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Lazzy Lung at Pyramids Rooftop Gardens on 17th February

Lazzy Lung is a Canadian/Lebanese band based in Beirut. They won last year's Rolling Stone Middle East's Battle of the Bands and they're back again in Dubai this Friday at the Pyramids Rooftop Gardens in Wafi. Their influences include The Foo Fighters, Arcade Fire, Collective Soul and Broken Social Scene. I heard they are quite good live, so if your ears are starving to hear some original live music, this might be the gig for you.

About the band:
Lazzy Lung a once upon a time solo project now turned four piece rock outfit is floating about between Canadian and Lebanese borders. It seems as though Lazzy Lung has settled down on the beachy shores of Beirut taking their chances with political instability and language barriers and an outrageous hotel bill.

The band has just released their debut album Strange Places in Lebanon and soon to be available at a local shawarma place near you. The album tells a story of a 20 something traveling overseas from one capital city to another leaving all that he knew and loved behind. The story unfolds as most do with with twists and turns and changes of heart, great distances tearing lovers apart. The city finally sings its song and new beginnings come along, a new home is found.

Playing rock music in Lebanon is like wearing cowboy boots to a beach party. We know it's a challenge, we know it doesn't make sense, we know it's full of Strange Places.

Event details 
Date and time: Friday, 17th February 2012 at 8.00pm
Venue: Pyramids Rooftop Gardens at Wafi, Dubai (location map)
Free entry.


How Hollywood Says “I Love You” by Matthew Belinkie


How Hollywood says "I Love You" is an impressive video montage featuring sceness from 95 romantic movies edited by Matthew Belinkie.

I’ve been watching a lot of romantic comedies recently. By “a lot,” I mean “all of them.” Everything from “A” (Adam’s Rib) to “Z” (Zack and Miri Make a Porno). Technically, I started even before “A,” with 10 Things I Hate About You and 27 Dresses. And just in time for Valentine’s Day, I’ve edited together some of the most awww-inducing moments in Hollywood history.  
Matthew Belinkie


Despite my state of singledom, I think it's the perfect video to share with you this Valentine's Day.

My favourite love quote from this video is "You have bewitched me, body and soul" from Pride and Prejudice. I wonder if there's anyone in this day and age that proclaims his/her love this way. I hope there is.
Full transcript of the video


Almost, Maine at DUCTAC

Drama Dubai's Desert Players is a not for profit group on a mission to raise the standard of local theatre and to nurture a growing theater scene in Dubai without having to outsource the talent from the UK which is what every other production in Dubai does.

For this Valentine's Day week, they present us with Almost, Maine - a play by John Cariani from 14th-18th February at DUCTAC in Mall of the Emirates.

About Almost Maine  (via

On a cold, clear, moonless Friday night in the middle of the night, all is not quite what it seems in the remote, mythical town of Almost, Maine. As the northern lights hover in the star-filled sky above, residents of Almost find themselves in and out of love in unexpected and often hilarious ways. Knees are bruised, hearts are broken. Love is lost, found, and confounded. But the bruises heal and the hearts mend - almost.



Event details
Dates: 14th-18th February
Tickets: Show only AED 100 per person
         Valentines Dinner and Show on 14th February, AED 415
         Dinner and Show 16th-18th February 310 AED
Venue:  Play at DUCTAC in Mall of the Emirates (location map)
        Dinner at K-Grill, Kempinski Hotel, Mall of the Emirates

Tickets available online at TimeOut Tickets or at the DUCTAC box office.


So Lonely at the Architectural Association


If you are in London on Valentine's Day, single and and want to stay away from all the lovey-dovey stuff, this event is for you.

So Lonley is a talk taking place at the AA in London on Tuesday, 14th February. It includes a lecture by Shumon Basar and Sam Jacob, plus a musical performance by Tamara Barnett-Herrin. Looking at the event's poster and the description (added below), it sounds like it will be very, very good. If I was in London this Valentine, this is the event I'd go to.

So Lonely

It's Valentine's Day. You're all alone. No one to watch Love Actually with, for the 17th time. You'll have to eat that dehydrated cupcake by yourself, after your microwave 'meal For one'. You're so very lonesome tonight. But, you know what? Sometimes loneliness is power not weakness.

