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ISSUE 05/2017


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50 ARTISTES


Contents

Issue 05 / 2017

INDUSTRY ...............................16

Steve Sabella .............................112

The Mountain, L’Enfant-Femme,

Hassan Meer ..............................118

Suspended Territories, Made in

Al-Moutasim Al-Maskery ...........124

Tashkeel, Jerusalem Lives, Still in

Emy Kat .....................................132

Progress, Shift, Homesick, UNSEEN

Mohammed Shammarey ...........138 Mohammed Al Kouh .................144

REVIEW

Mouna Karray ............................150

I AM ...........................................20

Maha Al Asaker ..........................154

By Tim Cornwell

Lamya Gargash ..........................160

Of Safar and Segregation ..........24

Ammar Khalfan Al Attar .............166

By Alia Al Senussi

Amani Al Shaali ..........................172 Amina Benbouchta ....................176

PROFILE

Aya Haidar .................................180

Leila Alaoui ................................28

Mai Al Moataz ............................184

Courtesy of Fondation Leila Alaoui

Ibi Ibrahim ..................................188

and Galleria Continua.

Ziad Antar ..................................192

Tala Worrell ................................52 By Shiva Balaghi

REMEMBERING .....................198

Hazem Harb ...............................64

Hashem El Madani 1928 - 2017

By Lara Khaldi

Editor’s note Sometimes you look at something

content of their work. Unexpectedly, the

or

majority of the works highlighted in this

someone

then

the

colours

disappear—where did they go?

issue still use film.

This edition of Tribe celebrates black and

We show a collection of unseen images

white photography, both in analog and

by Waddah Farris, selected by Salah

digital productions.

Barakat who encouraged him to show his work which he had kept in boxes

We remember the magic in the darkroom,

for a half century. Fouad ElKhourey’s

where underneath the glow of the red

monochromatic Cairo seems timeless,

light, images slowly came to life in the

apt to the fairytale he spins. Also, as the

dark. Developing and fixing from tray to

front cover suggests, an homage to the

tray under water, photographers moved

late Hashem ElMadani, who’s studio work

through these steps to get their nuanced

in the region was not only progressive

end result. A magical process that required

for its time but also captured intimacy.

mastering. Each photographer had their

There a variety of attributes made to black

own style and rhythm, where the outcome

and white photography, such as old school,

of tones was tweaked in the darkness,

classical and the abstract. Yet, as this issue

playing with contrast for drama or subtlety.

shows, the abstract forces to engage subjects in black and white, which is clearly

PORTFOLIO

In the digital age, the process evolved

Hashem El Madani .....................38

not a thing of the past.

into a filter—a press of a button on

By Gayatri Gopinath Waddah Faris .............................58 By Natasha Gasparian Fouad Elkoury ............................72 By Dr. Kathryn Brown

the computer—a quick fix that comes

Thanks goes out to the much-admired

to the rescue. When things don’t look

artist Aya Haider who created a unique set

so good in colour—and the tones are

of five images for this edition of Tribe—a

off—the choice of using black and white

monochromatic take on her profound wish

becomes mere technique and suddenly

you were here embroidered postcard series.

everything looks so much better.

SERIES Camille Zakharia ........................82 Sara Naim ..................................90 Bashar Alhroub ..........................96 Hassan Hajjaj .............................102

Cover Image: Hashem El-Madani. Saida, Lebanon, c. 1950 – c. 1969. Gelatin silver negative on 35mm format film. From Akram Zaatari’s Objects of Study: The Archive of Studio Shehrazade. Courtesy of Akram Zaatari and the Arab Image Foundation.

The photographers in this issue have made

Landscapes & cityscapes, deserts &

their creative choice to shoot in black and

destruction, studio & candid portraits,

white under different circumstances. Each

mountains & mirages, collage &

and every one of them reveal why—whether

montages… Enjoy all the B&W images with

through their words and stories or the

all the shades of grey in between.

