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Tea with Culture

A podcast about the cultural happenings in the United Arab Emirates presented by Hind Mezaina (The Culturist) and Wael Hattar.

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Entries in Dubai (355)

Friday
Dec192014

The Beginnings of a Nation by Anita Van der Krol at The Empty Quarter

 

The Beginnings of a Nation is the latest exhibition at The Empty Quarter featuring photographs by Anita Van der Krol of Dubai in the late 1970s, a few years after the formation of the United Arab Emirates in 1971. "It was a period of transition from nomadic life to the first communities of this newly founded nation," states Van Der Krol.

In 1975, the wife of a Dutch dredging engineer, Anita Van der Krol was in a unique position to shoot intimate pictures of the first nomads to settle in this land. Living as an expat in Jumeirah, she became one of the first inhabitants of Jebel Ali Village. 

Rather naively, Van Der Krol ventured out to the villages, souks and sandy desert, with two small children in tow and managed to win the confidence and respect of the hundreds of people she met while photographing their way of life. “Some of them had never had a photo of themselves before. They were delighted and you can see that in the photographs,” states Van der Krol.

The Bedouin images from the desert must have been among the last taken, before this entire population gave up their nomadic existence and settled down to form towns and villages.

Van der Krol’s insightful photographs have rapidly become part of the heritage of this young country and a source of national pride.  

 

The exhibition is on till Wednesday, 31st December 2014. Here are some photos from the exhibition. 

 

 

Event details
Date: On till Wednesday, 31st December 2014. Sunday - Thursday 10.00 am - 8.00 pm. 
Venue: The Empty Quarter, Gate Village, Bldg 02, DIFC, Dubai
Free entry.

 

www.theemptyquarter.com
www.anitavanderkrol.com  

 

Friday
Dec192014

Foam Talent 2014 at East Wing, Dubai


East Wing in Dubai is hosting Foam Talent 2014
, in partnership with Foam, the leading international photographic organization based in Amsterdam. The exhibition is on till Saturday, 10th January 2015.  

The exhibition showcases a collection of international cutting edge photographic talent to the Gulf Region, selected by Foam from their annual "Talent Call".   

Foam’s annual "Talent Call" is one of the international photographic industry’s most prestigious instruments for scouting and presenting young photographers. The "Talent Call" with its accompanying presentation in Foam Magazine and touring exhibition provides a unique career building platform, helping to launch aspiring talents to an important next step in their photographic career. 

The Foam Talent label gives these photographers international acclaim and recognition.  This year, out of the 1,473 submissions from 71 different countries that were submitted, 21 artists were selected.

 

The Foam talents for 2014 are:
Christto & Andrew (QA), Charles-Henry Bédué (FR), Andrey Bogush (RUS/FIN), Jonny Briggs (UK), Daniel Everett (US), Lucas Foglia (US), Julien Gremaud (CH), Eva O'Leary and Harry Griffin (US), Jing Huang (CHN), Otto Kaan (NL), Sasha Kurmaz (UA), Catharine Maloney (US), Yoshinori Mizutani (JP), Nerhol (JP), Alice Quaresma (BRA), Émilie Régnier (CAN), Jan Rosseel (BE), Jennifer Niederhauser Schlup (CH), Sarah Ancelle Schönfeld (DE), Lukas Wassmann (CH), Hannah Whitaker (US)


Foam Talent 2014 has already been exhibited in Amsterdam and Paris, so it's wonderful to see it come to Dubai, an opportunity for anyone interested in photography to see new work. It's also great to see this year's edition includes artists from the Gulf region, the Qatar based duo Christto & Andrew


The following is a small selection of work from Foam Talent 2014 (all text via foam.org which can also be found in the Foam Talent 2014 magazine issue which is worth purchasing). The exhibition is on till Saturday, 10th January, make sure you go visit to see the work in person. 

 

Christto & Andrew

 

'Underlying the pair's interest in colour, excess and fakery is a strong critique of their adopted home. Simplistically, it highlights the mute tonalities of contemporary Middle Eastern art, which chafes against the pair's own experience of colour in their birth countries. More fundamentally, the pop-propagandistic idiom of their work is both a reproduction of, and analysis of Qatar's optimistic but unequal modernisation drive.'

From Christto Sanz and Andrew Weir, an essay on Christto & Andrew by Sean O'Toole. 




Charles-Henry Bédué

'In his project L'Habit Fait Le Moine, or The Clothes Make The Man, the French photographer Charles-Henry Bédué supplies a unique and highly thought-provoking window into aspects of materialism in Chinese culture. Photographed between 2011 and 2013 in Beijing, Bédué's project ostensibly focuses on objects of consumption such as clothing, shoes, handbags, mobile phones, food and so forth. Perhaps aided by his culturally elevated position as photographer and artist, he is able to enter seemingly exclusive venues for the emerging class of elites where these objects are put on display for others to see.'

