After The Beep is the culmination of a two-month long creative exercise with 38 UAE-based artists. The aim of the exercise was to experiment with spontaneous artistic production and to challenge the notion of a perfectly produced artwork. We were intrigued to discover what creating looks like without the pressure of perfection, and to explore how a creative thread can pass through and translate between different artworks and artists. Beginning with an open call for artist participation which was released in May 2021 via Instagram under the title Telephone. UAE-based artists were invited to participate in a reactive creative exercise where they respond with new work to the work of another artist in the spirit of the common childhood game “Broken Telephone”. The open call welcomed all artists of all backgrounds, medium and length of experience. The initial artwork (by artist Rami Farook) set off two chains of reactivity, with two artists initially responding to his work and setting off two independent response chains. All artists only saw the one work that was produced directly before them in the chain and were given 48 hours from seeing the work to submit their new artworks. The chains continued until all the participating artists produced one work. In exhibition, these two chains are denoted by the numerical differentiation “1” and “2”. Rami Farook’s piece, the beginning piece is work A and the final piece which reconciles chains 1 and 2 is by Sreerag Jyothish and is labeled work Z. The remaining pieces are labeled with the number of their chain and a letter (alphabetically beginning from B). In this booklet, chain 1 begins at the front of the book and chain 2 begins at the back. The two chains meet in the centre at work Z.
This creative exercise was supported by Emirati artist and producer Rami Farook. The roster of artists include emerging artists who have participated or are participating in The Salama bint Hamdan Emerging Artists Fellowship (SEAF), Art Jameel Youth Assembly, Cultural Foundation Art Residency, along with other artists who showcased work to the public for the first time. Anna Bernice is an independent arts and culture writer, culture researcher and curator based in Dubai, contributing to platforms such as Vice Arabia and Global Art Daily. She graduated with a BA in Sociology and Theater from New York University Abu Dhabi. She’s the co-founder of Sa Tahanan Collective, a UAEbased Filipino art collective dedicated to creating an inclusive artistic platform for Filipino artists in the Gulf. Sarah Daher is a Lebanese curator, researcher, and writer who graduated with a BA in Theater and Economics from New York University Abu Dhabi and recently completed her Masters in Curating Contemporary Art at the Royal College of Art in London. She is based between the UAE and London. She currently works as a researcher for Temporary Art Platform, a curatorial platform focused on the development of social practice in Lebanon, the region, and the Global South. She is a regular contributor to Global Art Daily magazine.
Rami Farook (@ramifarook) a party in the age of loneliness, 2014 Collage and acrylic on canvas 2000x1700mm
Shanzeh Hameed (@shanzehmichelle) A Conflict of Conscience, 2021 Poetry The artwork that inspired my piece was rich in diverse mentalities – arguably to the point of contradiction. Represented were views both alarming and charming, mimicking the genuine disparity in human experience in spite of our overarching commonality: the human experience. Confused, excited, misunderstood, and even misguided – we are all one.
Rabab Tantawy (@rababtantawy) Call me grey, 2021 Acrylic on canvas 1000x800mm The way the poem spoke to me resonated with my personal struggle between good and bad , black and white and the ying and the yang. It reminded me of a quote I love : “If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?” -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn I tried to show that through my painting and depiction of my people and the colors I chose.
Maryam AlHuraiz (@maryamah_) Void, 2021 Mixed media 800x550mm Void: What is it to be a stranger to yourself? This is my void. I got inspiration from loneliness in a busy city and that is what if feels like in my head. I used distorted images of my self as a child and stitch them together as I am trying to patch up my lost memories to be whole again.
Mohamed Khalid (@anotherkhalid) Running through my head, 2021 Mixed media on large format print 545x1180mm Presented with a work concerning memories, I attempt to question what is a memory, what is memorable, what does one do with someone else’s memories. The work presents arbitrary information of the studio, my memories, my thoughts, my phone number, my smell, text, lines,
Lubnah Ansari (@groovyluby) Where does the time go?, 2021 Acrylic on cardboard 155x205mm Running on my mind are loved ones I have had to leave behind. Upon meditating on personal migratory journeys, there is a yearning to balance the art of holding on and letting go. This piece was created while cherishing past memories and listening to Nina Simone's "Who Knows Where The Time Goes?".
