Curated by HE Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi, a solo exhibition of work by the Palestinian revolutionary artist Abdul Hay Mosallam Zarara includes a selection of the artist’s work since 1965. Another exhibition that opened was GCC: Achievements in Retrospective by GCC; a “delegation” of artists presenting their first solo exhibition in the UAE which is a departure from the work in their recent MoMA PS1 retrospective. In addition, a group exhibition titled /seconds. curated by Peter Lewis presents a selection of artists’ works from the online journal of research of the same title (2004-2014). The opening of this exhibition also included performances by French artist and singer Fabienne Audéoud, Al Fadhil's participatory performance of Baghdad Cafe, and a screening of Judith Cowan's film Angelica. Additionally the exhibition presented the premiere screening of Ah İstanbul by Graziella Rizkallah Toufic and Jalal Toufic.
Following the opening of the exhibitions was a free film screening of the award winning comedy-drama animated film The Illusionist by Sylvain Chomet in Building P, SAF Art Spaces.
Amongst the attendees of the openings were HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Bin Khalifa, Sultan Bin Sooud Al Qassemi, Hisham Al Madhloom, Their Excellencies Japanese Ambassador HE Yoshihoko Kamu, Argentinean Ambassador Rueben Eduardo Caro, Mexican Ambassador Francisco Alonso, Canadian Ambassador Arif Lelani and American Consul Rob Waller, Korean Consul Song Doo Ahn and Kyrgyzstan Consul Kuban Omaraliyev.
Abdul Hay Mosallam Zarara
Abdul Hay Mosallam Zarara is a self-taught artist whose work explores ideas of memory, resistance and collective action through the lens of the Palestinian struggle. His paintings depict scenes from everyday life—village weddings, family gatherings, traditional dancing and the contributions of women—conveying a determination to carry on in the face of displacement and conflict. Political commitment and artistic experimentations have been defining interests of Zarara’s practice. After briefly serving in the Jordanian Air Force, he joined the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) in the late 1960s. Zarara and his family were later sent to Libya by the PLO, where he developed the bas-relief technique that became a signature of his paintings. For over fifty years, Zarara’s body of work has both contributed to and been informed by the spirit and strength of his surroundings and its relation to other political movements around the world.
GCC: Achievements in Retrospective
Consisting of a “delegation” of eight artists, GCC makes reference to the English abbreviation of the Gulf Cooperation Council and makes use of ministerial language and celebratory rituals associated with the Gulf to create videos, photographs, sculptures and installations. Excavating the material and visual culture of the Gulf, the collective have developed a practice that uses the framework of collaboration and outsourced production to echo political models and practices in the region. The exhibition also features a new commission, Topocelia, an installation of a ceiling built under the existing ceiling of SAF Art Spaces Building J. The artists explore the aura of achievements within material built environments and through lighting and soundscapes, highlighting the mechanism of power consolidation that exists at the thresholds of public and private space.
Curated by Peter Lewis, SAF presents a selection of artists’ works from the online journal /seconds. (2004-2014), which covers a broad range of issues and art practices from different cultural perspectives. The project is online based, initiated by Derek Horton, Peter Lewis, and Graham Hibbert and supported by an international editorial and advisory board of academics, artists and curators. The exhibition features key contributors from the ten year period, in tandem with Lewis' curatorial projects. Works on display include installations, interactive performance, video, photography and several hundred commissioned posters.
/seconds. participating artists:
Abdullah Al Saadi, Emily Allchurch, Conrad Atkinson, Fabienne Audéoud, George Bolster, Tony Chakar, Elizabeth Chadwick, Gordon Cheung, Ami Clarke, Stephen Clarke, Judith Cowan, Roger Cremers, Myriam Custers, Shezad Dawood, Sean Dower, Milena Dragicevic, Thomas Draschan, Alan Dunn, Paul Eachus, Laura Emsley, Al Fadhil, Nooshin Farhid, Anna Faushauer, David Ferry, Damian Flores Cortes, Peter Fillingham, Leo Fitzmaurice, Alison Gill, Margarita Gluzberg, Alex Hamilton, Margaret Harrison, Laura Hatry, Dan Hays, Taraneh Hemami, Aaron Hobson, Janet Hodgson, Mandy Lee Jandrell, Mohammed Kazem, Peter Kennard, Uta Kögelsberger, Karen Knorr, Colm Lally, Thaniel Lee, Liliane Lijn, Rut Blees Luxemburg, David Mabb, Ruth Maclennan, Melanie Manchot, Kito Mbiango, Makiko Nagaya, Adam Nankervis, Warren Neidich, Guillaume Paris, Nada Prlja, Annie Ratti, Cullinan Richards, Graziella Rizkallah Toufic, Giorgio Sadotti, Hilary Koob-Sassen, Edgar Schmitz, Hassan Sharif, Lisa Stansbie, Sergei Sviatchenko, Jalal Toufic, Rob Voerman, Jonathan Whitehall, Cindy Wright, Takayuki Yamamoto.
This exhibition also presents a special section composed of selected artists' video and audio from issues 1-14 with works by:
Asa Anderson, Paul Allsopp, Martyn Blundell, Ben Brierley, Tim Brotherton, Edward Chell, James Chinnock, Rosie Cooper, Patrick Courtney, David Cunningham, James Early, Luciana Farinati, William Furlong, Mark Harris, Véronique Janin Devoldère, Ben Judd, Anne Keleher, Conor Kelly, Peter Lewis, Peter Lloyd Lewis, Katrin Lock, Karl Lydon, Elizabeth McAlpine, Monika Oechsler, Uriel Orlow, Mark Pickles, Adrian Shaw, Marie-Anne Souloumiac, Stuart Tait, Anders Weberg, Cecilia Wee, Robert William, Jo Wonder.
The Illusionist by Sylvain Chomet
In this French animated film, an illusionist finds himself out of work and travels to Scotland, where he meets a young woman. Their ensuing adventure changes both their lives forever.
This screening has been made possible by Institut Français des Emirats Arabes Unis
French film office – Embassy of France in the UAE