Join Shumon Basar and Sam Jacob as they trawl through a hidden history of loneliness that includes Hugh Grant's bitter face, Howard Hughes in the Desert Inn, Jesus Christ, North Korea, Edo-era Japan and French existentialists – as well as the conspiratorial evil commonly referred to as, 'rom coms'. Plus some sad songs performed by Tamara Barnett-Herrin.




About the presenters:

Shumon Basar is a writer, editor, curator and director of the AA's Cultural Programme as well as the live-magazine, Format. Translated By, the AA show he co-curated with Charles Arsene-Henry, has toured to CCA Kitakyushu, and goes to Salt, Istanbul in April. He is also directing Global Art Forum_6 at Mathaf, Doha and Art Dubai in March.

Sam Jacob is a director of London-based architecture office FAT, where he has been responsible for a range of projects spanning architecture, design and masterplanning. He is contributing editor for Icon, columnist for Art Review and contributes to many other publications. He teaches at the AA and is Professor of Architecture at UIC. He writes and edits and

Tamara Barnett-Herrin is a London-based vocalist, songwriter and performer. She was the lead vocalist with the UK electronica act Freeform Five and has contributed vocal performances for various artists including Lindstrom, Mylo and Shinichi Osawa. Her new solo album, Born to Burn, is released in February by Bubbletease Communications. She has collaborated extensively with the Swiss artist Mai-Thu Perret at Migros Museum Zurich, Theatre de l'Usine in Geneva and the Performa Festival, New York.



Event details
Date and time: Tuesday, 14th February 2012 at 6pm
Venue: New Soft Room at AA (Architectural Association),
36 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3ES (location map)
 Phone: +44 (0)20 7887 4000


Slidefest VI - 8th February 2012

© Nikolai Kozak

Slidefest is back after a long break with its 6th edition on Wednesday 8th February with a line up of interesting photographers. If you are not familiar with Slidefest, it's an event organised by Gulf Photo Plus where photographers present their personal projects in a variety of genres that can range from documentary projects to fine art, still-life and landscape images. The event also aims to bring photographers (amateurs and pros) and people from the photography community together where people can network, connect and share stories.


Here's the line up of presenters:


Ammar Al Attar
© Ammar Al Attar  Shooting in his home country here in the UAE, Al Attar's series titled Spare Parts focuses on scrap yards full of countless automotive parts.  Stacked skye high, the abundance of items speaks of the exaggerated the auto industry and also the people who work within it.

© Arezu
Arezu's work, titled Trespassing is rooted in concepts of obscurity and ambiguity.  Vague portraits represent a desire to be, but not seeking to be seen or to be paid attention to.  The crow in her work expresses her fascination with the freedom of flying and anonymity.

Mansoor Bhatti and Noush Like Sploosh
© Mansoor Bhatti and Noush Like Sploosh
Presenting a collaborative project, Bhatti and Noush will describe their photographic approach to the stop motion video for song 3 Act Circus by Noush Like Sploosh.  The music video which was released in March of last year was accepted later that year into the Gulf Film Festival.

Lee Hoagland
© Lee Hoagland

This body of work examines the life of undocumented immigrants living in an abandoned factory in Paris. Immigration is a massive issue in Europe, and particularly in France, where many believe it has reached a stalemate.

Nikolai Kozak
© Nikolai Kozak
Kozak will present a a study of Umm Al Quwain titled Forgotten. In black and white, the photos depict daily life in the emirate introducing fundamental social forces at play on a local, and daily, level.   Recent founder of NYUAD Photographic Society.

Shahid Mohammed
© Shahid Mohammed
Where the majority us find ourselves locked into the link of modern technology, Mehrab lives his life at the other end of the spectrum. Mohammed's photographic story describes one man's life in the middle of desert; a camel caretaker living in a date palm hut.

Golnaz Olya
© Golnaz Olya
Originally form Iran, Olya began shooting Parkour roughly four years ago. Capturing her subjects flying through mid-air amidst an urban Tehran landscape, Olya depicts a perspective of Iran not so commonly portrayed.