From Fashioning the Rise of a New Global Economic Order, an essay on Charles-Henry by Marco Bohr. 




Jonny Briggs

'An encounter with the work of Jonny Briggs is profoundly unsettling. To enter into his artistic world is to inhabit a parallel universe created by the lovechild of David Lynch and Ralph Eugene Meatyard. The spirit of enquiry that propels this work, coupled with its formal beauty, symmetry, and strict application of colour, seduce the viewer into a prolonged act of looking.'

From Meeting Myself Coming Back, an essay on Jonny by Max Houghton.




Andrey Bogush

'When Andrey Bogush began studying psychology, he also started making photographs. His first pictures, made for his friends and family, took natural subjects and were printed as straight images. 'I was making landscapes. Cheesy sunsets and blah blah blah,' he explained dismissively to me over a shoddy skype connection. I wanted to know why such fine pictures weren't good enough, why he feels the need to alter them. Bogush says quite casually of his current practice, 'I should like the original image. I should like it somehow. But the next stage is either destroying it or doing something with it.''

From A Loving Destruction, an essay on Andrey by Matthew Leifheit. 




Julien Gremaud
 

'Once blown up to large-scale photographic prints, these double images become haunting monuments to a paradoxical world where the very notion of an objective media comes into question. Gremaud purposefully presents double images that create a contradiction from within: an idyllic holiday scene mixed together with a destroyed cityscape, or an image of mourners overlooking a mass grave juxtaposed with a photograph of a hectic media scrum.'

From Representing the Death of Neoliberalism, an essay on Julien by Marco Bohr. 




Jing Huang

'The scenes and people in Jing Huang's photographs are quite familiar: a group of trees, an outstretched hand dropping a bottle, two boats at sea, and a cat lounging on a step. Nothing flashy or obviously exotic grabs the viewer's attention. Yet within these mundane vignettes is an undercurrent of mystery. Is it the open expanse of warm light that wraps the trees in fog, or the sense that the bottle being dropped will land on a boat seen in the distance? Hard to say, yet there is always something there - something that fuels a desire to explore beyond the image surface.'

From Visual Poetry, an essay on Jing by Russet Lederman. 




Sasha Kurmaz

'The recent anti-government protests in Ukraine that began in November 2013 as a response to the rejection of a trade agreement with the EU and the strengthening political influence of Putin's Russia brought protestors in their hundreds of thousands into Independence Square in Kiev. The protesters who occupied the square, the Maidan, became the targets of brutal violence; the surrounding pale stone buildings were blackened by fire. Ukrainian artist Sasha Kurmaz witnessed this profoundly shocking chapter in his country's tumultuous history. His necessary artistic response was spontaneous: art as resistance; art as freedom.'

From Space of Possibilities, an essay on Sasha by Max Houghton.




Yoshinori Mizutani
 

'The Tokyo Parrots are obvious in some ways. We would conceivably notice them ourselves were we to wander the particular streets of Tokyo they live near. But for sure we would not see them the way Yoshinori Mizutani makes us see and experience them. The photographer elevates what must be a strange spectacle in person, to bring us a different, equally strange, and compelling beautiful spectacle in the form of photographs.'

From Tokyo Parrots, an essay on Yoshinori by Jörg Colberg.




Nerhol

'Through a process of discovery that combines the layering of multiple images with the reductive act of carving, Nerhol enlivens the flat and motionless planes of a photograph to reveal the connected fleeting movements that are the spirit of a living organism. Simply put, Nerhol expands our collective understanding of time through works that address the once-alive, now-dead side effect that is a residue of photography's fundamental nature.'

From Time Rediscovered, an essay on Nerhol by Russet Lederman.




Émilie Régnier

'I am really driven by the idea of showing a West African society that is growing,' says Régnier. That means ignoring the easy and the rote: pictures of elites quaffing champagne, or images cataloguing the atrocities of war. Witnessing with a camera takes many forms. For Régnier, photographic truth is located in the bodily presence of young West Africans proudly negotiating their future, a diverse future of many possibilities.'

From Diverse Future, an essay on Émilie by Sean O'Toole.  




Sarah Ancelle Schönfeld

'For All you can feel, Schönfeld transformed her studio into an alchemist's laboratory in which she combined the chemical components of photography and drugs to create a new amalgam. On the monochrome surfaces of developed negatives, she dripped liquid drugs from a pipette. According to its chemical composition, each created the most fantastic shapes.'

From Altered States, an essay on Sarah by Kim Knoppers. 




