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)