All posts tagged: Arts

Art Dubai Commissions – Part 1 – Doa Aly

For the last seven years, Art Dubai has developed a series of non-profit, commissioned works to exhibit alongside the fair. They present an opportunity for visitors to engage with artists often informed by or from the region, who create new works and performances intended to question the fabric of an art fair. In the next three pieces, FNND asks three of the project artists some questions: Doa Aly, Sreshta Rit Premnath and art collective Nile Sunset Annex. For 2016, independent curator and writer Yasmina Reggad, who was tapped to lead the projects and commissions, invited Doa Aly, Sreshta Rit Premnath, Massinissa Selmani, Lydia Ourahmane and Areej Kaoud, Moza Almatrooshi, and Jumairy, as well as the art collective Nile Sunset Annex. Reggad, whose research area is currently focused on the politics of futurity, has aptly titled the series of commissions Into the Unknown, meant as a catalyst to bring forth questions underlying the “mechanism[s] of the production of our fantasies, expectations and projections triggered by this young, 44-year-old federal state [of the United Arab Emirates]”. Commenting on the …

In conversation: FNND with Paula Naughton and Clement Siatous | Part 1

Clement Siatous was born in 1947 on the Chagos Islands, a small isolated archipelago in the middle of the Indian Ocean. He spent most of his childhood on the island of Diego Garcia until he and his family were forcibly evicted. The entire population of the islands was expelled by the British Government to make way for a US naval base in 1973. The base on Diego Garcia, also known as Camp Justice or Footprint of Freedom has become one of the most strategic, integral bases for the US global War on Terror and known as a transit site for CIA rendition exercises. 

The UK Government has been accused of creating the fiction that a permanent population never existed on the Chagos Islands. This claim was made easier to uphold due to sparse photographic documentation that until recently mainly existed in dispersed military and government archives. As with many evicted Chagossians, compelled to leave their belongings behind, Siatous had no documentation of his heritage. In direct response to the continued political denial, he began to …

In conversation IV: Bharti Kher

Bharti Kher was born in the UK in 1969. She studied painting, graduating in 1991 from Newcastle Polytechnic. At 23, she moved to New Delhi in India, where she lives and works today. Her work encompasses painting, sculpture and installation, often incorporating found material, using them to transform objects and dissolve the distinction between two and three dimensions. Sculptures she has made since the mid-2000s combine animal with human body parts to create hybrid female figures that confront the viewer with a compelling mixture of sexuality and monstrosity. In contrast, her bindi ‘paintings’ are abstract and aesthetic, turning the mass-produced consumerist items into artworks of sumptuous beauty. Her work is engaged with the readymade, minimalism and abstraction (through repetition), mythology and narratives. Solo exhibitions include Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai (2014); Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art, London (2012); Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Virus, Gateshead, England (2008). She has taken part in numerous group exhibitions at various institutions including Guggenheim Abu Dhabi; Khoj International Artists’ Association, New Delhi, India Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany; Museum of Contemporary Canadian …

In conversation II: Raqs Media Collective

Raqs Media Collective comprises a group of three practitioners—Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula, and Shuddhabrata Sengupta—all based in New Delhi.  The collective was formed in 1992 after its three members graduated from the Mass Communications Research Centre at the Jamia Milia Islamia university in Delhi. Through the 1990s Raqs made a number of documentary films, including In the Eye of the Fish (1997), Present Imperfect, Future Tense (1999) and a thirteen-part television series, Growing Up (1995), which display many of the themes that they have continued to explore in their subsequent work—the urban landscape, the meaning and uses of media and technology, the nature of knowledge and what it means to learn. Through their work, learning becomes not only an artistic impulse but a wider human faculty associated with the capacity of individuals and societies for imaginative and ethical innovation. In 2001 Raqs co-founded the Sarai Programme and the Sarai Reader Series at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi, with Prof. Rvai Vasudevan and Prof. Ravi Sundaram as directors of the programme. …

Tales of Exile – Abdul Hay Mosallam Zarara at Sharjah Art Foundation

Abdul Hay Mosallam Zarara is a self-taught Palestinian artist who has meticulously worked on archiving the recent histories of the Palestinian people. He was born in 1933 at Al-Dawayima in Palestine, and currently lives and works in Amman. Mosallam recreates scenes from daily life in his lost Palestinian home that have remained vivid in his mind since his expulsion from the village of Al-Dawayima in 1948. Mosallam has also produced extensive documentation of the recent Palestinian struggle and liberation movements in the form of painted reliefs – it is these works that form the basis of the exhibition in Sharjah. The extract on show forms part of a “painted archive” – a unique representation of a community writing its own history. Like all his work, the pieces on show at the Sharjah Art Foundation till 15 January 2015 are highly illustrative. Mosallam did not have any formal training, using sawdust and glue to construct the reliefs. Is his early works, Mosallam recalls village scenes, elaborate  with details of traditions and celebrations,  everyday life in Palestine …