Hannah Whitaker

'The structure of a photograph is often inaudible, muffled by the image it depicts. Hannah Whitaker amplifies this edifice, often working within strict, self-imposed structures derived from systems such as music and mathematics; the resulting work purposefully undermines its own logic by embracing chance and human error. Her light-based, in-camera work puts the material flatness of the photograph at odds with the dimensionality of her underlying, figurative photographic representations.'

From Open Systems, an essay on Hannah by Liz Sales. 

 

 


Event details

Date: On till Saturday, 10th January 2015 (Saturday - Thursday 10:00am – 3:00pm and 5:00- 8:00 pm)
Venue: East Wing, Limestone House, Dubai International Financial Centre (location map)
Free entry. 

 

www.east-wing.org  
www.foam.org/foam-magazine/talent

 

Monday
Dec152014

The Object as Mediator by Robbert&Frank/Frank&Robbert at The Mine



The Mine
is an art space which opened last year in Dubai which exhibits work ranging from video and audio installations to painting, photography, sculptures and fashion. 

On Tuesday, 16th December 2014, The Mine will present "The Object as Mediator" by artistsRobbert&Frank/Frank&Robbert, who incorporate visual art, video, theatre and interaction in their performance art.

 
For their forthcoming performance at The Mine, the pair; inspired by the space’s concept and raw industrial décor, will focus their attention on the concept of portability. The idea that an object is defined by its origin and functionality may be altered by its usage in space and time, giving the object a new context and thus distorting our very perception of it. 

They will explore the theory that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, if an object’s parts are dismantled and reassembled differently, our identification, and interpretation of the object reshapes our sensory information. R&F F&R have often re-used some of their creations, perpetuating the idea that objects are in a constant state of evolution.   

The associative performance will include the superimposition of various video projections, live installations which will see their activation as they are unveiled and manipulated to fit different interpretations and performances during which viewers will be invited to take part.  


Event details

Date: Tuesday, 16th December 2014, 6.00-9.00pm
Venue: The Mine, Street 8a (Opposite Al Serkal Avenue), Warehouse 38, Al Quoz 1, Dubai, UAE
Phone: +971 (0) 4 379 1704
Free entry.



 
Monday
Dec012014

Film screening: Björk: Biophilia Live and When Bjork met Attenborough

 

DUCTAC in Dubai is hosting a free screening of Björk's concert film Biophilia Live and the documentary When Bjork met Attenborough on Friday, 5th December at 5pm. 

The screening will take place in Kilachand Studio Theatre and admission is free, but you must register to attend (send an email to marketing@ductact.org). 

I must say it's a missed opportunity not to screen the films in DUCTAC's main hall, Centrepoint Theatre which I personally think is more suited for a film like Biophilia Live. Nevertheless, it's great the film will be screened here. It's received very good reviews and whether you're a Bjork fan or not (and how could you not be), don't miss the film and the documentary. 

 

Biophilia (duration: 97 mins) 

 

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.’

 

 

When Bjork met Attenbourough (duration: 48mins)

Björk and Sir David Attenborough have long admired each other's work. In this remarkable documentary they explore our relationship with music and how it exists in the natural world.

 

If you can't make it, or not in Dubai, you can download/stream the film and the documentary here

 

 

Event details
Date: Friday, 5th December 2014 at 5pm (there will be a 20min break between the two films)
Venue: Kilachand Studio Theatre, DUCTAC, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai
Free admission, but registartion in advance is necessary. Send an email to marketing@ductac.org

 

 

www.biophiliathefilm.com
www.ductac.org  

Wednesday
Nov052014

QUOZ Arts Festival 2014

 

The third edition of QUOZ Arts Festival is on this Saturday, 8th November 2014 from 10am - 10pm. The all day event will include exhibition tours, performances, talks and film screenings - all free to enter. The complete schedule and map can be downloaded from here

The community-based event returns with an expanded programme, which will offer public events spanning design, music, art and film, across 45 creative spaces in Al Quoz’s arts district. Running from 10am till 10pm, the festival is free to attend and is open to all, making it a great initiative for the community to get involved in the local arts scene.

This year’s line-up will include live art and public murals by local artists, workshops, film screenings, gallery openings, live music performances and a street food market. Dedicated family-friendly events and workshops will take place through the day catering to children and parents alike.

 

Whilst most of the participating spaces are within walking distances, there are a few that aren't. There will be free QUOZ branded shuttle buses available for pick up and drop off from Times Square Mall and First Gulf Bank Metro Station to the various Quoz Arts Festival participating spaces.   

 

I won't highlight any specific exhibitions because they are all worth visiting (complete list of galleries can be found here), but I will highlight some of the events and spaces that are worth checking out. 

