly. I tried with 60 rolls of black and white 120 film to translate the experience. That hot, spare and beautiful Ramadan.
No eating or drinking anything between sunrise and sunset. The faithful waiting for the moment. The cannon booms from the mosque in the afterglow of the day. KABOUMMM and a frenzy of quat buying, tea drinking and food eating begins in the suqs and squares and oases and towns all over the country. Everyone happy, elated laughing and joking sitting down together as one nation.
And you know what, people always wanted me to share and be part of their Ramadan, their community, their Yemen. I travelled all over the country with them. To Shibam, Taizz, Al Mukallah, Sanaa, over the desert, by the sea and into the mountains. The shared taxis were always a half past dead Peugeot 405’s with sometimes 10 or 12 people jammed in.
The 92 pages of this book give my version of that unforgettable Ramadan month. An experience freely given to me by the generosity of Yemeni people.
Signed copies of the book Ramadan in Yemen by Max Pam will be available at the gallery's bookshop. It's a limited edition publication of 1000 copies: 92 pages with tipped-in photograph on embossed hardcover in a specially designed Clamshell (28 x 28 cm – book 25.5 x 25.5cm). Price: $120 USD.
Date: 15th July - 10th September 2014 | Sat-Thu 10am–10pm | Fri 4 pm-10 pm
Venue: East Wing, Limestone House no. 12 (next to Ritz Carlton), Dubai International Financial Center (location map)