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Sub-Sonic Live in Dubai: Jagwar Ma | Zahed Sultan | Andy Buchan

Sub-Sonic Live is part of Fred Perry's Subculture music initiative promoting live music and club culture.

Over the past year, there have been two Sub-Sonic Live events (which I've sadly missed) and the third one will take place on Thursday, 23rd October, which I don't intend to miss.

The thrid edition of Sub-Sonic Live in Dubai will feature Jagwar Ma, Zahed Sultan, Andy Buchan

Fred Perry is bringing Sub-Sonic Live back to the city on October 23rd, with headline act Jagwar Ma. The Sydney-born, London-based alternative/electronica 3-piece will be making their debut performance in Dubai.

Sharing the stage with Jagwar Ma, is award winning Kuwati Zahed Sultan known for his eclectic boundary breaking beats, taking inspiration from the likes of Radiohead, Massive Attack, and Bjork. 

The third act to play at Sub-Sonic this year is Dubai's very own Andy Buchan. Award winning British-born Andy will keep the crowd going with his latest selections of indie and dance beats.


Tickets are limited with only 500 available on a first come first serve basis and available at and selected Fred Perry shops (early bird tickets AED 100 and at the door AED 150). 

If, like me,  you've been missing music gigs in Dubai that do not feature mainstream acts, this one's for you.   

Here's what to expect. 

Jagwa Mar  


Zahed Sultan

The video below features Zahed Sultan talking about his work and process, take from a 4-day residency in Amman, Jordan in March 2014. 


Andy Buchan
Andy Buchan is on of my favourite Dubai based DJs. He launched Loaded a few years ago (currently on hiatus), so excited to see him behind the decks again.  




Event details
Date: Thursday, 23rd October 2014 9.30pm - 3.00am
Venue: Dubai International Marine Club 
Tickets:  Early Bird Tickets - AED 100 | Tickets At The Door - AED 150
Event page on Facebook  




Eid Al Adha 2014

To everyone celebrating Eid Al Adha, I wish you, your family and friends Eid Mubarak.  

Artwork by Tulip Hazbar.  



Exhibition: The Other Hundred at East Wing 

Gwenn Dubourthoumieu, Lubumbashi, the capital of Katanga province in the Democratic Republic of Congo

The Other Hundred is a photography initiative created as a counterpoint to popular media's 'rich lists', such as the Forbes 100. Its aims to highlight stories of people from around the world who are not rich, but deserve to be celebrated. 

This initiative was launched in Hong Kong in 2013 by Chandran Nair, Founder and CEO of The Global Institute For Tomorrow( GIFT), an independent pan-Asian think tank based in Hong Kong. He describes The Other Hundred as follows: 

"While the project is aimed to shed light on the unspoken majority, it does not attempt to celebrate poverty or criticize wealth. The goal of 'The Other Hundred' is both to inform and to provoke thought.

The implication of many of the rich lists and articles put out by the media communicates that being rich is the only way to succeed, or live a life of meaning. The reality is that the majority of the people in the world are not rich and we wanted to tell their side of the story." 

East Wing is exhibiting work from The Other Hundred project which includes photo-stories from 91 countries across six continents.

The exhibition is on till Friday, 10th October 2014.  

Ari Jala Rafa'at, Sulaymaniyah, Iraq


Leo Kwok, Hong Kong, China

Thomas Rommel, Karate, Ouagadougon, Burkina Faso

Gwenn Dubourthoumieu, Lubumbashi, the capital of Katanga province in the Democratic Republic of Congo



Exhibition details
Date: On till Friday, 10th October 2014
Hours: Saturday through Thursday 10:00 am – 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm  
Venue: East Wing, Limestone House # 12, Dubai International Financial Center, Dubai (location map)  


Amsterdam Diary: Metamodernism, Metamarathon and Shia LaBeouf at Stedelijk Museum

© Mariechen Danz

On my last day in Amsterdam, I attended a 12 hour symposium at Stedelijk Museum titled "Metamodernism - the Return of History".
Structured as a one-day discursive event (from 11:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m.), this large-scale symposium invites such internationally renowned speakers as Francis Fukuyama, Camille de Toledo, Nina Power, Michel Bauwens, and Adam Thirlwell to reflect on the discourse of a generation: from the historical fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, moments of global (financial and/or political) crisis in 2008 and 2011, to the present moment we collectively call contemporary.