 

Satellite (10.00 am - 10.00 pm)
You will find a selection of art, publications, music and t-shirts by Barbu, Digital Gravel DXB, LovePrint. Satellite can be found in Alserkal Avenue.




Film screenings at Art Sawa (11.00am - 8.00pm) 
Art Sawa will sreen 3 artist-based film screenings throughout the day.

Pollock at 11.00am 

Basquiat at 4.40pm 

Love is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon at 8.00pm  




Sound Art Performance with Fari Bradley and Chris Weaver at Gallery Ward (4.30pm - 5.00pm)




Demo at Gulf Photo Plus of tintype portraits by Antonie Robertson (5.00pm - 6.00pm) 
Exhibiting artist Antonie Robertson will walk viewers through the tintype photography process by capturing portraits live on site at Gulf Photo Plus. You will also get a chance to see his solo exhibition, The Slow Portrait - UAE Tintype Photography.




Artist Talk at A4 Space (5.00pm - 6.00pm)  
Artists Lynne Heller and Jackie Calderwood will present a talk on ‘Engines of Difference’, a site-responsive project using tourist transportation and the geography of Dubai. 




Improv Theatre at The Courtyard Playhouse (6.30pm - 9.00pm)
  
Drama fans are invited to watch a showcase by the Geoffrey Dolan workshop participants from 6.00pm - 7.30pm, and the interactive and unpredictable show "Maestro" from 8.00pm. 




Film screening at A4 Space (7.00pm - 10.00pm)   
Dubai International Film Festival present ‘Hopper Stories’, a unique series of short fiction films inspired by the extraordinary work of American painter Edward Hopper.  

 

 

 

Event details
Date: Saturday, 8th November 2014 from 10.am - 10.00pm
Venue: Al Quoz, Dubai (location map
Detailed map and schedule of events. Free branded shuttles will be available for pick up and drop off from Times Square Mall and First Gulf Bank Metro Station to various Quoz Arts Festival participating spaces in Alserkal Avenue and Al Quoz.

 

 

 

QUOZ Arts Festival 2014 

 

 

Monday
Oct272014

Film Screening: The City Dark 


To accompany its latest exhibition Darkened Cities by Thierry Cohen, East Wing will host a free film screening of The City Dark on Tuesday, 28th October 2014.

 

It's quite a suitable film to watch at this exhibition, since it addresses some of the issues raised in the Darkened Cities photo series, i.e. lack of visible stars in our skies due to light pollution and its impact on us physically and psychologically. It's a documentary worth watching, so if you're in the neighbiourhood, don't miss this. The exhibition is worth visiting as well. 

  

The City Dark chronicles the disappearance of darkness. When filmmaker Ian Cheney moves to New York City from Maine and discovers an urban sky almost completely devoid of stars. He poses a deceptively simple question, "What do we lose, when we lose the night?”

 

 

Exhibition details 
Date: Tuesday, 26th October at 7pm (Darkened Cities exhibition on till 20th November 2014)
Venue: Limestone House #12, Dubai International Financial Center (location map)
Free entry.

 

 


www.east-wing.org 
www.thecitydark.com 
www.thierrycohen.com 

 

Monday
Oct202014

Exhibition - Works on Paper: Hikayat at Green Art Gallery 

Installation view of Works on Paper: Hikayat


Last Saturday I visited Green Art Gallery to see Works on Paper: Hikayat. The exhibition includes over 50 works on on paper by Modern Arab artists including Khouzayma AlwaniMahmoud HammadAdham IsmailJamil MolaebFateh MoudarresAref El RayessKhaldoun ShishaklySeif Wanly and Elias Zayat


 

Taking storytelling as its main theme ("hikayat" means stories in Arabic), the exhibition brings together works that offer a glimpse of drawing’s potential to make cultural, social, and political proposals or stories, through diverse formal processes. 

Drawing is a medium that offers an intimate and open field for imaginative elaboration, in which concepts and ideas can emerge and change with relative ease. Uninhibited by the obligation to create a finished and independent object, as is traditionally associated with painting and sculpture, drawing as a medium lends itself readily to the theoretical and the experimental. 

 

The exhibition includes work that is beautiful, harsh, emotional and sensual. Despite all the artists being male, there is a strong female presence in the exhibition. There are some rare works here, so if you are in Dubai, don't miss this, it's on till Suday, 26th October.

My only gripe is that I wish the gallery includes a small description about each artist or work to help visitors understand the importance of this work, and to put it in cultural and historical context relevant to this region.)

