The Culturist Recommends - Exhibitions in July/August 2016

Summer time in Dubai sees a decreased number of new exhibition openings, but there are a few ongoing exhibitions running all summer. Here are five exhibitions (the last two have been listed in previous months) that you can visit between now and August.

Click on the title of each exhibition below if you'd like to read more.


Gallery: DUCTAC, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai
Dates: Until 31st July 2016


Khalid Mezaina - Television of the Month, 15 sec single-channel stop motion video installation

Ramadinzation explores artists and designers' personal versus collective memories of Ramadan, reflecting on their own significant memories and experiences of Ramadan. Against increasing corporatisation of Ramadan, these personal and artistic re-interpretations highlight many common and shared experiences of the holy month by incorporating recognisable elements such as Ramadan "musalsalat" (Khalid Mezaina), the iftar table (Fatima Albudoor), or being on one's best behavior (Safwan Subzwari).

Parataxic distortion by Christo & Andrew
Gallery: East Wing, Dubai
Dates: Until 1st September 2016
Summer hours in July: 10am - 2pm, Saturday - Thursday

Working across photography, mixed media and film, Doha based artists, Christto & Andrew have been breaking boundaries with their bold compositions since forming their artistic union in 2012. Colourful and daring, the pair works in partnership to produce a stream of hyperrealism that blends humour and portraiture while generating strong statements that challenge vapid and misleading stereotypes about the Gulf region.

Traditional ideas about photography are continually being challenged with the incorporation of new tools and methods, including widespread uses of appropriation and performance, paving the way for radical changes in how we conceive of this art form.

Their practice employs an evocative contemporary narrative that is fresh and exciting, with compositions that dabble in sarcasm and the fantastic presenting an alternative viewpoint on recent developments in the Gulf, defying any attempts by the main stream to pigeonhole them, or their reflections on the region.

Made in Tashkeel
Gallery: Tashkeel, Dubai
Dates: Until 1st September 2016

Emma Pathere - Selfie

Made in Tashkeel is an annual exhibition showcasing the works of Tashkeel members, workshop participants and recent exhibiting artists. The exhibition celebrates the on-going practice of members that makes up the creative and communal atmosphere within the art organisation.

Home Ground
Gallery: Barjeel Art Foundation, Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah
Dates: Until 1st September 2016


Manal Al Dowayan - Suspended Together – Standing Doves

The connection one feels to place is an abstract notion, often spoken of in terms of memories, habits, rituals, and experiences. It is elusive, yet always present. Home Ground addresses the struggles associated with navigating geo-political barriers, and explores ways in which identity is shaped by one’s relationship with a particular geography.
The works presented in this exhibition have relevance beyond their individual contexts, touching upon themes and experiences that resonate on a global scale.


The Short Century
Museum: Sharjah Art Museum, Sharjah
Dates: Until 24th December 2016


Seif Wanly - Oil on panel, 58.5 x 71 cm, 1953

Historical periods are not defined by calendar dates, but by significant events that mark the end of one era and the beginning of the next. The 20th Century is “The Short Century,” a term popularised by the historian Eric Hobsbawm for an era that saw many of the most dramatic and extreme shifts in human history.

This era was witness to the most violent wars, the largest human migrations, the rapid expansion of cities (now the largest centres of human life), the dominance of mechanised industry, and the rapid rise, conflict, and collapse of expansive ideologies that underpinned them.

The Short Century begins in the European context with the First World War in 1914, and ends in 1991 with the fall of the Soviet Union. In the Middle East, the Century bears parallel borders: the Sykes-Picot Agreement (1916) or the fall of the Ottoman Empire (1920) marks its beginning, and the Gulf War (1990-1991) marks its conclusion. Each end demarcates stark shifts in politics, society, and cultural production.

This exhibition explores a number of artistic narratives in the Arab world, from representations of landscape and portraiture, responses to social and political developments, and the rise of nationalisms. As counterpoint alongside these expressions are the developments of abstraction – tajreed – and hurufiyya (an indigenous lettrism).

Links to the previous months:

The Culturist Recommends - Exhibitions in January 2016

The Culturist Recommends - Exhibitions in February 2016

The Culturist Recommends - Exhibitions in March 2016

The Culturist Recommends - Exhibitions in April 2016

The Culturist Recommends - Exhibitions in May 2016