Looking at the turn of events, what precisely constitutes a historical moment and/or rupture? What defines this generation that was born in the 1980s? The symposium draws on the concept of metamodernism, which seeks to galvanize the questions, experiences, and anxieties of a generation born in the 1980s. But what is this metamodern state of mind precisely?

As the speakers inside the Stedelijk debate these questions and more, actor Shia LaBeouf will embark upon an actual (#meta)marathon around the perimeter of the museum. 

It was a very long and intense day with some great speakers. The day started with a key note lecture by Francis Fukuyama. The symposium was then broken into three parts focusing on key years, 2001, 2008, and 2011. The complete programme and list of speakers can be found here

I was told the talks will be uploaded online, so expect a full review soon. 

As for Shia LaBeouf's "(#meta)marathon", I was quite intrigued when I first read about the symposium last month. On the day, we were told he'd be outside Stedelijk from 2pm and we can watch him run or even join him running around the museum.

I had no intention of running, but before travelling to Amsterdam, I was dared by my friend  Austyn Allison to give him this note.   


All day I kept wondering if this would happen. Towards the end of the night, I told myself it wasn't. But after the syposium ended, we were invited by Hendrik Folkerts (curator at Stedelijk Museum) to continue the conversation over drinks at Stedelijk's bar.

As we were walking out of the symposium, I spotted Shia LaBeouf walking out amongst the crowd. Later on, I spotted him at the bar. So I told myself, it was now or never. I went up to up, tapped him on the shoulder, told him about the dare.

Shia LaBeouf didn't take his shirt off, I didn't have a paper bag, but think I did well with this dare.


I must add Shia LaBeouf was friendly and so polite and all I could think off later that night was the little boy from Holes and how grown up he is today. 


Here are some photos of the #metamarahon I took during the breaks.


Exhibition: Whose Gaze Is It Anyway? at the ICA in London

Tareek Al Khataya, Way To Hell, 1968. Courtesy the collection of Abboudi Bou Jaoudeh

Whose Gaze Is It Anyway? at the ICA in London is an exhibition that looks at "the history of Arab pop culture through printed matter – posters, notebooks, diaries and book covers, as well as through film and video". 

The inspiration behind this display began with the archive of Abboudi Bou Jaoudeh - a prolific collector whose underground treasure trove located in Beirut holds one of the vastest collections of Arab film memorabilia, from rare Arab film posters to cultural magazines published from the 1930s to the present day.


Curated by Omar Kholeif, the exhibition inlcudes rare film posters, old publications and newly commissioned work. 

This exhibition looks like a cinephile's wet dream. If you are in London between now and 5th October, don't miss this. 

Here are some of the works exhibited at Whose Gaze Is It Anyway? 

Film poster for "Kit Kat" (1991) 

Kit Kat, 1991. Courtesy the collection of Abboudi Bou Jaoudeh


Sophia Al-Maria, Beretta (2014)

Sophia Al-Maria, Beretta, 2014

Sophia Al Maria's imagined poster and sketchbook for her unmade film, Beretta, a rape-revenge thriller set in Cairo, which she has been attempting to produce over the past three years.  


Maha Maamoun's Domestic Tourism II (2009)


Excerpt from Domestic Tourism II

...a film that seeks to challenge how the image of the Egyptian pyramids has been used by the world’s tourist industry. Reworking historic film footage in which the pyramids are featured as part of the backdrop, Maamoun’s work reveals how the pyramids have acted as a nostalgic symbol for a flawed modern country.

Raed Yassin’s single-channel video work, Disco (2010)

Raed Yassin, Disco, 2010 (video still). Courtesy Kalfayan Galleries, Athens – Thessaloniki

Disco tells the story of the artist’s father, a disco-addict and fashion designer who leaves his family to become a star in the Egyptian horror film industry. However, this quickly spirals into fiction where the father becomes the Egyptian film star Mahmoud Yassin (who shares the director’s family name). The interplay of image and text explores a generation’s fascination with celebrity, forging a story about abandonment, voyage, longing and stardom. 



