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Bayn: the In-Between
25 February 2017Free
Bayn: the In-Between is a collaboration between U.A.E. Unlimited and a number of UAE-based artists, curators, and institutions, highlighting the collective nature of the creative community in the UAE today. Quite apart from the ar that has been produced, it’s an important step in developing a home-grown curatorial environment here.
Hosted at Warehouse421 in Abu Dhabi, the exhibition is being developed with the support of Maraya Productions in Sharjah; Maya Allison, director of the NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery, is the Senior Curatorial Adviser to the project and is mentoring the exhibition’s curator Munira Al Sayegh.
Al Sayegh has worked with eight commissioned artists and a ninth internationally established guest artist from Saudi Arabia, Manal AlDowayan, to create conceptual artworks in a wide variety of mediums.
Bayn: The In-Between seeks to describe, question, and expand on the threshold found between a starting point and its end. Throughout this exhibition, the state of ‘in-between’ is highlighted as equally important to both the definitive beginning (the history of the UAE) and its end goal (the future).
The artists represent a range of creative practices: Emirati installation and multi-media artist Asma Al Ahmed, Iraqi architect and designer Hatem Hatem, Emirati musician and sound artist Maytha Al Shamsi, Jordanian portraitist Saif Mhaisen, Emirati textile artist Sara Al Haddad, Syrian landscape artist and designer Talin Hazbar, Bahraini-American documentary artist Nasser Al Zayani and Emirati architect and illustrator Talal Al Ansari.
And they work in a wide variety of mediums, drawing on their surroundings, experiences and recollections. For instance, Hatem Hatem’s Calcified Landscape uses marine calcified rock to simultaneously reflect a traditional building method in the UAE (using coral rock) and investigating the use of this method as a future regional building technique. For Bayn Jissrain, sound artist Maytha Al Shamsi has used sounds inspired by the two iconic bridges that connect Abu Dhabi island to the mainland – Maqta Bridge, the first to be built (in 1967); and the Zaha Hadid designed Sheikh Zayed Bridge.
Maya Allison has described the scale and scope of the exhibition as a major undertaking, particularly with nine entirely new works being produced. “Munira’s curatorial concept and commitment to the creative vision of these emerging artists is commendable, as is the commitment of HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan and Shobha Pia Shamdsani to the support of emerging artists, and now emerging curators, in the UAE.”
This is the third programme in U.A.E Unlimited’s mission to nurture and develop emerging creative practitioners, Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan, patron of the organisation, said “the artworks exhibited at Bayn and the curatorial thought process behind it highlight an urgent need for us to pause, and rethink our fixed notions of identity and invite us to redefine what it means to be part of this new wave of thinkers who are constantly moving forward”.
- Asma Al Ahmed
- Hatem Hatem
- Manal Al Dowayan
- Maytha Al Shamsi
- Nasser Alzayani
- Saif Mehaisen
- Sara Al Haddad
- Talal Al Ansari
- Talin Hazbar
To 18 June.
Above: work by Talin Hazbar