 

 

My favourite work from this exhibition is a one of a kind piece by Khaldoun Sheishakly (see images below). Titled Shops and Vendors of the Past, it is a collection of 500 works on paper and due to its delicate condition, we cannot browse through each sheet. But the few pages that were laid out had such amazing details drawn with an ink pen, each one telling stories visually and with words. This piece ought to be in a museum for more people to see it. It is sublime. 

Khaldoun Shishakly, Shops and Vendors of the Past, Ink on paper, set of 100 works, each 26 x 21 cm

Installation view of Khaldoun Shishakly's Shops and Vendors of the Past, Ink on paper, set of 100 works, each 26 x 21 cm

Shops and Vendors of the Past is a rare account of 500 works on paper by a Syrian artist, Khaldoun Sheishakly, who has spent his entire life drawing and documenting 500 Damascene professions in intricate detail.

It represents an important history of storytelling and life in Syria and summarizes the artists’ needs to carve a cultural identity that reflected the groundbreaking social and political changes that were taking place at that time. 

 

 

Here are more works from the exhibition. 

Khouzayma Alwani

Khouzayma Alwani, Untitled, 1999, Ink on canson paper, 35.5 x 26.5 cm

The region’s political turmoils in the 1970s and 80s are portrayed by Khouzayma Alwani (b.1934, Syria). Alwani’s delicate horrors are so exquisite they beguile the viewer into fascination with intricate imagery. Following the Hama Massacre of 1981, his work revolved around the world as a big dramatic theater of monsters and beasts, in a tacit allusion to the Syrian society in a state of devastation. 

 

Aref El Rayess

Aref El Rayess, Untitled, c. 1973, Ink on canson paper, 36 x 44.5 cm

Aref El Rayess, Untitled, c. 1973, Ink on canson paper, 37.5 x 38 cm

The work in the exhibition by Aref el Rayess (1928-2005, Lebanon) belong to a series of drawings he produced in the early 1970s to denounce the corruption he was witnessing within the political circles governing the Middle East after the Cairo accord in 1969 and the 1973 Arab Israeli war.

For El Rayess, it is as if the leaders and politicians were gambling our destinies through fishy manipulations and tacit agreements, hence jeopardizing the ideals of the revolution his generation firmly believed in and fought for. The age of deceit has started, and the political scene in the Arab world seems like a big farce. 

 

 

Mahmoud Hammad

Mahmoud Hammad, Untitled, 1957, Gouache on paper, 35 x 26 cm 

Mahmoud Hammad, Untitled, 1958, Gouache on paper, 36 x 46 cm

Syrian master Mahmoud Hammad (1923-1988, Syria) recounted rural Syrian life, earlier in his career. Although he has been widely known for his late Abstract Calligraphic period (during the period 1964 till his death in 1988), in which the Arab script and letters became the main element, Hammad’s earlier work are of equal importance.

Upon his return from Rome, he moved to Daraa where he lived for two years and started a series of paintings depicting the social scenes of the Southern area of Horan (Daraa). During that period, Hammad’s central theme was the concept of the family, in addition to the role of the mother.

He was also concerned with the political landscape during that period such as February 1958, a work through which he evoked the union between Egypt and Syria by depicting the metaphorical birth of the two nations' child and at the same time, alluded to the Palestinian cause in many of his works amongst which A Girl from Horan, Wounded and Exile.

This exhibition includes Hammad’s works on paper from the Horan period, most of which became studies for much larger paintings, and many of which have never been shown to the public. 

 

Adham Ismail

Adham Ismail, Untitled, Ink on carton, 47.5 x 32.5 cm

Adham Ismail, Untitled, Ink on carton, 44 x 32 cm

 

Jamil Molaeb

Jamil Molaeb, Untitled, c. 1992, Gouache on carton, 50 x 70 cm

For many artists of his generation, storytelling included the representation of the traditional rural life they were witnessing. This is true of Lebanese artist Jamil Molaeb’s (b. 1948) works, which were inspired by the landscapes he saw in the mountains of Lebanon and other sceneries from the traditional life of different Arab communities, depicting in his own way the villages, cities, fields and the people in their daily life. 

 

Fateh Moudarres

Fateh Moudarres, Untitled, 1981, Watercolor on paper, 29.5 x 38.5 cm

For Fateh Moudarres (1922-1999, Syria), his representational language was engaged with mythology, religion and popular lore as well as a deep political engagement. An accomplished writer and poet, his “dessins” were also featured in several of his published short stories.

Moudarres was once quoted: “It looks childish, but it is not childish. In my paintings one can see, how much I love human beings, in my art I stand near them, when the power of fate and oppressive structures beset them”.  