What I would do to teleport myself to London to see this. Someone, please bring this exhibition to Dubai. 


Exhibtion details

Date: On till Sunday, 5th October 2014
Venue: ICA, The Mall, London, SW1Y 5AH (location map)  



Amsterdam Diary - E*Cinema: The Hitchcock Tapes at EYE 

Still from Gravity by Nicolas Provost

EYE Film Institute in Amsterdam held a special screening on Tuesday, 23rd September, part of a weekly program with E*Cinema Academy featuring avant garde cinema. This week's edition was an ode to Hitchcock, part of EYE's Hitchcock Touch theme for the month of September and October.

E*Cinema: The Hitchcock Tapes
 started off with an introduction by Leo Hee, film programmer at EYE followed by three short films. I was on a cinema high that night. 

The night included the following films: 


Gravity by Nicolas Provost (BE, 2007, 6 min)

The cinematic kiss is probably one of the most archetypical images to be found in film history. Playing with the physiological and cinematographic principle of the after-image, Provost causes dozens of kissing scenes from European and American film classics to collide. The reassuring world of multiplied kisses is shattered by a stroboscopic effect that plunges and loses us into the dizzying vertigo of the embrace where love becomes a passionate battle in which monsters are finally unmasked. 

Nicolas Provost’s work reflects on the grammar of cinema, the human condition in our collective film memory and the relation between visual art and the cinematic experience. His films provoke both recognition and alienation and succeed in catching our expectations into an unraveling game of mystery and abstraction. With manipulations of time, codes and form, cinematographic and narrative language are sculpted into new stories.

It is jarringly beautiful. 


Looking for Alfred by Johan Grimonprez (BE, 2005, 10min)



An homage to Alfred Hitchcock in the form of a search for the perfect Hitchcock doppelganger and vignettes starring those multiple would-be Hitchcocks, reenacting his cameos.

Casting calls and screen tests in London, Rotterdam, Los Angeles and New York are documented in film stills and photos. (Professional Hitchcock impersonator Rob Burrage says, “I thought I was safe until you guys came along, digging up all those other Hitchcock look-alikes. Now we will have to find ways of disposing of them.”)

Line-readings from Truffaut’s famous 1960s interview with the master and scenes in which Hitchcock acted as an extra are further grist for the mill. Beyond the work’s mockumentary structure, Grimonprez evokes the Hitchcockian universe uncannily, and connects back-through the recurring motif of a man in a suit and a bowler hat-to another great modern auteur, Rene Magritte. 



Phoenix Tapes by Matthias Müller, Christoph Girardet (DE/UK, 1999, 45min) 

This film blew my mind.

Matthias Müller and Christoph Girardet were commissioned in 1999 by the Modern Art Oxford to make this film for an exhibition that celebrated the centenary of Hitchcock titled "Notorius: Alfred Hitchcock and Contemporary Art".

Phoenix Tapes show re-edited excerpts from 40 films by Alfred Hitchcock. The six chapters (Rutland, Burden of Proof, Derailed, Why Don't You Love Me?, Bedroom, Necrologue) focus on a personal selection of various leitmotifs in Hitchcock´s work.

The consequence of this is not only to highlight Hitchcock's obsessions with certain types of repetitive movements and highly loaded visual signifiers, but to suggest that these actions are part of a universal language of gesture that encompasses both cinematic and everyday modes of communication.’ (John Tozer, Camera Austria) Matthias Müller described Phoenix Tapes as: “a surreal, crude patchwork that suggests a narrative, then breaks it".


Read the complete programme essay here


Amsterdam Diary: Around Unseen - Part 2

Horizon, from the series Playtime by Isaac Julien

More photos from Unseen.


East Wing 
The only gallery from the Middle East that was at Unseen. 

