Packed summer-autumn calendar at Jameel Arts Centre to feature more than 50 artists

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Art Jameel, an independent organization that supports artists and creative communities, announced on Wednesday its summer/autumn 2022 program at Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai, featuring more than 50 artists from 14 countries.

“Art Jameel’s programs – across exhibitions, commissions, research, learning, and community-building – are grounded in a dynamic understanding of the arts as fundamental to life and accessible to all,” said Antonia Carver, Director of Art Jameel, at an interaction with media.

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Art Jameel’s two institutions – Jameel Arts Centre, an innovative contemporary institution in Dubai, UAE; and Hayy Jameel, which opened last December, a dedicated complex for the arts and creativity in Saudi Arabia’s coastal city of Jeddah, are complemented by digital initiatives plus collaborations with major institutional partners (Victoria and Albert Museum in London, The Prince's Trust in UK, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York) and a network of practitioners across the world.

Throughout the year, Jameel Arts Centre presents curated solo and group exhibitions, drawn both from the Art Jameel Collection and through regional and international collaborations.

“The Centre serves as a hub for educational and research initiatives for diverse audiences. Its wider programming embraces partnerships with local, regional, and international artists, curators and organizations,” said Carver.

She said that with Dubai’s vision to make the city a prominent cultural destination, “we still have a lot of work to do.”

Antonia Carver, Director of Art Jameel. (Courtesy of Art Jameel)
Antonia Carver, Director of Art Jameel. (Courtesy of Art Jameel)

Since opening to the public in November 2018, Jameel Arts Centre, located on the Jaddaf Waterfront, has organized 44 exhibitions across its 10 galleries on its three floors, and eight gardens, Carver said. “And around 350 artists took part in around 370 programs."

She also mentioned the growing collections at Jameel Arts Centre which feeds into the active, dynamic, and year-round programs at the venue.

Unfolding across Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai’s contemporary arts institution, contemporary arts museum is a packed roster of new group exhibitions: ‘Proposals for a Memorial to Partition,’ until February 19, 2023; and ‘An Ocean in Every Drop’ (September 21, 2022 - March 26, 2023); solo exhibitions under Artist’s Rooms by Risham Syed, Daniele Genadry, and Ayesha Sultana (November 9, 2022 - May 14, 2023); an all new Library Circles: Rashed Qurwash (September 14, 2022): and Jameel Library Commissions: Khalid Mezaina (July 15, 2022 - July 15 2023).

Apart from these shows, Jameel Arts Centre will be the venue for the UAE’s first young persons’ festival, ‘Creative Career Days:‘So, You Want to Work in the Arts?’ (October 23 -24, 2022). The two-day festival will be the devoted to exploring a future in the now thriving and vital arts sector.

Carver also announced Art Jameel’s participation from Tuesday as one of 28 global arts organizations in the World Weather Network – which saw a ‘weather station’ open at Jameel Arts Centre. The ‘weather station’ will issue online ‘weather reports,’ including a series of narrative podcasts by UAE and regional artists and writers.

Also, currently on view at the Jameel Arts Centre are the exhibitions ‘Fahd Burki: Daydreams’ (until October 9, 2022), ‘Taus Makhacheva: A Space of Celebration’ (until August 14, 2022), Library Circles: Salma Serry (until August 3, 2022), and Artist’s Garden: ‘Desert is a Forest’ by Sunoj D and Namrata Neog (until January, 2023).

The Summer Arts Camp returns this year (July 4 - 8, 2022) in collaboration with Youth Animation Platform with a robust program for children aged 8-12.

‘Proposals for a Memorial to Partition’

The group exhibition, curated by Murtaza Vali, brings together provocations by 20 artists and writers that revisit the traumatic shifts resulting in the modern nation-states of South Asia. This diverse, thought-provoking show includes the broadest spectrum of media, from text, drawing and painting to installation, maquettes, video and audio, offering a poetic and speculative look at a moment in history that resists narrow definition.

