In addition to the monthly list, I will add “What’s On?!” a link to most active initiative and hubs across the Middle East & the world such as V&A, MoMA, ArtintheCity, AlSerkal Avenue, Ashkal Alwan and more! The list keeps updating throughout the month, so keep passing by to stay in touch with the latest! To check ongoing exhibitions from November, click here.
And keep passing on Mark Your Calendar Page for updates throughout the month.
V&A: Tomorrow: Elmgreen & Dragset
ArtintheCity: ‘EL-MOULID’ AT GALLERY WARD
TheJamJar: Five Journeys
DUCTAC: Sharmila Dance Gala
Alserkal Avenue: A4 POP-UP COMMUNITY SPACE
Maraya Art Center: IPad Filmmaking on a Budget Project
CAP Kuwait: Undiscovered Minimalism (Exhibition & Book Launch)
Alhondiga Cultural & Art Center: 4th International Independent Video Game Competition hóPLAY
Tashkeel: THE B SIDE: RUBEN SANCHEZ
Sharjah Art Foundation: Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: A Collective Memory
MoMA: New Photography 2013
Bayt Lothan: Classes | Exhibitions | Workshops
Ashkal Alwan: 7 selected grantees for Video Works 2014 Announce
The Third Line
Amir H. Fallah | The Collected
Occasion: The Third Line welcomes back Amir H. Fallah with his third solo show in Dubai, The Collected, which investigates the complex relationship between patronages and art making, collector and artist, and the dynamics of the creative process in today’s art world. All the paintings in the show are pre-sold, commissioned portraits, where the artist exercised complete artistic authority to manipulate the image according to his own interpretation. The process involved initial collaboration with the commissioner, a performative component in the staging, and the element of surprise in the reveal of the works to the patrons for the first time during the show preview.
Amir visited collectors’ residences in Dubai more than a year ago and staged the portraits by gathering various material belongings from within their homes as markers of their identity, particularly gravitating toward those mundane objects that seem loaded with sentimental meaning – a worn afghan, an idiosyncratic plant, a figurine or running shoes. After carefully assembling the composition through collaborative efforts with the subject, he photographed the setting and used the image as a starting point. The works further changed in his studio when transferred onto the canvas and evolved through his personal interventions and stylized interpretation, telling the patrons’ personal histories through his eyes.
Amir approaches his current paintings as an investigative and analytical historian. Aside from unraveling a different perspective to art historical portraiture traditions and the dynamics of modern day art collection and art making, he also reflects upon concerns of identity and representation that are central to his practice.
Opening Reception: December 11, 2013 at 7 pm
Duration: December 11, 2013 – January 23, 2014
Location: The Third Line, Dubai
Do You See What I See
Occasion: Cuadro Gallery invites you to group photography exhibition Do You See What I See. A photograph suspends, amplifies, and offers for consideration a visual composition that the purveyor of the camera supposes to be essential. It is a suspended moment that has been removed from a linear context or sequence. Consider the effect of stopping a film; the still persists until the movie begins again, but that moment is lost to the next as soon as the film begins again. On the other hand, a photograph has no fear of being consumed by the next moment. It exists in a vacuum, for the long term. It is this sense of permanence that amplifies and aggrandizes the still image, inviting us to deconstruct the tableau presented to better consider the fleeting visual experience.
The show will include works by Ammar Al-Attar, Farah Al-Qasimi, Ayla Hibri and Michel Le Belhomme
Opening Reception: December 11, 2013 at 7 pm
Duration: December 11th – January 14th, 2014.
Location: Cuadro Gallery, DIFC, Dubai
Occasion: At the nexus of North America and Latin America, this Art Basel show presents premier artwork from across the globe. Over 250 of the world’s leading galleries participate, drawing over 50,000 visitors each year.
With miles of sandy beaches dotted with classic Art Deco architecture, world-class art museums, and a glittering nightlife, Miami Beach ranks among America’s most iconic cities. During Art Basel, it embraces the artworld with special exhibitions at museums and galleries across the city, transforming the week into a dense and dynamic cultural event.
Leading international galleries show work from masters of Modern and contemporary art as well as pieces by newly emerging stars. Paintings, sculptures, drawings, installations, photographs, films, and editioned works of the highest quality are displayed in the main exhibition hall, while ambitious artworks and performances become part of the landscape at nearby beaches, Collins Park and SoundScape Park. For show details, click here.
Duration: December 5–8, 2013
Location: Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami, FL (Plan Your Trip)
Custodian of Vacancy: The Iranian Embassy in the USA | DIFC
Occasion: Ayyam Gallery DIFC, Dubai is pleased to present ‘Custodian of Vacancy: The Iranian Embassy in the USA’, an exhibition of unique photographs by Iranian American artist Eric Parnes.
Silent and inaccessible, the Embassy of Iran in Washington, D.C. has been closed since the fall of the Shah and the US Embassy hostage crisis of 1979. In this unprecedented and unique opportunity, Eric Parnes ventures into the calm of this defunct institution, providing a rare glimpse into a world forgotten by history. Once a hub of American celebrity merged with, and immersed in, Persian culture, the Iranian Embassy’s current uninhabited status still retains a particular rich aesthetic that captures the exclusive solitary nature of this institution. Parnes’ photographs uniquely express a historic moment in time, while simultaneously conveying the immediacy in the artistic emotion of seclusion, by bringing the viewer to a magical space that was once celebrated and alive with vibrant festivities.
