Abu DhabiArts & Culture

Abu Dhabi Art announces details for this year’s Beyond: Emerging Artists programme

Beyond: Emerging Artists, which showcases and supports up and coming Emirati artists, will explore the theme of memory and feature three new commissions for the 12th edition of Abu Dhabi Art.

Beyond: Emerging Artists 2020 is curated by Maya El-Khalil, who has selected artists Hind Mezaina, Afra Al Dhaheri and Afra Al Suwaidi to produce works exploring the theme of memory. For this year’s primarily digital event, the artworks can be viewed through Abu Dhabi Art’s website or at Manarat Al Saadiyat, where they will be exhibited, from 19 November until the end of December.

Exploring the theme of memory, this year’s Beyond: Emerging Artists programme will feature artworks from Hind Mezaina using multimedia archival materials, such as photography and archival film, to express elements of collective memory, masculinity, heritage, and the UAE. Mezaina often describes her work as a form of ‘visual archaeology’.

As a starting point to explore identity formation, Afra Al Dhaheri disorders hair strands, using her own reclaimed hair, which she collects once it has fallen out. Beyond exploring self-identity, her work will draw on broader social associations and inhibitions related to female hair and its containment. Al Dhaheri will be using mixed media to render nuances of memory and time. 

Afra Al Suwaidi will reconstitute fragmented visual memories, rendering lines of trauma as embodied in domestic architectural forms. Al Suwaidi will present her work through a process of collage. In her work, time is caught in a fugitive state but also pushed further away, to elsewhere.

Maya El Khalil, Curator of the programme Beyond: Emerging Artists, Abu Dhabi Art 2020 said: “Throughout the years, working alongside emerging artists, I have developed a strong sense of understanding that the journey of emerging or becoming is a process of discovery. I see myself as a guide, making way for up and coming artists by asking questions rather than answering them. For this year’s Beyond: Emerging Artists programme at Abu Dhabi Art, I am working with three incredibly talented women, Hind Mezaina, Afra Al Dhaheri and Afra Al Suwaidi. Together, we acknowledge the art world’s currently altered sense of reality and each of the artists, through their distinctive practices, will be investigating how experiences of remembrance are constituted.”

Taking place from 19 to 26 November, Abu Dhabi Art is returning as a virtual fair for its 12th edition this year, bringing together several galleries and artists from across the world through its curated gallery sections including ‘The Day After’ curated by Simon Njami, ‘Material – Real’ curated by Sung woo Kim, ‘India Today’ curated by gallerist Ashwin Thadani and ‘A Picture Held Us Captive’ curated by Nada Raza. The 2020 digital fair will also host a public Performing Arts Programme, curated by Rose Lejeune.

A Talks Programme will be available online, offering a series of stimulating cultural conversations and panels featuring some of the art world’s leading figures, which aim to engage audiences in discussions related to the complex history of the UAE and contemporary art practice in the country and around the world.

 GO: Visit abudhabiart.ae for more information.

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As the editor-in-chief for one of the region’s most fiercely local lifestyle publications, David Tapley is a self-proclaimed Hip-Hop aficionado, championing all things, food, travel, street art, and streetwear across the UAE and KSA.

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