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Pop-Up Film Festival - Reel Palestine 2015


Reel Palestine is a pop-up film festival showing a selection of alternative Palestinian films in the UAE. Between 16th and 24th January, there will be a selection of films screening in various venus in Dubai and Sharjah.  

Why Reel Palestine? 

We believe it is important to be able to see Palestinian culture and tenacity through film and submerge ourselves in the beautiful, difficult, emotional, and inspirational moments that occur under occupation.

Stories that sometimes slip under the radar: stories of maqloubeh, giraffes and nostalgia for a better time. We want to tear down the wall (literally) and allow viewers to cinematically travel to our beloved Palestine, sans restrictions. 

The screenings are free. Here's the line up: 

Friday, 16th January, 7.00pm at thejamjar, Dubai

Trip Along the Exodus (dir. Hind Shoufani)


Trip Along Exodus is a feature-length documentary exploring the last 70 years of Palestinian politics seen through the prism of the life of Dr Elias Shoufani, a leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, an academic writer and leftist intellectual who worked with Fateh (but was one of the leaders of the opposition to Arafat) for 20 years. He is also the father of the filmmaker. 


Saturday, 17th January, 6.00pm at thejamjar, Dubai

Series of short films



Sunday, 18th January, 7.00pm at Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah

Suspended Time (dir. Asma Ghanem, Mahdi Fleifel, Ayman Azraq, Tarzan and Arab Nasser, Amin Nayef, Alaa Al Ali, Muhannad Salahat, Assem Nasser, Yazan Khalili)

In 2013, Palestinian production house Idioms Film issued an open call inviting Palestinian filmmakers to propose films reflecting on the 20th anniversary of the 1993 Oslo Accords. Suspended Time compiles the nine short pieces commissioned for production. Collectively, these richly-varying works “stitch together a contemporary filmic commentary on the Oslo Accords as perceived, sensed and lived by nine filmmakers and artists.” 

Individual titles in sequence: Long War by Asma Ghanem; Twenty Handshakes for Peace by Mahdi Fleifel; Oslo Syndrome by Ayman Azraq; Apartment 10/14 by Tarzan and Arab Nasser; Interference by Amin Nayef; Journey of a Sofa by Alaa Al Ali; Message to Obama by Muhannad Salahat; From Ramallah by Assem Nasser; and Leaving Oslo by Yazan Khalili.


Monday, 19th January, 7.00pm at thejamjar, Dubai

Giraffada (dir. Rani Massalha) 


A family-friendly drama inspired by real events. Ten-year-old Ziad and his zoo veterinarian father embark on a bold journey to save the West Bank’s only giraffe. 

Yacine (Saleh Bakri) is a veterinarian at Qalqilya Zoo, the last remaining zoo in the West Bank. His son Ziad (Ahmad Bayatra) is especially fond of the zoo’s pair of giraffes, with whom he finds a rare calm away from the weight of the occupation. When the male giraffe dies due to an airstrike on the city, his mate Rita grows frail and withdrawn. In order to find her a new partner, father and son will have to spirit a giraffe out of an Israeli safari park and safely back into the West Bank


Tuesday, 20th January, 7.00pm at A4 Space, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai

My Love Awaits Me by the Sea (dir. Mais Darwazah)


How do you return to a place that only exists in your mind?’ This poetic documentary chronicles the director’s first journey back to her homeland, Palestine. 

Award-winning director Mais Darwazah (Take Me Home, 2008; The Dinner, 2012) leaves a secluded life in Amman, journeying to Palestine to seek out a lover she’s never met – the late Palestinian artist Hasan Hourani. Darwazah’s travelogue mixes fairytale with reality and romance as she traces the fractured geographies and uncertain dreams of a Palestinian nation. The result is a highly original road-trip into an elusive homeland. 


Saturday, 24th January, 8.30pm, Mirage Cinema, Sharjah Art Foundation Art Spaces, Sharjah

Encounter with a Lost Land (Maryse Gargour) 


French citizens who lived in Palestine from the 1920s recall life before 1948 through previously unseen personal and diplomatic archives. 