The exhibition which is open until February 19, 2023, features both highly established artists and emerging voices showing in the Middle East for the first time: Bani Abidi, Saira Ansari, Hemali Bhuta, Fahd Burki, CAMP, Abhijan Toto, Fileona Dkhar and Pujita Guha for the Forest Curriculum, Shilpa Gupta, Faiza Hasan, Aziz Hazara, Karachi LaJamia (Shahana Rajani and Zahra Malkani), Shreyas Karle, Amitava Kumar, Pak Khawateen Painting Club, Sreshta Rit Premnath, Fazal Rizvi, Seher Shah, Omer Wasim and Nabla Yahya; with new commissions by Faiza Hasan, Fazal Rizvi and Omer Wasim.

‘An Ocean in Every Drop’

Taken from a poem by Rumi, “You are not a drop in the ocean. You are an ocean in every drop”, this major group exhibition, occupying the first floor galleries at the Jameel, brings together works by 11 artists from around the globe that explore our human relationship to water through myth, spirituality, folk traditions and lived experiences.

Investigating the complexity of our inner worlds, the exhibition highlights our connectedness in vast and ancient ways. Molecules of water formed billions of years ago travel through wetness, from clouds to seas to our bodies and out again, in a constant cycle. Water is also a force, producing history, culture and social relations.

Through large-scale installation, video works and works on paper, the exhibition traces our understanding of this life force, its production of myth and its role in the current climate emergency.

Featured artists include: Jumana Emile Abboud, Martha Atienza, Cian Dayrit, Asuncion Molinos Gordo, Abul Hisham, Sohrab Hura, Thao Nguyen-Phan, Daniel Otero Torres, Karan Shreshta, Fatima Uzdenova, Munem Wasif.

The exhibition opens on September 21, 2022 and will be open until March 26, 2023.

Artist’s Rooms

Drawn largely from the Art Jameel Collection, Artist’s Rooms (November 9, 2022 - May 14, 2023) is a series of solo exhibitions by influential, innovative artists, with a particular focus on practitioners from the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

These capsule shows are collaborative and curated in dialogue with the artist. All three artists featured in 2022-23 are exhibiting in a solo museum show in the Gulf for the first time.

Ayesha Sultana

Bringing together recent works on paper and canvas by upcoming artist Ayesha Sultana, this exhibition in Gallery 1 explores the artist’s longstanding engagement with the materiality and everyday iconography of her home city of Dhaka, rendering forms of street corners, architectural features, wall textures and construction detrius encountered during her day-to-day life.

These impressions accumulate in her subconscious and find themselves on paper. They are not just observations of form, but of material, movement, and distance; key aspects that have held Sultana’s interest over time.

Risham Syed

The exhibition in Gallery 2 comprises established Lahore-based artist Risham Syed’s major installation ‘The Seven Seas’ (2012), a series of large-scale quilts depicting 20th-century maps of various port cities that were strategically located on the colonial European trade route –- including Ras al-Khaimah, UAE; Izmir, Turkey; Kandy, Sri Lanka, among others.

The artist connects the intricacies of contemporary geopolitics with the 19th and early 20th Century cotton trade of the British Empire, with the work itself created from fabrics sourced during her travels to Turkey, Bangladesh, the UAE, Sri Lanka, UK, India, and within her native Pakistan.

Daniele Genadry

This Artist’s Room in Gallery 3 is anchored around Paris and Beirut-based multimedia artist Daniele Genadry’s major painting ‘Blind Light’ (2017), with new works based on her recent research in la Rochelle, France and the Grand Canyon, USA.

Genadry focusses on distance, light, and movement and how they combine to affect visual experiences. Her practice focuses on the relationship between painting and photography, exploring the potential of an image to generate its own temporality.