Silvia Razgova
© Silvia Razgova
Defining the last fifty odd years have been a generation know as the baby-boomers.  Now reaching retirement and beyond, the "boomers" now redefine death much like they have redefined the culture they lived within. Razgova's presents her series Death Boom in her own photo-journalist approach.

Event details:
Date: Wednesday, 8th February at 7pm
Location: Knowledge Village Auditorium, Dubai (location map)
Free entry


Breathing Space by Driss Ouadahi

Lueurs pour la nuit, 2010. 190x240cm oil on canvas.


Breathing Space by Driss Ouadahi at Lawrie Shabibi will open on 6th February and will run till 14th March. Ouadahi's subject matter is "the lost idealism of the modern architecture in the mode of Le Corbusier and the metropolises that were made in its image" - I'm quite drawn by this set of work. Amidst the beautiful colours and patterns in his paintings, there's something unsettling about them.


Ouadahi's paintings of repetitive grids and walls have an unnerving absence of human life and are discreet observations of urban alienation and the isolation and disconnection that exist in many modern cities today, particularly in lower quality housing developments.  In this exhibition we see sterile modernist public housing developments, wire netting and underground passageways, each linked with Ouadahi's core concerns of geometric abstraction, transparency, opacity or reflection.


Breathing Space, 2011. 190x240cm oil on canvas.

Ouadahi's large formal urban landscapes are montages of spaces and places he knows. In the foreground of these works is a grid pattern, which seems at once a barrier between the viewer and the background architectural elements and a surface in which the scene is reflected. In his other works, Ouadahi is preoccupied with facets that separate the buildings or link them together, such as fences, walls and underground passageways.

His freehand paintings of wire-netting are lavished in such detail that they nudge photo-realism: these fences are common in the metropolitan suburbs of France and Algeria, demarking privileged zones into which entry is not permitted or from which escape is difficult. His underground passageways on the other hand have an air of eerie expectation - a crime scene waiting to happen - and resonate remoteness and seclusion.



Over the fences, 2010. 200x180cm oil on canvas.



Event details
Date: 6th February - 14th March 2012. Opening reception on 6th February, 7-9pm.
Venue: Lawrie Shabibi, Unit 21, Al-Serkal Avenue, Al Quoz, Dubai (location map)
Phone: +9714 346 9906


[Images and text courtesy of Lawrie Shabibi.]


Fakie and Skate Biladi at Tashkeel


Romela Elenzano Orencillo

Fakie by Fn Designs is a skateboard art exhibition currently running at Tashkeel till 18th February. The first edition was in held in May and this year's edition includes 30 skateboards that were donated by Maysam Faraj of Skate Arabia. His old, worn-out and borken skateboards have all been turned into a piece of art (including a couple of clothing accessories) by 30 different artists based in the United Arab Emirates.


Skateboarding has been a part of my life for about seventeen years, and it has changed me in every conceivable way. Through it, my eyes have been opened to a view of the world people seldom get to experience. Most of all, it has taught me that through destruction comes creation. With skateboarding you tear through streets and, to the outside world, leave destruction in your wake. Your shoes and flesh become scratched and torn. Slamming into the sidewalk, and scuffing paint off handrails, or curbs, you are often only seen for the havoc you wreak. For the one riding the board, controlling it with every part of your soul, it is more. More than a sport or a lifestyle, it is an art form.

Every skateboard I have owned has been my means of creation, until it too is destroyed. To see my boards, that have been broken and splintered while aiding me in my craft, be transformed by other artists, is almost a magical continuation of their cycle. They can now continue to challenge ideas and opinions, inspiring and leaving an impression on the world. Maysam Faraj


Lamia Abdulaziz Khan

Mohammed Hindash





















Alongside this exhibition is Skate Biladi (which means Skate My Country in Arabic), a "social media skateboard experiment" that brings us the culture of skateboarding which is still in its early stages in Dubai. A very large skateboard ramp called the Tashkeel Art Ramp has been built for this event. The ramp makes up the word Tashkeel in Arabic, which is the name of the venue. It looks quite cool and I've seen the skateboarders having a lot of fun on it.


There have been quite a few events and workshops since the ramp was opened on early Januray. The closing event will be held on 17th February and everyone is invited to attend to take photos with their smartphones, upload them to Facebook and tag the person skateboarding as well as Tashkeel. The aim is to accumulate “likes” based on those photos throughout the night.