Sara Ahli (@sara_a_ahli) 3. Time of Birth, 2021 Natural and pigmented paraffin wax, cotton cord, flame Upon looking at the previous artwork titled Where did the time go?, I immediately thought about time in the sense of our existence on this earth; when it starts, when it stops, both of which we have no control over. I pulled out my birth certificate and looked at category three (3) Time of birth. The three casted wax clocks are set at 5:08pm, my time of birth. As the wax melts away, the piece begins to take on a new form, becoming a different sculptural piece with time. As we age and grow from our life experiences we too begin to change and transform. This is an ephemeral, experiential art piece and so are our lives.
Stephany Sanossian (@stephanysanossian) time flies, Trauma doesn’t (1,2.3,4), 2021 Digital collage 420x315mm Growing up in Aleppo, Syria and living in Beirut, Lebanon, and then having a front seat to see how wars change everything is something that I carry with me through my art. The theory of before/after can be applied to the series. The only thing is we cannot tell when was before and when is the after because of uncertainty in the region.
Lena Obaid (@lena.wav) It Is as It Was, 2021 Mixed media 350x450mm How can we reconcile our memory of a place with its present? Inspired by the themes of memory, grief, and reflection in time flies, Trauma doesn’t (1,2.3,4), my work layers an imagined memory with a present memory from the series.
Salem Al Suwaidi (@salem_alsuwaidi) It isn’t as it wasn’t, 2021 Mixed media on canvas 510x610mm The high street of the piece before me had me reflect on how personal but cosmopolitan the streets of our cities are becoming, and ultimately focusing on the further domination of capitalism within our society. The subject on this canvas has been drained of their labour and has exerted their individualism to a degree of complete dehydration, decomposition, and destruction. The city is lost, the person is burnt, the capital is growing.
Shebi Niazi (@shebi.n) Catch me Crashing, 2021 Video Catch me Crashing is an improvisational performance art piece. It resembles an exercise from the training method used by Theater Mitu called “filling in the negative space”. Through it, I responded to the previous artwork which I perceived as the aftermath of a car crash. I used performance as a tool to visually tell the story preceding a crash - the conversation, the interplay between bodies and then the crash followed by grief. Through the performance piece, I aimed not to mimic the narrative in my head directly, but instead to allow the performers to carry the energy from it.
Arthur De Oliveira (@arthuroliveira96) withered, 2021 Wood, textiles 470x350mm withered uses material left out in the abu dhabi weather for a 3 year period. Deteriorated and crumpled from the heat, sunlight, and occasional rain, the material is restructured to push the boundaries of its own fragility.
Sofia Basto (@manigua_studio) Garden of Senses, 2021 Mixed media on canvas 1010x1020mm While observing the previous artwork I felt moved by the combination of hardness and softness. The fabric reminded me of the skin, with pink and blue representing the opposites, warmth and cold. The choice of wood, metal and soft fabric in contrast made me think of the way we perceive the world trough our skin.
Solimar Miller (@artsolimar) Mora Mora, 2021 Textile 1220x920mm Two overlapping mulberry trees graciously existing in harmony within a translucent world. This dreamlike coexistence both presents each tree’s unique patterns, branches, and personality, but also their unison and siblinglike qualities. They transcend the two dimensional world as their interaction blurs the lines between medium and space.
Trixie Danielle (@trixiedanielle_) be.longing.com, 2021 Poetry, audio in QR The previous artwork I saw was a tree and another tree merging into one but very different from each other. Hence, it inspired me to explore the differences that we all have and that how we are doing as stewardesses of the Earth. As the things that have been happening now in the world, I deem that we should be more human than we could ever be. Mother Gaia needs that now.
Hiba Moaswes (@hibamoaswes) Unity Can Seem Like a Puzzle, 2021 Linocut 230x305mm This piece uses a style I have been developing my whole life, the lines are almost a representation of who I am. The grid represents different people, which was an idea taken from the previous work with the image of the passports. In this piece the lines, although different in each individual rectangle, unite them together.
Aya Afaneh (@aafaneh) Kiss Your Third Eye, 2021 Acrylic on print 140x215mm This piece, an inverted print layered with acrylic, is a spiritual reminder to the viewer. The work before mine revolved around unity, making my mind wander immediately to the endless 'unifying' connections between nature and human, human and human, and human and the self. The concept of unity soon became the concept of oneness within one's self- how do we feel more complete and whole as beings? The print is one answer to a lifetime's question.
Hassana Arif (@hasstogo) Eye Stills, 2021 Video, digital illustration When observing the previous work, initially I imagined the sensation of someone kissing my third eye. This symbolizes a beautiful act of human connection and care. Using a touch audio device, I turned the feeling of being kissed on the forehead into a melodic synth. My third eye is the way I visualize drawings in what I see throughout a regular day. The video presented is a manifestation of the act of nurturing the third eye.