Library Circles: Rashed Qurwash

Library Circles is a series of research, talks and experimental interventions by UAE practitioners in the Jameel Library and Jameel Arts Centre. The program explores alternative research methodologies and representations with a focus on “thinking in public.”

For the Fall iteration of Library Circles, Jameel Library presents a research display by artist Rashed Qurwash from September 14, 2022.

Qurwash investigates the Jaddaf neighborhood in Dubai and the practices it had once held through images, documents, and interviews conducted with people who have occupied the area at various capacities.

In addition to individual accounts, Rashed investigates Jaddaf’s urban planning prior to the development within the local area in the 2000s.

Jameel Library Commissions: Khalid Mezaina

Jameel Library’s upcoming digital commission features a study of regional textile and talismanic practices with entries released fortnightly starting from July 15, 2022 on Jameel Arts Centre’s website.

The project explores themes and techniques on surface design, ceremonial textiles, costumes for the stage and the magical world of talismans.
Khalid’s commission is two-fold: writings and a physical textile piece that reveals itself through the year-long duration of the commission, creating connections between traditional craft practices, contemporary textiles, and the library’s collection.

World Weather Network

Art Jameel joined 27 other arts organisations across the world from June 21, 2022 for a year-long project forming the World Weather Network, a constellation of ‘weather stations’ located in oceans, deserts, mountains, farmland, rainforests, observatories, lighthouses and cities.

Artists and writers share ‘weather reports’ in the form of observations, stories, images and imaginings about their local weather and the shared climate, creating an archipelago of voices and viewpoints on a new global platform.

Art Jameel’s station, located in the desert gardens, library, and public spaces of the Jameel, explores atmospheric humidity, a central climatic marker of the Arabian Gulf, accompanied by on-site air-to-water generators, providing visitors with fresh drinking water and insights into daily humidity and weather conditions.

The Art Jameel station’s weather reports – featured on the central World Weather Network platform and via listening posts at the Jameel – primarily take the form of narrative podcast episodes by artists and writers, released throughout the year, that explore themes including The Threshold, Sweat and Labour and Technofutures.

Contributors to the podcast series include: Noush Anand, Saira Ansari, Nadim Choufi, Nadine Khalil, Nidhi Mahajan, and Deepak Unnikrishnan among others.

Learning

Learning is at the heart of Art Jameel’s initiatives and central to the organisation’s thinking and collaborations with an approach that considers the arts as a prism for life-long learning. Programs begin at primary ages and continue through to post-graduate level, and include community events open to all.

Summer Arts Camp

This packed five-day programme from July 4-8 (9 a.m. to 3.30 p.m.) offers children aged 8-12 the opportunity for immersive hands-on learning and the development of new creative skills, structured around maker mornings and animation afternoons.

Participants at the end of the week will have learned an array of art-making techniques with an animated film of their own on their phone or laptop, created via an exploration of creative thinking, storytelling, and self-expression.

Designed by Art Jameel’s early learning specialist Hadeel Al Heeti in collaboration with Fadi Syriani, founder and mentor of Youth Animation Platform, the week is structured to begin with morning tours of the galleries and behind-the-scenes tours of the museum and collections storage, followed by process-based and hands-on making – from painting and ceramics to printmaking and performance.

Creative Career Days: So, You Want to Work in the Arts?

Taking place at Jameel Arts Centre on October 23 and 24, 2022, the UAE’s inaugural Creative Career Days festival is devoted to exploring sustainable careers in the arts, and is designed to inform and inspire high school and university students to the breadth of possibilities in the arts and culture sector, match-making young people with the industry and its know-how.

A true community event, the (entirely free) program includes meet-and-greet and booths manned by leading UAE arts organisations and universities; behind-the-scenes tours of the museum; practical and inspirational talks and workshops led by established artists and industry leaders; and information on career-enhancing residencies, internship and volunteer opportunities.

Day one (Sunday October 23) is open to teens and students and their families, while day two (Monday October 24) is devoted to group visits by schools and colleges.

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