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Abu Dhabi’s Warehouse421 announces program focused on food security, ecologies

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Warehouse421, Abu Dhabi’s home-grown arts and design center, has announced its fall 2022 program, ‘A Season for Regrounding,’ which features two major exhibitions and an extensive public program focusing on creative and communal approaches to reconnecting with the environment.

The program, running from September 21 until December 25, will include the second iteration of the exhibition ‘On Foraging: Food Knowledge and Environmental Imaginaries in The UAE's Landscape,’ which was first presented at the United Arab Emirates Pavilion in Expo 2020. The group presentation opens to a wider public inside the gallery spaces at Warehouse421 this fall, featuring new commissions and research on food security in the UAE.

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The fall 2022 program will also see the opening of ‘Let me tell you something,’ the first institutional solo exhibition for UAE-based artist Mohamed Khalid. Resulting from Warehouse421’s Artistic Development Exhibition Program, the exhibition features seven new commissioned works produced this year.

The exhibition examines the materiality of everyday objects and coaxes out their metaphoric potential, exploring the connectivity of the artist’s subjects and their frangible correlation to human beings.

Featuring seven new works produced this year, including conceptual photography, installation, and series of cyanotype prints and drawings, ‘Let me tell you something’ explores the search for connection by examining the systems that combine to form communication, from handwriting to technological algorithms to scraps of paper, all drawing from real-life episodes of missed communication.

Mohamed Khalid is an alumnus of the Salama bint Hamdan Emerging Artists Fellowship (SEAF) and Campus Art Dubai 7.0, with previous group shows exhibited at Art Dubai, Warehouse421, and Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

The fall 2022 program features more than 35 talks, workshops, symposia, and special events that are a mindful exploration of creative and communal approaches to thinking about climate action.

One of the most extensive and robust public engagement programs presented by Warehouse421 yet, the season highlights alternative ways of existing within our natural ecosystem that challenge anthropomorphic viewpoints, bringing back direct, bodily and tangible engagement with traditional sources of wisdom.

Highlights from the program include offerings that respond to themes addressed in the ‘On Foraging’ exhibition, such as ‘How to Sit Under A Tree,’ a meditative workshop led by artist Nahla Tabbaa that explores Mina Zayed’s resilient ecosystem; a nature and food focused edition of Warehouse421’s Culture Bus; and a food-related lecture performance by artists Moza Al Matrooshi and Tabbaa.

‘On Foraging’ by Emirati land artist Abdullah Al Saadi. (Supplied)
‘On Foraging’ by Emirati land artist Abdullah Al Saadi. (Supplied)

Other exciting and notable events include trips to farms across Abu Dhabi; photowalks in ecological sites such as Jubail Mangrove Park and Wathba Fossil Dunes; a father-daughter tour of Mina Zayed’s food markets; and a collaborative sustainability workshop that invites participants to create a site-specific, large scale installation made from waste collected by the beach.

The season will also include an outdoor market, ‘Playing with Nature,’ that brings together locally-based artists, artisans, educators, and creatives to showcase a range of sustainably made products. The market will run across two days and will include activities and workshops, as well as live music performances, that children and families can enjoy.

The season was developed by Warehouse421 and includes the participation of partner organizations such as Services for Educational Development, Research and Awareness for Inclusion (SEDRA); Bombay Institute for Critical Analysis and Research (BICAR), The Institute of Emerging Art, 100/100: Hundred Best Arabic Posters, Gulf Photo Plus and others.

"It seems more pertinent than ever for cultural institutions to continue the conversation around climate change and the environment. This season at Warehouse421, we’ve decided to extend it beyond our exhibition space and into our public programming, engaging audiences of all ages and backgrounds to consider the importance of how our ecologies and immediate natural environment influences our culture, traditions and overall ways of life,” Faisal Al Hassan, Head of Warehouse421 said.

“Collaboration is at the core of what we do at Warehouse421. We are delighted to bring together local and regional organizations, researchers, collectives, and artists to present a program that pushes this necessary conversation forward through thoughtful and accessible community engagement.”

Read more: Warehouse421 presents ‘On Foraging’ exhibition exploring UAE’s food security

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