Jules Spinatsch - ASYNCHRONOUS I – X

Yann Mingard - DEPOSIT

Yann Mingard - DEPOSIT (detail of Deposit 68)

Robert Zhao Renhui - A Guide to the Flora and Fauna of the World



Some of my favourites 

Adam Jeppesen

Todd Hido

Seung Woo Back

Other work

Hannah Whitaker

Tom Butler

Kinez Riza

Ruth van Beek

Lily Lulay

Lily Lulay

Lorenzo Vitturi


Unseen Collection 
Unseen Collection included works  for prices up to €1,000 contributed by galleries participating at the fair. 

Fardin Waezi - Men Competing in a Bodybuilding Competition for the Title of Mr. Afghanistan, Kabul, Afghanistan, 2010

Giacomo Brunelli - Untitled #6, from the series Eternal London, 2012

Amsterdam Diorama by  Diorama Map Amsterdam from the ‘Sohei Nishino: Cities’ project
An interview wth Sohei Nishino about this project. The blanks on the wall behind him are the photos that people bought during the fair. I found it amusing the Red Light District part of Amsterdam disappeared off the wall. You could see the complete wall in my earlier post here.

Trust the Cloud

One by one, visitors will be invited to ascend the 5m high escalator, generating light as they go. A giant cloud lies at the top. Jumping into the cloud, triggers an explosion of light. Each individual fall is bathed in its own type of light, which eventually fades away. What remains is a snapshot of a falling person, taken at the time of the jump. This individual moment is quickly transfigured into a collective experience, as each photograph joins a swarm of moving images uploaded to the ‘cloud’, exhibited on a screen next to the cloud and on a dedicated website – an invisible network made visible.


The Human Printer 
An interactive art project run by design studio Stinsensqueeze, the art work was developed during the four days of the festival.


Festival Ground



Amsterdam Diary: Fifteen Years of Collecting at Huis Marseilles

Still Life with Dish, 2014 Valérie Belin, courtesy Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris/Bruxelles

Fifteen Years of Collecting
is the latest exhibition at Huis Marseilles.  Els Barents, Huis Marseille Director (who will be stepping down from her role this month) took us on a tour of the exhbition, and one of the exhibiting artists, Jacqueline Hassink was also there. It was quite an insightful tour, especially hearing about the relationship between the museum and the artists they work with. 
A photography collection can be seen as a dynamic part of a museum, which can be regarded in various ways. In this case, the heart of the exhibition is formed by five photographers with whom Huis Marseille collaborated on multiple occasions in the recent past: Valérie Belin, Jacqueline Hassink, Naoya Hatakeyama, Sarah Jones and Rob Nypels. They have each been invited to fill curate a gallery with their own work and combine topicality with earlier purchases by Huis Marseille. In this way, their own personal, artistic growth in the past fifteen years becomes visible.   

The exhibition also included:
Claudia Angelmaier, Uta Barth, Per Bak Jensen, Bownik, Winfried Bullinger, Balthasar Burkhard, Ed Burtynsky, Sophie Calle, Popel Coumou, Jeff Cowen, Susan Derges, Charlotte Dumas, Ger van Elk, David Goldblatt, Candida Höfer, Axel Hütte, Luisa Lambri, Ryan McGinley, Yasumasa Morimura, Vik Muniz, Thomas Ruff, Dr. Erich Salomon, Jörg Sasse, Thomas Struth

Here's a selection of some of the work from from the exhibition: 

Valérie Belin (1964, Boulogne-Billancourt)
Her work astonishes the viewer with the enormously increased complexity of her subject matter and the unbelievable amount of detail that she succeeds in forging­ into a whole, then stretching it like a taut photographic skin of light and shadow­ – in her newest series she works both in colour and in black and white – across the entire image.

Jacqueline Hassink
 (1966, Enschede)
View, Kyoto, the impressive series on Japanese temples and gardens on which she has worked since 2004, shows the degree­ to which Hassink, the conceptual photographer of Tables of Power, has blossomed­ into a powerfully­ analytical and lyrical image-maker­. The strong composition of her photographs reveal her deep knowledge and understanding of Japanese culture and of the inherent conflicts that must be resolved, again and again, to achieve a harmony between the natural world and modern, industrial­ civilization. The photographic series View, Kyoto will be published for the first time in its entirety (Hatje Cantz, design: Irma Boom). 

