The Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai opened to wide acclaim late last year, with an enthusiastic and diverse local, regional and international audience in attendance. The inaugural group exhibition, Crude, curated by Murtaza Vali, remains on view but opening today (March 6) are three small solo exhibitions. Part of the centre’s ARTIST’S ROOM series — each considering one influential, innovative artist are largely drawn from the Art Jameel Collection.
A highlight — new photographs as well as portraits taken over the past four years by the NYC and Dubai-based artist Farah Al Qasimi — depict slices of daily life in the UAE through a wholly personal and at times surreal lens.
With lurid colors and unexpected vantage points, Al Qasimi finds the fantastic within the everyday moments.
The images range from the double-take domestic (a living room scene, a woman folding a blanket …) to the charged (a hooded bird at the falcon hospital). Often in doing so, she makes larger yet subtle statements about the contemporary consumer culture that surrounds us.
There is a lot happening at the Jameel, from a month of scheduled film screenings and workshops to active children’s education programs and a Youth Assembly that is curating a centre-wide “takeover” with a day of events, installations, performances and happenings.
The winner of the second Art Jameel Commission, Nadia Christidi, a Syrian-Palestinian-Greek writer was announced and awarded a 3-month residency at Jameel Arts Centre. The Art Jameel Commissions: Arts Writing and Research is the second in a three year cycle of commissions.
The first, focused on sculpture and light, a stunning roof-top installation that acts as a community botanical garden created out of artificial, hybrid trees by Kuwait-based artists Alia Farid and Aseel AlYaqoub.
One can only imagine what is next from Art Jameel Director Antonia Carver, who has thus far made strong artist-lead programming central to the focus of Jameel Arts Centre.