Drawing on private and consular correspondences, rare audio-visual records, newspapers, diaries, and first-hand testimonies, Maryse Gargour (The Land Speaks Arabic, 2007) delivers a rich portrait of the cultural and social life of Mandate Palestine as experienced by French nationals – the sons and daughters of diplomats, priests, surgeons, and traders who lived in Palestine between the 1920s and 1950s. These rarely heard testimonies provide a unique perspective on cosmopolitan life in the wealthy urban centres of Jaffa, Jerusalem, and Bethlehem during the colonial era. 


Sunday, 25th January, 7.00pm at A4 Space, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai

Open Bethlehem (Leila Sansour)


There will be a Q&A after the film with Executive Producer Wael Kabbani and actress Carol Sansour Dabdoub. 

Film director Leila Sansour returns to Bethlehem to make a film about her home town, soon to be encircled by a wall. She left the city as a teenager thinking that Bethlehem was too small and provincial. She never wanted to return but this time she is making an exception.

She intends her film to be a tribute to her late father, founder of Bethlehem University, and a man regarded as a hero by his town's folk. As Bethlehem approaches ruin her decision to flee this sleepy town, taken much to her father's regret, comes to haunt her.

Armed with her camera and a dilapidated family car that keeps breaking down, Leila plans to make an epic film about a legendary town in crisis but just few months into filming her life and the film take an unexpected turn when cousin Carol, Leila’s last relative in town, persuades her to stay to start a campaign to save the city.



Event page on Facebook



Cinema Akil at Market OTB 2015 

Cinema Akil is a platform aiming to bring films from across the world to Dubai - an alternative to the commercial cinemas we have here. Although Cinema Akil has not opened its doors, the team behind it is organising pop up screenings across the city. 

Last summer we had screenings at The Third Line gallery and between 16th-24th January there will be screenings at Market OTB (Market Outisde the Box, an outdoor pop up market that includes recycled cargo containers as retail spaces promoting local brands, cafes and food kiosks). 


16th-19th January at 7:30PM 

Björk: Biophilia Live 
Director: Peter Strickland and Nick Fenton 
Duration: 97 min | Genre: Documentary / Music | Language: English | 2014

‘Biophilia Live’ is a concert film directed by Peter Strickland and Nick Fenton and produced by Jacqui Edenbrow that captures the human element of Björk’s multi-disciplinary multimedia project: Biophilia.

Recorded live at Björk’s show at London’s Alexandra Palace in 2013, the film features Björk and her band performing every song on ‘Biophilia’ and more using a broad variety of instruments – some digital, some traditional, and some completely unclassifiable.

The film has already been hailed as “a captivating record of an artist in full command of her idiosyncratic powers” (Variety) and “an imaginative stand-alone artwork” (Hollywood Reporter) and is a vital piece of the grand mosaic that is ‘Biophilia.’


21st-24th January at 7:30PM 

The Wild Blue Yonder
Director: Werner Herzog
Duration: 80 min | Genre: Sci-Fi | Language: English | 2005 

An alien narrates the story of his dying planet, his and his people's visits to Earth and Earth's man-made demise, while human astronauts attempt to find an alternate planet for surviving humans to live on.

The film follows a hypothetical proposition: a group of astronauts are circling the earth in a spacecraft, but they cannot return, as our planet has become uninhabitable. The cause of this remains open; all-out war, outbreak of a new disease beyond control, radiation after the complete disappearance of the ozone layer, or whatever.

The crew of the spacecraft has to find a more hospitable place out there in space, and releases a probe from their cargo bay, Galileo. But Galileo -- after sending back very disquieting data -- has to be sent on a suicide mission. 'The Wild Blue Yonder' won the FIPRESCI Prize at the 2005 Venice International Film Festival. 

I never had a chance to attend Market OTB last year, so I'm looking forward to hanging out there this year. Here's a video from last year, looks like a fun space.
(But I do find the this comment in the video silly, "You don't feel like you're in Dubai, I think that's the nicest thing…although you have a great view of the Burj...and you obviously have the sunshine. But it's nice to get away from the malls and the beach and sit in a space where you don't quite feel like you're in Dubai." Not sure what part of shopping stalls and food kiosks by Burj Khalifa doesn't make it feel like you're in Dubai.)





Event details
Dates: Film screenings from 16th-24th January at 7.30pm (Market OTB 15th-24th January Sun-Thu: 4-10PM and Fri-Sat: 10AM-10PM)
Venue: Southridge Park, Downtown Dubai (location map)
Free entry. 
Event on Facebook. 
Market OTB 2015  



Pulse Corniche - interactive installation by Raphael Lozano Hemmer


Pulse Corniche by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer is an outdoor interactive installation in Abu Dhabi which you can visit and interact with till 17th January 2015.