Naoya Hatakeyama
 (1958, Rikuzentakata, Iwate)
Hatakeyama made his international reputation with Blasts (from 1995), in which he photographed limestone being dynamited­ for industrial purposes. Now he is meticulously documenting the fragility of the defences being constructed in Japan today­ to try to cope, after the disaster of 11 March 2011, with the next earthquake. In this project, on which he has worked ceaselessly since 2011, he is focussing principally on the reconstruction work taking place in Rikuzentakata, in north-eastern Japan – where he himself was born, and which was almost totally destroyed by the earthquake and the tsunami that followed. 

Sarah Jones (1959, London)
Sarah Jones gained international recognition for her photographs­ of psychoanalyst’s couches along with her studies of young women in domestic interiors, drawing studios­ and urban­ parks which draw attention to the relationship­ between sitter, location­, photo­grapher and viewer. In her recent photographs­, both black and white and colour, she continues to explore how subjects are measured and transcribed through the large format view camera and flattened in pictorial­ space, contained as if in a museum vitrine. This transition establishes looking as a vertiginous experience. 

Rob Nypels
 (1951, Leiden) 
Nypels is the only one who wanted to show his own work in context of that of his peers in the Huis Marseille collection. Rob Nypels’ eye for what landscape and nature have to offer in terms of colour and sensibilities simply defies description. His work brings together places where magic comes to life, whether they are in the city or in the country­. He rides a fine line between abstraction and expression. In his mastery of mood and colour he has revealed­ himself to be a true magicien de la terre of our times. 

Rob Nypels #4763, 2008  
Uta Barth White Blind (Bright Red) (02.08), 2002

Jeff Cowan

Jeff Cowan - Camille 1, 2 (2006)

Ed Burtynsky

Ed Burtynsky - The Pentimento Portfolio (2000-2010)

Ryan McGinley

Amsterdam Diary: Marlene Dumas at The Stedelijk Museum


I went back to the Stedelijk to see Marlene Dumas' Image As A Burden exhibition. It' is exquisite. 

With almost two hundred drawings and paintings from private and museum collections throughout the world, Marlene Dumas – The Image as Burden is the first major solo exhibition of Dumas in the Netherlands in 20 years. It is the most comprehensive retrospective survey of her work in Europe to date and presents a compelling overview of her oeuvre from the late 1970s to the present.

In addition to her most important and iconic works, the exhibition also presents lesser-known paintings and drawings, including many works never before seen in the Netherlands, and a selection of her most recent paintings. The title of the exhibition is derived from the work The Image as Burden (1993), which refers to the conflict between the painterly gesture and the illusion of the painted image. 

You can read more about the exhibition here

You will see paintings inspired by photography, paintings, cinema, news, politics, emotions and even pop culture. It is a beautiful exhibition.

Below are some photos I took from the exhibition, divided based on some of the themes in the exhibition, but they are nothing compared to seeing the work in person.

After the photos is a video showing Marlene Dumas talking about her work and Leontine Coelewij (curator of the exhibition) talking about the exhibition.  If you are in Amsterdam, don't miss this, it is on till 4th January 2015. 


Walls and Martyrs 






Body Language

The Image as Burden (1993)





Amsterdam Diary - Party at Felix and Foam

On 19th September, there was an Unseen party in the beautiful Felix and Foam buiding. It was packed and very hot indoors. I didn't stay long, but I managed to check out each floor. 


The invitation:

Join a special evening of photography, drinks, and a musical performance by KLEAR, a concept of the collective Jongens van de Wereld (Boys of the World). Felix & Foam is a new initiative of Foam in collaboration with Frame and restaurant Foyer, in the historical Felix Meritis building in Amsterdam.

During a period of six months, Felix & Foam will be the place where art, culture and special events come together. The building’s seven rooms, bar and foyer will be packed with exhibitions, film screenings, installations, a restaurant, surprising shops and an in-house gallery.