18 July 2019

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Ishara: Signs, Symbols and Shared Languages

5 March 2018 @ 8.00 am - 5.00 pm


A partnership between Alserkal Programming and UAE Unlimited, this exhibition showcases the works of 10 UAE-based emerging artists – Amna Al Dabbagh, Cheb Moha, Chndy, Dina Khorchid, Farah Al Qasimi, Flounder Lee, Nasir Nasrallah, Saba Qizilbash, Salem Al Mansoori, and Shaikha Al Ketbi – in addition to loaned works by guest artists Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian.

Curated by Karim Sultan, the exhibition has a theme derived from a broad understanding of the meaning and use of language. In Arabic, Ishara denotes “sign” – the most basic form of communication, referring to linguistic marks, gestures and indications, as well as commonly used signals that transcend language like those used in traffic or urban spaces. The curatorial process has been thematically informed by the idea of “lingua franca,” which hints at constructed, second or third languages that were used to aid communication between various groups or in situations where communication was difficult.

“In the context of the UAE, with its major port cities, this leads to an intrinsic interest in this mediated form of communication, where numerous languages are assembled together in trade, transportation, and interpersonal relationships”, says Sultan. “A broader view incorporates body language and infrastructure, where signs create paths but also erect barriers, where appearances or dialects signal the existence of certain publics but preclude others.”

To 1 April.

Incidentally, UAE Unlimited is Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan’s arts platform supporting emerging UAE-based artists through strategic partnerships with art and culture organisations in the country. The tie-up with Alserkal Programming is a classic move for the organisation.




5 March 2018
8.00 am - 5.00 pm
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Alserkal Avenue
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