The installation is an extension of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi’s pre-opening exhibition, Seeing Through Light: Selections from the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Collection at Manarat Al Saadiyat on Saadiyat Island (on till 26th March 2015). It features artworks by 19 international artists from the 1960s to today, all exploring the theme of light. 

I'm glad to see large light installations like this are coming to the UAE, the last one I saw was Ryoji Ikeda's Spectra in Sharjah more than a year ago. 


Abu Dhabi Corniche’s East Plaza will be transformed into a canvas with an interactive public art performance by artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer at Pulse Corniche. 

A display of an interactive canopy of powerful light beams projected into to the sky by some of the world's strongest robotic searchlights will be part of this participatory installation, the brightness and orientation of which is controlled by the heart-rate of visitors to the Abu Dhabi's Corniche.  


Free to participate, the public is invited to participate by holding a sensor placed in the centre of the plaza that converts the electrical activity of their heart into a unique lighting sequence.  The intensity and direction of the lights makes visual the different biometric rhythms of each participant. Pulse Corniche is the culmination of a series of interactive public art-works that Hemmer debuted at the 2007 Venice Biennale with Pulse Room.



Pulse Corniche (2014-2015) is inspired by Roberto Gavaldón's film "Macario" (Mexico, 1960), in which the protagonist has a hunger-induced hallucination wherein individuals are represented by flickering candles in a cave, Pulse Corniche is expected to draw constant, personal participation to create an immersive, intimate experience of glimmering light along the Abu Dhabi waterfront. 



Although the strength and reach of the searchlights ensures that the illuminated rhythms of peoples’ hearts will be visible at night from across the city, the cumulative effect is a poetic representation of vital signs, arguably the most symbolic human biometric, in an urban scale, transforming the public space into a fleeting architecture of light and movement. 







Event details
Date: On till Saturday, 17th January 2015 (6.45pm -11.00pm from Sunday to Wednesday and 6.45pm - 1.00 am from Thursday to Saturday)
Venue: Abu Dhabi Corniche, East Plaza



[images/video via @SaadiyatCD



Prix Pictet - Consumption at East Wing 

© Allan Sekula - Fish Story 

Prix Pictet "Consumption" will be exhibited at East Wing in Dubai from 15th January - 26th February 2015. The themes in the last four cycles were Power, Growth, Earth, Water

The prize was founded in 2008 by Pictet, a Swiss asset and wealth management group established in 1805. Prix Pictet has gained global recognition for showcasing leading photographers’ contribution to the debate about the most pressing social and environmental challenges today. Since its inception, nearly 70 of the world’s leading photographers have been shortlisted for the Prix Pictet

Earlier this year at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Kofi Annan, Honorary President of Prix Pictet, announced that the German photographer Michael Schmidt had won Prix Pictet Consumption for Lebensmittel his monumental survey of the food industry. The exhibition then toured to Barcelona, Thessaloniki, Turin, Zurich, Luxemborug, Munich, Mexico and will visit Brussels in the new year. 

Sadly Michael Schmidt died on 24th May, just three days after having won the Prix Pictet, his first international award.



Lebensmittel - Michael Schmidt (Germany) 

Michael Schmidt’s ability to translate apparently contradictory elements of his photography into a valid form puts him in an outstanding position among contemporary photographers. Though he adopts an unusual position with his constantly different approach to photographic and social questions, his innovative project-led working methods and his extreme commitment have made him a model for a generation of young photographers.

Unlike some of Schmidt’s earlier series, these photographs do not strike an attitude of rage or accusation. On the contrary, his way of looking at things is characterised by extreme lucidity and rigour. His view of bread baskets, cages in fish farms or apple-washing plants has a serial analytical quality that is sometimes reminiscent of the objective photography of the 1920s. But it is precisely the contradiction between classical photographers’ latently optimistic approach, who stage their industrial production motifs in a perfect aesthetic and Schmidt’s realistic view that makes a distressing impression when looking at the project as a whole: individual images demand objective consideration, while the series persistently undermines the apparently dominant objectivity by means of its composition of repetitions, accentuations and rhythms, and the many links between the photographs.