The majestic building of the Iranian Embassy stands today a living testament to what once was, a silent memorial that is neither recognised nor visited. Eric Parnes peers inside this rich by-gone culture and era as an outsider, an apt metaphor for an American-born Iranian reaching into his own dreams.
Opening Reception: 16 December 2013, 7 PM
Duration: 16 December 2013 – 30 January 2014
Location: Ayyam Gallery DIFC, Dubai
I, The Syrian | Beirut – London
Occasion: Syrian artist Tammam Azzam will have his first UK solo exhibition this December at Ayyam Gallery London from 12 December – 30 January 2014, coinciding with a show of his work at Ayyam Gallery Beirut from 5 December 2013 – 30 January 2014.
Following the loss of his studio due to the relocation, the artist – who was previously a prolific painter – has focused on using digital media. He has also increasingly referenced street art in his work, recognising both this and digital media as powerful and direct tools for protest that are difficult to suppress.
Through a new series of lightboxes, United Russia, United Nations and United States, Azzam questions the lack of support to the people of Syria with his repetition of the word ‘united’. The artist uses the predominant colours of Arab national flags – red, black and green – to propose a new flag order for a free Syria.
Date: 5 December 2013 – 30 January 2014
Private View: 5 December 2013, 7 PM
Location: Beirut Tower, Ground Floor, Zeitoune Street
Date: 12 December 2013 – 30 January 2014
Private View: 12 December 2013, 6 PM
Location: 143 New Bond Street, 1st Floor, W1S 2TP
Visual Therapy | Bayt Lothan
Occasion: Visual Therapy is proud to showcase its 2nd art show titled Waraq, a paper based art exhibition hosted at Bayt Lothan, Kuwait.
With its diverse use of forms and textures, paper remains one of the most versatile mediums for artists. Waraq is a group exhibition that seeks to explore the unconventional use of the paper medium. Techniques include cutting, folding, and even carving. Different paper based items, such as newspaper, are also utilized. Through this, Waraq intends to reexamine the identity of the paper medium revealing its potential to take on a variety of forms. Featured artists:
Wael Al Khars
Mohammed Al Kouh
Shahad Al Asfour
and live music by Temple Tree
Opening Reception: December 1, 2013 from 6 – 9 pm
Location: Bayt Lothan, Salmiya, Kuwait.
Albareh Art Gallery
Flight and Enclosure
Occasion: Albareh Art Gallery presents “Flight and Enclosure” a solo exhibition by Lebanese painter Annie Kurkdjian and her first exhibition in Bahrain.
Following from her debut with Albareh at Art Dubai 2013, the Lebanese artist returns with her signature paintings, investigating transgressions effected on the human body as a consequence of violence and anxiety. A vision drawn out of what she calls the “orgy of Beirut”, inspired by a number of readings in film, philosophy and literature, her work does not spare us the unmediated sight of horror. Yet the vision is fragmentary; absent elements complete the vision and compete with the imagination in encoded signals
Rather than merely informing us about the process of bodily reconfiguration, Kurkdjian’s characters withdraw their gaze from us. The uncanny characters are everything but absent, imprisoned behind and within a frame, being constantly observed and yet always on flight, aware of their omnipresence and demanding to be ransomed. The animated creatures are aware of their precarious position and accordingly, turn their gaze in reverse, reaching out for the unknown, suspended in the boundlessness of a place we cannot reach, being prey of an ambiguity, sometimes lustful, sometimes repulsive.
Opening Reception: December 3 at 7:00pm
Duration: December 3 until December 31, 2013
Location: Albareh Art Gallery, Adliya , Bahrain
Occasion: XVA Gallery is pleased to present Gentle, an exhibition of new work by Jonathan Gent. Made during an intense period of work in the Cote d’Azur, this new series of paintings on wooden board reflects Gent’s impressions of the Mediterranean and his memories of time spent in Dubai in 2008. In his exploration of the city limits of Dubai, Gent became captivated by the simultaneously exhilarating and isolating stillness that exists in the wide-open spaces in the margins of the city. Gent’s paintings, which are often deceptively simple, are in fact visual poems that offer a uniquely wry insight into human complexity.
Having studied at the Cheshire School of Art and Edinburgh College of Art respectively, Gent has gone on to exhibit his work internationally in the Middle East, Asia, Europe and the US and complete residencies in London, Dubai and Venezuela. The central grain of Gent’s work is inextricably linked to his peripatetic lifestyle. As an artist who is continually in transit, Gent continuously re-evaluates his practice in each new setting he arrives in, conscious that continuous change is vital to the progression of his work. While Gent states that he is “…addicted to fantasy. That’s my influence”, much of his work deals with the underlying loneliness that is ultimately a part of the human experience.
Opening Reception: 10 December 6-9pm
Duration: 10 December 2013 – 31 January 2014
Location: XVA Gallery, Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood, Bur Dubai