The accumulated “likes”, along with the photos, will be displayed in real time on screens surrounding the Tashkeel Art Ramp so skaters can see their ranking and adjust their performance and interaction with the photographers to increase their “likes.”  The skaters with the most “likes” at the end of the night, as well as the photographers who get the most “likes” for their photos, will be awarded amazing prizes.

I do find the social media angle a bit gimmicky - but will be fun to see all the action on the ramp. The event will include a barbecue and a DJ playing some tunes - so it should be a fun evening.

Here are a couple of videos of the Tashkeel Art Ramp.





Event details
Fakie exhibition - running till 18th February, 10am-10pm
Skate Biladi - 17th February, 2pm-10pm
Venue - Tashkeel, Nad Al Sheba, Dubai (location map)
Free entry


Marina Bay Sands Skypark BASE Jump

 This BASE jumping video shot in Singapore is crazy. But it has made me want to visit the Sands SkyPark at Marina Bay and lounge about the poolside.

This New Year’s Day, Marina Bay Sands has been chosen as the venue to the largest BASE jumping attempt in Singapore. Seven professional BASE jumpers, participated in this adrenaline pumping display to welcome the New Year.


Woody Allen and his typewriter


This scene from Woody Allen: A Documentary, directed by Robert Weide shows us the typewriter Woody Allen has been using all his life. Everything he's ever written has been typed on this typewriter.

I bought this when I was 16. Still works like a tank, it's a German typewriter and it's an Olympia portable. I've had it my whole life, it cost me 40 dollars I think. The guy told me it would be around long after my death.


I love it that some people out there still use their typewriters. Love it.




GENIUS - an illustration exhibition


Genius is a new illustration exhibition that opens on Wednesday, 1st February at Cartoon Art Gallery in Dubai. Curated by The Domino, an artist-run creative management and outreach company, it features 28 illustrators based in the United Arab Emirates. 

The exhibition will showcase over 60 pieces of work that explore and challenge definitions of illustration, its origins and its future - from caricatures to commercial illustration to fine art and to work that is pushing the boundaries of the medium.

List of artists taking part in Genius:
Adnan Arif, Ali Murad, Anas Awad, Bob Dahm, Deform Industry, Dina Khorchid, Dina Sami, Ella Orencillo, Flordeliza Pesigan, German Fernandez, Guillermo Munro, Julia Townsend (in collab. with Lewis Castaneda and Raymond Prucher), Khalid Mezaina, Kristy Anne Ligones, Layan Attari, Liz Ramos, Luis Vasquez, Mandana Ziaei, Maria Neschetna, Mark Ganzon, Mohammed Hindash, Nasim Abaein, Ragini Nagu, Sasan Saidi, Stefan Messam, Tulip Hazbar, Victoria Viray, Wafa Hasher Al Maktoum

The exhibition will be accompanied by two workshops:

1. Sketchbook Session 
Saturday, 11th February at 2pm

A one-day interactive and social event where illustrators will share and circulate their sketchbooks. The session will also include:

  • presentations by select illustrators about their careers and the works of other illustrators
  • short video interview viewing with famous
  • discussion about the growing scene of illustration in the UAE and a brainstorm session about what illustrator need to grow and support this community
  • a live collaborative illustration


2. Discussions in Illustration
Saturday, 18th February at 2pm 

A panel of professionals will lead discussion around the following topics:

  • the pencil and the mouse - the role of technology in illustration
  • how to make money and stay quirky - careers in illustration and challenges faced by freelancers
  • illustrartists - the illustrator as artist and the role of illustration in the art world
  • illustration off the page: the use of illustration in unconventional places ie. graffiti, tattoos, animation, etc.

Each session costs AED 80 or AED 130 for both. 
To register, send an email to




















Event details
Exhibition: 1st-29th February 2012 (opening reception on 1st February at 7.30pm)
Workshops: Sketchbook Session on 11th February at 2pm and Discussions in Illustration on 18th February at 2pm
Venue: Cartoon Art Gallery, 4B Street, Al Quoz 1, Dubai (location map
Phone: 04 346 6467