Shortlisted Artists

Yard Sale by Adam Bartos (United States)

Yard sales, highly popular across the United States, affordably recycle essential household goods and clothing within local communities, significantly extend the life of objects, help to regulate overconsumption, and reduce waste.

Originally an unintentional sustainability practice, this form of localised business has grown during the recession. The yard sale economy contrasts starkly with the Walmartisation of America, which relies heavily on the rapid exploitation of natural resources, and employs fossil-fuel intensive processes to enable the ever increasing global manufacture and transport of new goods to market.

Project Family - Motoyuki Daifu (Japan)

My mother sleeps every day. My dad does chores. My brothers fight. There are trash bags all over the place. Half-eaten dinners, cat poop, mountains of clothes: this is my lovable daily life, and a loveable Japan.


Almerisa - Rineke Dijkstra (The Netherlands)

Dijkstra met the subject of what would become her longest-running series to date while making portraits at a refugee centre in Leiden, The Netherlands. Five years old at the time, Almerisa arrived with her family from Bosnia (by way of Austria and Germany) just two weeks earlier. Dijkstra prepared a small, bare studio with a chair in the corner of the room where the girl was staying. In the resulting image, with her brightly coloured Bosnian-chic dress, straightforward pose, and direct, intense gaze, Almerisa offers striking contrast to the empty beige walls and floors that surround her.

In each of the 10 images, Almerisa is centred in the middle of the frame and shown seated against a wall or window in a neutral area of the place she was living at the time of the portrait. Typically made one or two years apart, each photograph shows how Almerisa’s appearance changes with her adjustment to Dutch culture. From a shy Bosnian girl she grows up to be a young Western woman who wears the right branded clothes and fashionable make-up. But Almerisa is also a girl who needs these clothes and make-up to build up her own image, her own self, just as she sees everyone else doing, around her as well in the omnipresent Western media (and she keeps doubting about wearing shoes in the house – Bosnians don’t).


My Things - Hong Hao (China)

My Things, a project that I started from 2001, is a photography series created by scanning objects. I’ve been working on this project for 12 years. Twelve years, in Chinese traditional concept, represents the period of transmigration in cycles of different fate and destiny. The process of producing works of this series is an assignment associated with one’s life trace.

Day by day, I put my daily consumed objects into a scanner piece by piece, like keeping a visual diary. After scanning the original objects, I’ll save them in digital forms and categorise these digital files into different folders in my PC, in order to make a collage of them later on. This task, like yogi’s daily practice, has become a habit in my day-to-day life as well as a tool to observe the human condition in contemporary consumer society.


Beef and Oil - Mishka Henner (United Kingdom)

In this series, large-scale photographic prints depict landscapes carved by industries meeting extraordinary levels of consumer demand for two of North America’s most precious commodities: beef and oil.

Seen from the perspective of satellites orbiting Earth, these landscapes represent a systematic intent to maximise production and yield in order to satisfy extraordinary levels of human consumption.

The result is a natural landscape transformed into something not too dissimilar from the circuit boards that drive the logistical operations of these industries, and ultimately, feed consumers’ appetites for these resources.


Escalas - Juan Fernando Herrán (Colombia) 

Tea, Coffee & Cappucino - Boris Mikhailov (Ukraine)

I choose to focus on ordinary, everyday scenes and the search of formal solutions to translate this monotony into photography. These are photos I took over the last ten years (2000-2010) about the current state of affairs. I continue my search for a photographic means to reflect the changes occurring in our lives. A new age has come – the age of business. 

Everything can be bought and sold – even children. Old women have started wheeling around trolleys full of their commodities, calling out “Tea, Coffee, Cappuccino”, the ‘preambulatory product’ of the age, also provided the title of this series. The reality of globalisation has come and extended to the places where we live and rest. A flux of cheap commodities has conquered ubiquitously, creating a colourful new plastic reality.


Untitled - Abraham Oghobase (Nigeria)

The commercial capital of the country, is a city of over 10 million people where competition for space is a daily struggle and extends from accommodation to advertising (and everything in between). As such, every available space, from signboards to the sides of buildings, are indiscriminately plastered with hundreds of handbills and posters and scrawled with text advertising the many and diverse services offered by the city’s enterprising residents and drivers of a robust large informal economy.

Validating the authenticity of the information contained in these ads becomes quite a complex task for the consumer, however, due to the disorganised mode of presentation and often incomplete details. My engagement with one such wall of ‘classifieds’ serves to question the effectiveness of such guerilla marketing. 