Yasmin Hamad (@yasminhamad_) Urban Bebop, 2021 Acrylic gel print and oil pastels on tracing paper 300x420mm Watching the video shared with me, a pattern emerges — a daily rhythm, managed by the person’s movements and shaped by the spaces they experience. In sequence, the lines and colors not only set a visual tempo, but akin to musical notes and chords, they also create and time the music of the moment. What kind of incidental sounds do patterns in places we move past inspire? Composed as its buildings are, I imagine we walk to the cadence of a jazz progression in the city.
Sreerag Jyothish (@callmeswee) this is how the world move 2, 2021 AV installation (vinyl records, digital piano, video footage)
I interpreted the first preceding piece as a musical scoresetting various rules for tone and expression. The other piece, for me, had a lot to do with the expiration of an object/idea/person, but more so, the denial of such expiration through some kind of rejuvenating intervention. Eventually, I was more interested in everything that was going on outside my room as I produced this piece.
Dania Al Tamimi (@daniabtamimi) on the state of being, 2021 Textile I drew inspiration from the state of in-between that was portrayed and suggested in the previous artwork. To exist, and to belong, are two different states of being, but what goes beyond our entities? where do we belong to before and after our status as humans, as systematic, limiteddimensional beings?
Vamika Sinha (@vamika_s) Deconstruction, 2021 Poetry, mixed media 305x400mm The previous artwork, with its lone figure and surrounding architecture evoked feelings of isolation and a contemplative reckoning of the self for me. My poem in response uses Audre Lorde's "the master's tools will never dismantle the master's house" as an intertext to discuss how women of color can deconstruct and reconstruct themselves through language, creation and spirituality/meditation. I played with the idea of how the one profession I was always discouraged to do was architecture, yet I am constantly doing it anyway through other forms, such as building and creating structures through language. I used collage to embellish the poem's display by arranging photographs to converse with the text in new and provocative ways, literally by constructing and deconstructing the accompanying visual narrative using found imagery from a fashion magazine.
Shaeesta Malick (@sams_reverie) Icarus, 2021 Digital painting (Photoshop) 445x645mm The piece is about someone who has never had a locked door in their path, it's been an endless hallway to anything they've wanted. but reaching the end of the hallway and realizing the blue skies are too blue, like plaster and paint, almost wallpaper. With nothing else on the other side. There's nothing left to do, but go back.
Danabelle Gutierrez (@danabellegutierrez) Although and Also, 2021 Photography series, poetry 400x500mm, 210x297 (A4) This piece reiterates that all artistic creation carries mimetic intentions; that all art is derivative and so, all art is repetition by giving the lemons multiple forms in words, illustration, and photos. The fresh fruit is meant to juxtapose the contrast between decay and life, simultaneously offering the illusion of preservation through photographs and suspending the notion that everything rots. This work was made in response to the piece of the previous artist in the chain that features a bubble-wrapped door, the thread I held on to for continuity sewn into both the photographs and the poem. The poem ends with an open door to say that this work provides an escape; it is an invitation to come in.
Noor Althehli (@nooralthehli) Untitled, 2021 Acrylic on canvas, door 500x400, 990x300, 555x1970mm
Vitoria Ikeda (@vitoria_ikeda) No One, 2021 Video (Docu-fiction short) The work consists of 'postcard' like vignettes of memories. But as memories go, they can be changed or even not have happened at all. It is addressed to No One, both as in 'nobody' but also as 'not one' person.
Asma Khoory (@asmakhoory) To whom it may never concern, please find my memories attached, 2021 Acrylic paint, concrete, charcoal 150x105mm We often merge in between; we become one of many with no distinction or specification, disregarding the bags we carry, the moments of intersection between reality and collective memory. We become numbers, paper piles, concrete to build, rebuild, demolish and repeat.
Sarah Afaneh (@srhfneh) barbie&ken, 2021 Poetry barbie&ken grapples with themes of colonial standards of beauty, exoticism, and religious identity. The poem combines a child-like perspective with the heavy confrontation of a lack of belonging, as well as reflects on capitalistic values and the continuous, seemingly timeless, effects of colonialism.
Anita Shishani (@anitayoloswagmoni) @sweetprincessgirllove, 2021 Digital This triptych is an ode to young women who have been made to feel that the only way they can have an online presence is if they filter their actual nuanced lives endlessly - with VSCO filters, as well as their personal filters to make it easily digestible for a vast, judgemental, conservative audience. This is not a criticism of traditional feminine tendencies on Instagram, for example, to edit images to look softer, or to add kitten and heart stickers. Rather, this is a critique of those who enforce and believe a onedimensional fantasy that some women feel pressured to perform.
