Abu Dhabi’s Warehouse421 announces program of new exhibitions, public programs

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Abu Dhabi-based Warehouse421, the home-grown arts and design center dedicated to showcasing and nurturing creative production across the region, has come out with its new and immersive Winter 2021 program and public programs.

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The program will see new exhibitions and public programs include ‘Float: Stephanie Comilang,’ an exhibition that features the works of artist and filmmaker Stephanie Comilang; ‘Mina Zayed: Reflections on Past Futures,’ an image-based exhibition presented in partnership with Gulf Photo Plus (GPP) that documents Mina Zayed through narrative photography, and ‘100/100 Hundred Best Arabic Posters,’ featuring the winning entries from the Biennial competition that celebrates graphic design in the Arab world.

Read more: Abu Dhabi-based Warehouse421 awards 30 creatives for its ‘Project Revival Fund’

Besides the exhibitions, Warehouse421 has organized various workshops for various age groups upward of 12 years like ‘Design your own mask,’ ‘3D Generative design,’ ‘Geometric vase,’ and ‘Makhtout,’ a multi-faceted project focusing on the study and exploration of Arabic-Islamicate manuscripts.

Also back in the program calendar is the contemporary Arab film program in partnership with Dubai-based Cinema Akil.

Narrating the lives of overseas workers

Curated by Murtaza Vali, the exhibition ‘Float: Stephanie Comilang’ (January 30 - March 21, 2021) presents two films by Berlin-based Stephanie Comilang that narrate the lives of overseas Filipino workers, bringing together documentary forms with references to science fiction.

Lumapit Sa Akin, Paraiso (Come to Me, Paradise) (2016), follows three domestic workers in Hong Kong on their day off. As they gather with peers in the city center to engage in rituals of self-care, leisure and community, claiming if only temporarily, their right to a city supported by their otherwise invisible daily labor.

The film attempts to document intentional gestures of care and community that help collapse the distance from home and soothe the heartache of separation from kin and culture, land and language.

The second film, Diaspora Ad Astra (2020) imagines the plight of Filipino seafarers quarantined offshore as a result of the pandemic. Interminably adrift, alone and unable to communicate with their families, tantalizingly close but ultimately unable to return home.

On February 2, The filmmaker, Stephanie Comilang, will talk about her wider practice and the works on display in Float exhibition. The talk will be streamed online.

Exploring Mina Zayed

‘Mina Zayed: Reflections on Past Futures,’ attempts to document Mina Zayed, historically, anthropologically, and architecturally. Through the works of 11 artists, the exhibition sheds light on the context of Mina Zayed through the tools of narrative photography.

The exhibition (January 30 - June 13, 2021) is produced in partnership with GPP as part of Warehouse421’s Exhibitions Developmental Program, which includes workshops that guide the artists through concept and creativity, execution and editing, installation and space consideration, as well as text production.

Participating artists include: Aisha AlNoaimi, Augustine Paredes, Catherine Donaldson, Fatema Al Fardan, Lateefa Almazrooei, Lena Kassicieh, Lara Rudar, Mansour Al-Heera, Mazna Almazrouei, Maryam Al Huraiz, and Sandra Zarneshan.

Lara Rudar, ‘Abandoned Dhows, 2020’. (Archival Print on Fine Art Paper)
Lara Rudar, ‘Abandoned Dhows, 2020’. (Archival Print on Fine Art Paper)

On February 16, the exhibition program will kick-off with its Artists talk featuring Catherine Donaldson, Lateefa Almazrooei, Mazna Almazrouei, and Fatema Al Fardan. The four participating artists will discuss their projects on display and the processes that led to them.

The exhibition program will also include two photo-walks on February 20 and March 20, led by Vamika Sinha. This three-hour photo-walk, explores the rapidly-changing area of Mina Zayed.

Catherine Donaldson, ‘Community, 2020’. (Mixed Media)
Catherine Donaldson, ‘Community, 2020’. (Mixed Media)

This workshop is suitable for all who wish to participate, and no prior knowledge of photography will be assumed.

Best of Arabic poster design

Showcasing the original work of some of the region’s most talented artists and poster designers, the ‘100/100 Hundred Best Arabic Posters’ exhibition returns again to Warehouse421. As part of its long-standing partnership with the Center, the show (January 3 - April 29, 2021) brings together winning entries from a biennial competition that celebrates the work of talented graphic designers from across the Arab world.

This year, Warehouse421 will highlight one winning poster by showcasing a billboard-sized print on the front facade.

The collection provides a snapshot of the diverse approaches in Arabic visual communication around the world right now.

This year’s judging panel includes Hala Al-Ani, Hadeyeh Badri and Riem Hassan of Mobius Studio (UAE), Wael Morcos (Egypt), Mohammad Sharaf (Kuwait), Shennawi (Egypt/Belgium), and Jana Traboulsi (Lebanon).

On March 23, this round’s jury will highlight and discuss the recognition of poster design as an important form of communication in the public space as well as sparking a discussion about its role, form, content and technical execution.

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