Fish Story - Allan Sekula (United States)

In July of 1989, the last unionised shipyard in Los Angeles harbor closed. Although Los Angeles now handles the largest volume of maritime trade of any port in the Americas, ships are no longer built here. The remaining yard repairs Navy ships returning from the Persian Gulf, and breaks up obsolete aircraft carriers and submarines, employing workers recruited in Matamoros, across the Mexican border from Brownsville, Texas. Most of the giant container ships, stacked high with the uniform metal boxes that give this trade the appearance of a purely abstract movement of goods, are built now by the underpaid and overworked and increasingly militant welders and pipefitters and shipwrights of South Korea. The abandoned shipyards of Los Angeles and San Francisco now come to life briefly as sets for Hollywood films, fictional sites of crime, romance, and espionage.

Movies are made here, but otherwise the industrial appearance of the port is misleading. This is a place of accelerated flows, of global distribution. Some functions hypertrophy while others atrophy. Similar things have happened in Newcastle and Glasgow, the great shipbuilding cities of the first and second industrial revolutions. The Swan Hunter shipyard in Wallsend-on-Tyne survives with a occasional Royal Navy contract. The deserted quays along the Tyne now provide “atmosphere” for neo-noir crime dramas such as Get Carter and Stormy Monday. In Glasgow, civic boosters stage a “Garden Festival” on the ruins of the old Clydeside industrial waterfont.


The Love Doll - Laurie Simmons (United States) 

In 2009, I began a new chapter in my work and ordered a custom, high-end “Love Doll” from Japan. I documented my photographic relationship with this human scale “girl,” depicting the latex doll in an ongoing series of “actions”—each shown and titled chronologically from the day I received the doll and describing the relationship I developed with my new model.

I was immediately fascinated and disturbed by the idea that a body—this life-size, lifelike body—could be bought and arrived packaged in a box, a woman/girl entering your home as a commodity ready to be used and fetishized. Something very direct and melancholic emerges, particularly in the first photographs I took with the doll. The Love Doll is originally produced to be a mute surrogate body, a substitute for a human being manufactured solely for pleasure and desire. I began to tease out a personality from this commodified subject and allowed her persona to emerge. 



RIP Rod Taylor




Here's Rod Taylor in an endearing interview from the late 1990s talking about the films he acted in, how he loved all his leading ladies, Maggie Smith and Orson Welles.  




Rod Taylor obituary in the New York Times


RIP Rod Taylor, 1930-2015



Camille Zakharia - Out, Then at Cuadro Gallery 


Camille Zakharia's Out, Then is a new photography exhibition at Cuadro that will open on Thursday, 14th January and go on till 3rd March 2015.

Zakharia uses his camera to document the journey taken since his departure from Lebanon. Through photo-montage, collage and print he both reveals and reconstructs his encounters with people and places, exteriors and interiors.

Within this process is an exploration of home, identity and belonging in the context of a globalized condition. A particular source of fascination is urban landscape and what is represented socially and culturally by changes in the shape and size of cities. 


Camille Zakharia - Billboard IX

Camille Zakharia - Billboard VII 

About Camille Zakharia:

Camille Zakharia was born in Lebanon in 1962 and left during the Civil War in 1985. Since the, he has spent time living in the USA, Greece, Turkey and Canada before moving to Bahrain in 1999. Zakharia graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from NSCAD University (Nova Scotia College of Art and Design), Halifax, Canada in 1997 and a Bachelor of Engineering from the American University in Beirut in 1985. 

Zakharia has received numerous accolades for his work including the first place prize in the International Photography Awards in 2006 and 2007, and shortlisted for the Jameel Prize in 2009. Zakharia has exhibited and collected prolifically across North America, Europe and the Middle East, including the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, Canadian Museum of Civilizations in Quebec, National Art Gallery in Bangladesh, Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization and the Sharjah Biennale in Sharjah, Appleton Museum of Art in Florida, Bin Matar House in Muharraq, National Museum King Abdul Aziz in Riyadh, Bait Al Zubair Museum in Muscat, Loutro ton Aeridon in Athens, Saba Cultural and Artistic Institute in Tehran, Acte 2 Gallery in Paris, FotoFest in Houston, and Multicultural Arts Center in Halifax. Zakharia’s Coastal Promenade series were exhibited in the Bahrain Pavilion in the 2012 Venice Architectural Biennale. This entry went on to win a Golden Lion for best national pavilion. Zakharia was also invited to participate in the 2013 Venice Arts Biennale on behalf of the Kingdom of Bahrain.  