Reem Al Ani (@remtea) Friday Night, 2021 Ballpoint pen, tinted graphite, digital 474x420mm A scene familiar to many young women in the region, depicting the skill and strategy involved in leading a double life. This character shows mastery of one particular maneuver: the outfit swap.
Sara Yunis (@teawiththerude) Fragile, 2021 Digital photography 490x490mm This piece is a spontaneous project using elements from my life in the past two weeks. I've received fresh Artichokes from home and knew I had to use them. They're such beautiful plants that later bloom into beautiful flowers. My mood has been shifting and I've been very confused and sensitive to the new changes in my life as well. In a sense, this piece describes a mood, a feeling, a life.
Zineb Belrhiti (@byzinebb) Eau revoir, 2021 Digital illustration (Giclee printed) 420x590mm As I was observing and reading the previous work, I could picture myself diving into the mentioned fish tank, in search of the goodbyes I didn't get to say. My illustration is a visual representation of my grasp of the story told by the previous artist, while relating it to my own experience with loss.
Andrew Riad (@andrewriad) FLOATING, 2021 fish tank 250x285x190mm Messages. Identity. Childhood. I first thought of this idea with the notion of communication and I thought about water. I remembered those little bottles you'd find in the ocean with a hidden message inside of them. As a kid, we had a lot of pets growing up, but we had a lot of fish over the years. I wanted to combine the idea of communication with childhood and bring it to life in this little fish tank. The sonnet on top is akin to a nursery rhyme tune and has 'scraps' of it in each bottle. Pick which bottle to open up and find a world of treasures; of culture.
Omar Esaadi (@oesaadiart_) Untitled, 2021 Textile 780x340mm Based on the brief given for the Telephone project, I responded directly to the artwork I was given using the media appropriate to my platform. Inspired by the video’s rapidly changing graphics, textures and content, all whilst staying in a stationary space. I wanted to replicate the physical attributes of the video using the material around me to promote sustainability and time-efficiency. I responded to the different elements of the video using textiles and textures to communicate areas of interest and the chaotic but visually compelling imagery presented to me.
Jenan Saleh (@jenananan) , 2021 Video (10 second loop) The artwork I was responding to brought to mind a few things: domesticity, traces of presence, impermanence. I've been thinking for a while about moving, rent, ownership or the lack of it: we (my family) have been renting our apartment for nearly 16 years — it is strange to spend so long in a space you are always anticipating leaving. Using our kitchen fridge as a template for collage, I document traces of our presence here, as well as things we will need to patch up or remove when ending the lease and moving on: the wrong paint color, things drilled onto the walls, the stickers on my door that I put up when I was 10 years old.
Mashael Alsaie (@filmbymashael) (Place to Hide), 2021 Photographic print on Vellum paper, mixed media, ink, paint 650x400mm There are holes in my memory, forgotten and yet echoing in time and space. In this piece I work backwards, as I layer and extrude shape and form from a childhood hideout. The hideout is a corner in my great aunt Farida’s living room, a spot that offered me solace and comfort then and continues to penetrate my memory now. Layering, extruding and hiding are now synonymous actions that attempt the process of self-revealing.
Lena Kassicieh (@lena.kassicieh) The things that surround you, the things that make you, 2021 Mixed media collage with acrylic marker on paper 265x420mm When I saw the artwork before me, I felt it was a collection of items that could tell any story. Perhaps they were things that the artist had lying around. Perhaps they were leftover pieces from another project. But mixed together they created a coherent piece that could be telling a delicate story. My piece translates to the notion that all of us are surrounded by so many ideas and thoughts and things and what we do with all of those is what defines us.
Athoub Albusaily (@432khz) burnt painted bread confetti a stray light and all the yous, 2021 Mixed media 900x760x150mm The work is a direct commentary on the title a party in the age of loneliness. I tried to grasp the fleeting moment of sudden spacial awareness that usually occurs during a period of solitude. Dried flower foam is an object that acts as the anchor piece in the installation, it aims to build a link to the violent act of incapsulating time and celebration. The typewritten letter in the centre acts as both a reminder and a checklist of the content of the installation.
Rami Farook (@ramifarook) a party in the age of loneliness, 2014 Collage and acrylic on canvas 2000x1700m
After the Beep curated by Anna Bernice & Sarah Daher May - July 2021 Publication edited by Sarah Daher designed by Maria Daher This exhibition was made possible by Rami Farook and the team at Satellite.