 

Seif Wanly

Seif Wanly, Untitled, c. 1953, Pastel on canson paper, 30.5 x 47 cm

Seif Wanly, Untitled, c. 1953, Pastel on canson paper, 30.5 x 47 cm

The theatrical and the sublime is present in the work of Egyptian artist Seif Wanly (1906-1979). The exhibition includes several works on paper in which he portrayed society’s more esoteric dimensions, featuring medieval traditions, circus acrobats and ballet dancers. 

 


Elias Zayat

Elias Zayat, The Rider, 1967, Ink and watercolor on paper, 63 x 43 cm

Another artist who has been throughly engaged with mythology is the Syrian artist Elias Zayat (b. 1935). Considered among the great modern artists in Syria, Zayat has had a long and rich career in painting and drawing over many decades.

Known for his dramatic portraiture of mankind, his practice has been thoroughly engaged with the visual legacy of mythology, ancient civilizations and religions in the region. Figures intertwine, almost floating, while recurring images of faces, some classical, others saintly and yet others tortured, recall Zayat’s other endeavor – conservationist and restorer of orthodox icons.   

 

 

 

Exhibition details
Date: On till Saturday, 26th October 2014, Saturday - Thursday 10am - 7pm
Venue: Green Art Gallery, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz, Dubai (location map)

 

 

www.gagallery.com 
www.gagallery.com/exhibitions/2014-09-15_works-on-paper-hikayat 

 

 

[images and text via Green Art Gallery]

Sunday
Oct192014

Exhibition - Act & Application at Lawrie Shabibi

littlewhitehead - Parrot, from the series Our Pleasure, 2013 | Inkjet Print 277 x 270 cm (overall installation) 109 1/8 x 106 1/4


Act & Application at Lawrie Shabibi
is a group exhibition that brings together six contemporary artists from around the world: Ra di Martino, littlewhitehead, Arthur Prior, David Rickard, Darren Harvey-Regan and Setareh Shahbazi

Curated by London based William Lunn, the exhibition offers a selection from the breadth of diverse outcomes that result from artists’ use of photography within a broader multi-media practice.

It's quite a compelling selection of photography - if you are interested in photography that goes beyond the image, beyond the conventional norms, then don't miss this exhibition. It is on till 29th October 2014. 

 

Some of the works from the exhibition: 

 

Ra di Martino 

Ra di Martino - No More Stars (Star Wars) #14, 2010 | Archival pigment print on Baryta paper | 40 x 40 cm 15 3/4 x 15 3/4 in edition of 5 plus 1 artist's proofs

 

 

Ra di Martino's No More Stars (Star Wars) depicts ruins of abandoned desert film sets in Tunisia and Morocco. 

Whether the material ruins of a fictional future in No More Stars (Star Wars) or of a replica and dislocated Mecca in her untitled Morocco series, all aspects are considered through the lens of a filmmaker with only peripheral knowledge of photographic convention.

The effects are seen most noticeably in her choice of presentation. The No More Stars series have significant white space left beneath each print as if editors notes or subtitles for on screen dialogue might appear at any moment.

 

 

littlewhitehead 

littlewhitehead -The Beef People, 2013 | Inkjet Print 277 x 270 cm 109 1/8 x 106 1/4 in

littlewhitehead - What are you doing?, 2013 | Inkjet Print 277 x 270 cm 109 1/8 x 106 1/4 in

Glaswegian artist duo littlewhitehead have extended their irreverent take on art production to include photography by enlarging holiday snaps of America taken from their families archive. The amateur nature of Our Pleasure adds to the authenticity of each found image - no matter how bizarre the content nothing is staged.

Without ever lifting a camera littlewhitehead create a photographic series with its own unconventional language that evokes a certain European nostalgia with regards to American culture.

 

 

Setareh Shahbazi

Setareh Shahbazi - Spectral Days #33, 2013 | Pigmented ink print 28 x 20 cm 11 1/8 x 7 7/8 in

Iranian Setareh Shahbazi’s starting point for her projects is photographs: family photos, film stills, postcards, magazine clippings and more. In her series Spectral Days Shahbazi revisits family photos she stumbled upon from her visit to Tehran in 2009, conjuring up memories of her family’s exile from Iran following the revolution. 

With a healthy disregard for the sanctity of photography as a mirror of reality, she breaks down the images using digital manipulation. Blending, dissolving and over-painting the images to further decontextualize her subjects she engages our imagination in read infinite possible narratives. 

 

 

David Rickard 

David Rickard - Exhaust #3, 2011 | C-type print 100 x 75 cm 39 3/8 x 29 1/2 in

Born in New Zealand but based in London, David Rickard examines our relationship to space in architectural terms. With the work Exhaust, he tests his respiratory requirements on a space during one 24 hour period, capturing every outbreath without sleep or rest in large foil balloons.