Exhibition details
Date: 14th January - 3rd March 2015
Venue: Cuadro, DIFC, Dubai (location map)  


Outdoor film screenings with Alliance Française Dubai

Alliance Française Dubai is hosting outdoor screenings of French films with English subtitles once a month between January and April at Seville's Terrace in Wafi, Dubai. Here's the line up of films. 


Girafada on Wednesday, 14th January at 8.30pm 


38 témoins (38 Witnesses) on Wednesday, 11th February at 8.30pm 


Radiostars on Wednesday, 11th March 2015 at 8.30pm


Une place sur la terre (A Place On Earth) on Wednesday, 8th April at 8.30pm 



Event details
Dates: 14th January, 11th February,  11th March and 8th April, 8.30-10.30pm
Venue: Seville's Terrace, Wafi, Wafi Pyramids, Dubai 
Phone: +9714 3358712
Entry is free. Food and drinks can be purchased at the venue. 


Donald Weber talk at Gulf Photo Plus on 14th January 2015

Donald Weber - Omaha Beach Shrapnel #188, Sector Dog White From the Series ‘War Sand,’ Work-in-Progress

Gulf Photo Plus will be hosting a talk with VII photographer and 2015 World Press Photo jury Donald Weber on Wednesday, 14th January 2015 at 7pm.

The talk is free to attend, but you need to register here before attending. 

Donald Weber will discuss his newest work-in-progress, War Sand, a project about science, history and the meanings of sacrifice. Looking at the D-Day beaches of Normandy, Weber encompasses micro-archeology, landscape photography, geology and physics to examine the remnants of war, from a sub-atomic to cosmological level.

Weber will discuss the genesis of the idea, from initial inspiration through to the final images, offering an inside view on the creation and complications of long form stories.


Weber is the author of three books and recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Lange-Taylor Prize, the Duke and Duchess of York Prize, two World Press Photo Awards, PDN’s 30, was named an Emerging Photo Pioneer by American Photo and shortlisted for the prestigious Scotiabank Photography Prize.

Read more about Weber on his VII profile here and see more of his work on his website here.


Galleries Night at Alserkal Avenue on 12th January 2015

Alserkal Avenue will have its first Galleries Night of the year on Monday, 12th January. There are lots of new exhibitions opening that night between 6-9pm. Here's what to expect:


Carbon 12

Disjointed figures laze in the afternoon sun and recline bikini clad as they accept drinks from fully dressed figures. We re-live the heyday of 1950’s Americana. 

The new paintings by Portuguese artist Gil Heitor Cortesão, maintain the aqueous dimensions and his signature corrosion of subject and image present in his past works, but the decay is deeper this season.  

Cortesao’s figures were once wraiths in the background, the figures now stand boldly in their corporal domination of the scene. They are the vision of decay and the subject of undulating plains of existence. Like water the figures endlessly move within their form, never fully contained or still.

Green Art Gallery
Zsolt Bodoni, Untitled, 2014, oil and acrylic on canvas, 160 x 200 cm
Drawing from various historical archives including literature, art history and music, Zsolt Bodoni‘s paintings function in an archaeological manner, peeling back layers of history, inspired by found images and various other documentation. Corrupting the 'original' file that we have come to understand as 'the true interpretation of events', Bodoni is interested in redefining our understanding of past and present realities. 

The new series of paintings take Labanism as their starting point, a form of dance that was coined after Rudolf Laban (1879 – 1958), the Hungarian dance artist and theorist, notable as one of the pioneers of modern dance in Europe. Bodoni became interested in Laban’s ideals at that time, which questioned the traditional constraints against showing feeling using one’s own body, but was however taken by the photographic documentation of that era which carried a strange and dark atmosphere. 

Grey Noise
Benjamin Senior - Beacon Hill 2014 Oil on linen 100 x 150 cm
Benjamin Senior's paintings depict wholesome activities of exercise, play and walking in nature. His healthy figures inhabit a geometric, structured world. Even the verdant landscapes are brought to order with crisply delineated fields and forests. Yet tensions run through the paintings to give a sense of a structure on the brink of collapse.

