Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Venice Biennale: United Arab Emirates Pavilion - Secon Time Around

Venice Biennale: United Arab Emirates Pavilion - Second Time Around.  His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahyan, the minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates gives and interview during the opening of the pavilion entitled Second Time Around.  As newcomers in 2009, the UAE had to answer demands addressed to their artistic strength.  The ‘second pavilion’ has in turn come of age and is now willing to present the complexities of the country’s artistic scenery. Vasif Kortum, the former director of the Istanbul Biennial, selected three artist who reflect the maturing Emirati art scene, Lateefa Bint Maktoum’s manipulated photographs recall Pre-Raphaelites, Abdulla Al Saadi’s childlike watercolors explore the landscape of the UAE, while Reem Al Ghaith’s installations document the upheaval of hers fast-changing region.

Lateefa Bint Maktoum's photographs largly consists of composite, digitally manipulated images based on highlighted, enhanced, and conflated realities from immediate memories as well as the distant past.  Her compositions combine an aestheticism of British paintings with enhanced local fauna and flora that sit in stark opposition to images of urbanization.

Reem Al Ghaith's installation, Dubai: What's Left of Her Land, 2010.  Her work examines changes in the urban and social landscape of the UEA, often with sophisticated all-around installations that relate to tradition and history, yet do not fall into banal representations of the subject.

artist Reem Al Ghaith

Abdulla Al Saadi. Studied Japanese painting at Kyoto Seika University in Japan.  He lives and works in Khor Fakkan, outside the art world and untethered by its demands and daily routines.  His work is a daily practice of recording, inventing normative groupings, and documenting species that are beyond "scientific inquiry."

artist Abdulla Al Saadi

A group of Abdulla Al Saadi's Naked Sweet Potato, 2000-2010, engravings on rock.
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