Working in collaboration with photographer Manuel Vason, images were captured throughout the process, recording the totemic rise of 98 balloons as they accumulated. Here Rickard uses photography purely as an outsourced documentary record of a transitory performance.

 

 

Arthur Prior 

British artist Arthur Prior has made several series of quasi-photographic images using his own customised scanning technology. While this unconventional approach to making images throws out many photographic compositional concerns his recent work Various incarnations of Shirley singles out and documents one core convention of the photographic tradition – the printers test trip.

Taking the original colour test strip model ‘Shirley’ as its starting point the artist’s book charts the history of the strips and the various models who came to be known collectively as the ‘Shirleys’. When compiled as a record the effects of feminism, globalization, racial equality, political correctness and technology are drawn out, in subtle and often humorous juxtapositions.

 

 

Darren Harvey-Regan 

Darren Harvey Regan - Mass, 2013 | C-Print on archival paper | 100 x 80cm central panel, 90 x 35cm left and right panels

Born in Britain, Darren Harvey-Regan studied photography but works across disciplines to subvert, question and extend the conventions of photography and its relationship to representation and the physical world.

In Mass the simplest and most direct approach is favored in order to render the medium as transparent as possible. Presenting the image in this triptych form he draws not on photographic convention but on the tradition of icon painting. Enhanced by the title - which alludes as much to ceremony as the peculiar weight of the palm, which is its central focus, the artist manipulates representation and transports these objects into the realm of the profound.

 

 

Exhibition details
Date: On till 29th October 2014, Saturday - Thursday 10am - 6pm 
Venue: Lawrie Shabibi, Unit 21, Al-Serkal Avenue, Al Quoz, Dubai (location map)
Phone: +9714 346 9906 

 

 

www.lawrieshabibi.com
www.radimartino.com  
www.littlewhitehead.com  
www.lawrieshabibi.com/Setareh-Shahbazi
www.arthurprior.com  
www.david-rickard.net  
www.harveyregan.com  

 

 

Sunday
Oct192014

Slidefest #14 - 22nd October 2014

© Yasser Alwan (from Akkasah: Center for Photography at NYU Abu Dhabi)

  

The 14th edition of Slidefest organised by Gulf Photo Plus is back this month after a long summer break. The latest edition will take place on Wednesday, 22nd October at 7pm in the Knowledge Village Auditorium

If you've not been to Slidefest before, it's a free community event hosted by Gulf Photo Plus where photographers take the stage to share unique, personal photography projects that run the gamut of genres including landscape and portrait photography, travel and fine art photography and much more. 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: 

 

Farah Al Balooshi

Farah Al Balooshi will present a series of minimal black and white fine art photographs that capture man-made and natural architecture in the purest and simplest forms.

 

 

Özge Calafato  

From the Yasser Alwan Collection 

Özge Calafato currently works with the New York University in Abu Dhabi, and will be presenting a project called Akkasah, which is the name of the Centre for Photography at the University.  

Akkasah explores the histories and contemporary practices of photography in the Arab world. It fosters the scholarly study of these histories and practices in dialogue with other photographic cultures and traditions from around the world. Through a range of activities, the centre also supports the developing photographic culture in the UAE.  

Ozge will be presenting work from the first photography collection that Akkasah acquired, Vernacular Photography from Egypt: The Yasser Alwan Collection. 

 

 

Jack Dabaghian 


Jack Dabaghian unfolds a brilliant mix of story-telling and colourful visualisation while showcasing tribal traditions, fashion and daily routines, all told with unfettered honesty. He engages with his subjects in a way that puts them at ease resulting in an honest representation of their individual lives. 

 

 

Gerald Donovan 

Gerald Donovan is a photographer based in Dubai. For the last 18 months he has been working with Dubai Film Productions on creating a revolutionary 360 degree immersive tour of Dubai that is due to launch in December 2014.  "Little Planet" is a timelapse of Dubai International Airport.  Gerald explains,

"Later this year at Dubai360.com a groundbreaking website will be launched that will enable you to explore Dubai from anywhere in the world utilising state of the art 360 degree multimedia.  As a sneak preview of the kind of amazing content to come, you can experience what it's like to be standing on the top of the control tower at Dubai International Airport. The timelapse was shot over a 30 hour period depicting over 1,000 planes landing, taking off, and taxiing at the airport." 

 



Brian Kerrigan
  

Brian Kerrigan has headed the photo department at The National since the paper’s inception in 2008. In addition to leading a team of editors, photographers and multimedia staff, he’s also a passionate photographer.

With camera in tow, Brian has spent the past two years documenting life in the United Arab Emirates shooting nightlife, street culture and portraiture.  Kerrigan will be sharing a selection of his UAE work for Slidefest.