The enclosure of the show's title refers to the artist's attempt to create a contained world in which his thoughts on representation, formalism and narrative can play out.

Gulf Photo Plus 

Everyday Middle East  
Left: © Laura Boushnak Right: © Ahmad Mousa

Everyday Middle East is an Instagram feed featuring mobile phone images by 25 professional photographers working in the Middle East and North Africa. Founded in March 2014, Everyday Middle East has collected more than 46,000 followers on Instagram with 520 mobile phone photos posted in the last 8 months. 

Everyday Middle East is part of a network of Everyday Projects, which also include Everyday Africa, Everyday Asia and Everyday USA. The projects cross-publish with each other and are currently collaborating to create a non-profit organization.

Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde
Niyaz Azadikhah - Poinsettia, 2014, Single channel video, colour, no sound 32 sec, loop
Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde felt there was no need to staple a clever title onto this show of 11 artists, because Nice Drawings came about via a simple request for some of the gallery’s friends and collaborators to send over a new drawing. The responses were neither conventional or necessarily ‘nice’ drawings:

Pencil-like lines are formed in an unthreaded rice bag; bikinied women wrestle on a barren beach of blank paper, (an animation composed of hundreds of hand-drawn frames). A sculptural ink drawing of a mauve mountain range reveals its grandeur to be nothing more than a flimsy film set. Nonsensical faux-architectural drawings depict a room in absurd dimensions, shreds of family photographs are finished and made caustic with graphite, the rigidity of lines on a grid is only a cover for artful errors.

The Mojo Gallery 
From Palestine, Zimbabwe and Syria, faces emerge and meet in expressive forms filled with sadness, defiance, scorn, questions and at times cries. Faces and figures searching the surreal sky stormy with gunpowder for a sense of freedom. A moment of respite from injustice in a world shaped by the lust for power, tormented by repression and human indifference.

Three remarkable and unique points-of-view shaped and touched by first hand experiences. Yet all united by the enduring human spirit to pursue an existence lived with simple dignity. 

‘ILAT’ is a moving, intimate and inspiring exhibition exploring spiritual life by venturing into the imagination of the African people. Born in Manama (Bahrain), Hesham Malik presents his African journey for the first time through the medium of 25 works of art.

Malik’s ‘ILAT’ artworks are both philosophical and mystical; intertwined with the complexities of ancient beliefs. The exhibition presents a thought- provoking collection in which stories unfold and where the solitary culture of African tribes is revealed. 

Lawrie Shabibi
Nathaniel Rackowe - SP12, 2012, Powder coated scaffolding tubes, fluorescent light, scaffolding clamps 180 x 56 x 10 cm

Nathaniel Rackowe considers light to be one material in his palette as an artist, using it throughout his practice as both a surface and a point of origin. The title of the show reflects these parallel traits: 'trajectory' is a precise, mathematical term, referring to the source, direction and line that light can travel - but when prefixed by 'radiant' it takes on a more ethereal quality, the overall effect perhaps greater than the sum of its parts. 

The exhibition will bring together existing works and new pieces that have been inspired by Rackowe's recent visit to Dubai. It will combine wall-based neon works and freestanding sculptures, which all share a fascination with the perception of light. 

Event details

Date: Monday, 12th January 2015, 6-9pm
Venue: Alserkal Avenue, Street 8, Al Quoz 1 (location map/how to get there)

Cinema at The Space - January 2015

Cinema at The Space
 is celebrating the Sundance Film Festival this month and screening a selection of films that were first seen at that festival.

The screenings take place at The Space in Abu Dhabi (twofour54 Park Rotana Building), and are free, but you must RSVP in advance.

Here's the line up for this month: 


Monday, 12th January at 7.30pm 

Half Nelson, dir. Ryan Fleck (2006) 

Wednesday, 14th January at 7:30pm

Iraq in Fragments, dir. James Longley (2006)

Monday, 19th January at 7:30pm

Winter's Bone, dir. Debra Granik (2010)

Wednesday, January 21st at 7:30pm

5 Broken Cameras, dir. Emad Burnat, Guy Davidi (2013)

Monday, 26th January at 7:30pm

Fruitvale Station, dir. Ryan Coogler (2013)

Wednesday, 28th January at 7:30pm

Man on Wire, dir. James Marsh (2008)