All posts tagged: Arts

Warm winds of summer’s wreckage: art in the UAE, September-October

Let’s face it. No matter if you manage to spend a few weeks out of the country, have a long list of projects requiring you to spend time indoors, are addicted to social media – the summer in Dubai can be an exhausting, never ending, sweat pit of incubating frustrations. What a relief then that it is over for another year! Well, at least almost over. The masses have returned from cooler climes to find those of us left behind gagging for some conversation, some relief from carrying the load, rehabilitation from cabin fever and pining for some new art. So here it is – Fat Nancy’s hit list for September/October. We’ll ease in gently with The Third Line’s project space and Farah Al Qasimi. A recent evacuee from Dubai to New York, we wonder on reflection what the artist herself will now make of her images of Dubai, taken in the period leading up to her departure a few months ago. According to the press release, the images range from Macdonald’s signs on desert highways to the intimacy of a …

FNND focus on Art Dubai 2014

It is always interesting to see the clean edit of a gallery’s rota of artists in the commercial element of an art fair … but the fun stuff happens in the rapid exchanges of information, the intense but fleeting conversations, and importantly – the non-profit sections/projects. As Art Dubai develops its non-profit areas each year, the programming has, perhaps inevitably, become more rigorous. Its geographical location – at the crossroads of cultures, aesthetics, politics and religions –  gives it a unique position to shed light on some new and relatively un-explored territories when it comes to contemporary art but also, to initiate some weighty discussions. The Art Dubai team seem to make the most of every opportunity that a commercial fair in a burgeoning art scene can provide, building a non-profit programme that stretches from newly commissioned works in incubus stages to a series of public talks, radio station, book launches and performances. Drawing on the conversations and connections that are made and grow year on year, it has become not only a fair that attracts increasingly established galleries, but also a meeting place …

FNND’s March at Alserkal Avenue

For those of you not based in the UAE, March in Dubai is commonly referred to as a ‘March Madness’. All the galleries have openings, Sharjah Art Foundation hosts the March Meetings or the Sharjah Biennale (depending on the year) and there are 3 fairs: Art Dubai, SIKKA (non-profit) and Design Days Dubai. Below are a couple of FNND’s highlights from the galleries at Al Serkal Avenue and swiftly following, some interesting and surprising works found at Art Dubai. Top of the list is Isabelle van den Eynde with the playful work from Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian. It’s a relief to experience a completely immersive exhibition in a commercial gallery in Dubai – this is an exhibition that you can keep going back to again and again. Through to every corner of the space is evidence of the extent of the artists’ spirited collaboration. The immediacy and detailed tactility of the works is balanced with a weight of subject matter and the accumulation of experiences and time that led to the creation /collation …

Bring the money to the makers: Damien Hirst and Adel Abdessemed in Doha

Damien Hirst’s RELIC at QMA in Doha leaves Fat Nancy stone cold whilst Adel Abdessemed stokes the fire of art in the Middle East.  Maybe FN wasn’t in the mood, maybe it is just that she’s seen it too many times before, maybe it was too much expectation, or perhaps it was knowing that the fly larvae had been flown in business class – but FN went into Damien Hirst’s exhibition in Doha looking to find some new insights and left feeling empty. Granted, a satisfaction of her yearning for a nostalgic flashback to the first time she saw 1000 years in London at the ‘Sensation’ exhibition was unrealistic – you cannot relive seeing that work for the first time.  That, along with versions of The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (the sharks), Mother and Child Divided (sliced cows), the medicine cabinets and experiencing the stench of the giant ashtray of fag butts in editions of Crematorium are important works that anyone with an interest in art should see, if the opportunity presents itself. His enduring fascination with the daily …

A whisper of a breeze – end of desert summer and a stroll to see some art

The desert summer is leaving us for another year and the air is beginning to feel cool (ish), the galleries are re-opening and Fat Nancy took a stroll around Al Quoz and found an exhibition that re-ignited an interest in calligraphy in contemporary art – Pouran Jinchi, The Third Line. It brought to mind other artists working in a very similar way and left an itching to get back to old notes and dig out some favourites – in particular fellow Iranians,  Azra Aghighi Bakhshayeshi, Golnaz Fathi and Mohamed Bozorgi (ref. images at the end of article). You may not read or understand Arabic, but there is a musicality to the pieces and something meditative about the repetitious nature of their making that draws the viewer in. It’s understood that even a native speaker would struggle to define any actual letters in most of the works – someone once described the effect as a kind of whispering, the paintings murmuring to the viewer. The message is almost inaudible and they hint towards meaning rather than explicitly …