 

 

Catalin Marin 

Catalin Marin will be presenting a series titled "When Time Becomes a Loop". Catalin explains, 

 "Ever since I started learning photography, I have always been fascinated with photographing rivers, waterfalls and oceans. A photograph is a single moment in time and yet a body of water is something that's constantly moving and changing. Sometimes, these changes are so slow that our eyes cannot really perceive them and this is where long exposure photographs come into play. Keeping the camera shutter open for long period of times allowed me to capture landscapes which we will never truly see, but which we can easily imagine."

 

 

Shahid Mohammed  

Shahid Mohammed will be presenting a series of images titled The Dream Sellers of Kolkata.  In his images he examines the relationship between the buyer and seller in various locations throughout Kolkata.  He feels that in our modern age bar codes are replacing with conversations, care and concern.  

Where once the relationship between the buyer and seller was a close connection, this has begun to be replaced with a fast and impersonal exchange. Shahid's work highlights merchants in Kolkata who still have that connection with the community, still know their customers by name, and greet them with a smile.

 

 

 

Event details:
Date: Wednesday, 22nd October at 7pm
Location: Knowledge Village Auditorium, Dubai (location map)
Free entry.  

 

www.gulfphotoplus.com
www.gulfphotoplus.com/blog/830/GPP-Slidefest-Dubai-Knowledge-Village-Wed-Oct-22-7pm

Tuesday
Oct142014

Exhibition - Darkened Cities by Thierry Cohen at East Wing 

© Thierry Cohen


When I first looked at
Thierry Cohen's series Darkened Cities, I thought of how sad and poetic they are, beautiful images of what could be. 


It's a series of work that must be seen in person, looking at the work online does not do it any justice. So make sure you go to East Wing in Dubai to see this series. The exhibition is on from 16th October - 20th November 2014. 

Look out for an interview with Thierry Cohen soon, but for now, here's more about Darkened Cities, via East Wing:  

 

Photographer Thierry Cohen Imagines World Cities Without Lights, his dazzling photographs are rich not only in implication and in sheer visual appeal, but in technical ingenuity. The laborious process of creating his nights-cape images reveals exactly what a specific city’s inhabitants would see when gazing skyward on a clear night if pollution — atmospheric and, even more importantly, light pollution — were not obstructing the view.

The method he employs to produce his pictures is, in its own way, as fascinating as the result. After photographing a cityscape, Cohen positions himself on that city’s exact same geographical latitude in a desert — often thousands of miles away — and takes a photograph, facing the same direction, at the same sidereal time (a scale based on the Earth’s rate of rotation relative to fixed stars) as in the city itself. 

 

© Thierry Cohen

“The best way to show the stars that are no longer [visible from the city] is to simply put them back in their place,” Cohen says.

“I use the same techniques [as early photography innovators], simply with different tools,” Cohen explains.  

Despite the state-of-the-art digital manipulation he brings to bear, Cohen compares his procedure to techniques utilized by old (sometimes very old) masters of the craft. Like Gustave Le Gray, who in the 1850s merged images of seascapes with sky scenery, Cohen also combines two “scape” pictures — a cityscape and a star-sprayed nightscape — in order to build his utterly singular photographs.

 

© Thierry Cohen

Cohen has traveled the world and shuttled between bustling cities and empty, silent deserts in pursuit of his vision. For his Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo photos, he traveled to the Atacama Desert in Chile. For New York, he travelled to Black Rock Desert, Nevada. 

Beyond the technical challenges that he’s faced, Cohen has also endured what might be termed more prosaic, if no less intense, human-made hurdles. When he ventured into the Western Sahara, for example, to create his Hong Kong nightscape, he had to be escorted. Due to the conflict between the Polisario Front and Morocco and the prevalence of countless land mines that still pock the territory, it was far too dangerous for him to wander the desert alone. 

 

© Thierry Cohen

“That is when the project went further than talking about pollution,” he says. “It became something political. The sky is a link between human beings. It is a representation of what earth should be — without borders and without war.”

Although his photographs interrogate the stresses and the benefits — in fact, the very nature of urban living — Cohen started the project with a more basic goal: namely, to create utopian (and, in a sense, imaginary) photographs that let the viewer dream.

Ultimately, though, what he’s trying to do is bring to the city the silence he felt in the desert. “I am creating a bridge between the two environments,” he says.  

 

 

 

Exhibition details 
Date: 16th October - 20th November 2014
Hours: Saturday through Thursday 10:00 am – 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm 
Venue: Limestone House #12, Dubai International Financial Center (location map)

 

www.thierrycohen.com
www.east-wing.org  

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