Supported By:

f tribephotonewmedia d tribephotomag www.tribephotonewmedia.com Media Partnerships:

Pre Press Rana Veera Kumar

Distribution Matthew Lombard

Design Assistant Zia Paulachak Jafery Laradona Shaheen Sreejith Kozhuvalloor Upendra Kumar

Business Devlopment Nanda Collins

Design Channels

Print Consultant Sivadas Menon

Distribution Leena Malik

Artfair Coordinator Daveeda Shaheen

Production Selwyn

Printer Vimalan Umesh

Publisher Mubarik Jafery

Assistant Editor Woodman Taylor

Legal Consultant Fatimah Waseem

Photo Editor Sueraya Shaheen

Copy Editor David Howarth

Associate Editor New Media Janet Bellotto

Print Supervisor Nayeemuddin

Contact editorial@ink.com sales@ink.com + 9714.421.0429 Printed in Dubai Printwell Printing Press (L.L.C.)

This catalog is created as a showcase of creative works within the region. Its aim is to create awareness of the arts. Please note that the information in this magazine, including all articles, and photographs, do not make any claims. Any information offered is expressly the opinion of the creator/author of that material. The content created by the authors, creators and works on these pages are subject to copyright law. The reproduction, editing, distribution and any kind of exploitation outside the limits of copyright require the written consent of the respective author or creator. 7.05.16.9.3.4.5683.968


C

M

Y

Writers

CM

MY

CY

Alia Al-Senussi is Chairman of the Tate Young

Asian Public Cultures (Duke University Press, 2005)

she commissioned nine artists’publications and

Patrons, founding International Co-Chair of the

and the forthcoming Unruly Visions: The Aesthetic

curated a symposium.

Chinati Foundation Contemporaries Council and

Practices of Queer Diaspora (Duke University

a member of the Committee for the Serpentine

Press, 2018).

historian. She works with Saleh Barakat as a curator

founding member of the Tate Committee for

Dr. Kathryn Brown is a lecturer in modern and

at Agial Art Gallery and the Saleh Barakat Gallery.

Middle Eastern and North African Acquisitions, the

contemporary art at Loughborough University

She is currently completing her Master’s degree in

Board of Patrons of Art Dubai, the Board of 1:54

in the United Kingdom. Her most recent book

Art History and Curating at the University of Beirut.

The African Art Fair and the Middle East Circle of

is Matisse’s Poets: Critical Performance in the

the Guggenheim. She is a member of the board

Artist’s Book (Bloomsbury Academic, 2017). www.

Dr. Shiva Balaghi is a cultural historian, focusing on

of trustees of the Institute of Contemporary Arts

kathrynbrownarthistory.com

the visual arts of the contemporary Middle East.

d arthhistory_kjb

London, and works as the VIP Representative for

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K

Natasha Gasparian is a Beirut-based art writer and

Gallery Future Contemporaries group. Alia is a

CMY

She has written widely on Iranian art for museums

the UK and the Middle East for Art Basel. She is

Lara Khaldi is an independent curator based in

such as the Guggenheim, Serralves and the Andy

currently studying towards her PhD in Politics at

Jerusalem, Palestine. She is a recent alumna of de

Warhol Museum and for publications like Artforum,

SOAS focusing on cultural hegemony.

Appel curatorial programme, Amsterdam, and the

HyperAllergic and Ibraaz. Follow her point of view

European Graduate School, Switzerland. Khaldi

on the art world on f shivabalaghi

Gayatri Gopinath is Associate Professor in the

teaches at the International Academy of Art in

Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, and

Ramallah and at Dar Al-Kalima University College

Tim Cornwell is a freelance arts writer based in

Director of the Center for the Study of Gender

of Arts and Culture, Bethlehem. Khaldi has curated

the UK. He has written extensively on the visual

and Sexuality Studies at New York University.

numerous exhibitions and symposiums in Palestine

arts of the Middle East and South Asia, and in the

She has published widely on gender, sexuality

and other places. For her most recent project,

last year has reported from the Kochi Biennale in

and cultural production. She is the author of

Shifting Ground, Sharjah Biennial 13 Offsite project

India, the Venice Biennale, and the Beirut Art Fair.

Impossible Desires: Queer Diasporas and South

for Ramallah, Palestine in August 2017 where

www.arts-press.co.uk/about/ d artspress


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INDUSTRY

Gallery view: Moataz Nasr, The Mountain (2017)

The Mountain: Egyptian Pavilion, 57th Venice Biennale

the floor is covered with dirt and hay. Projected on five video screens

The Egyptian Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale features artist Moataz

barriers caused by fears and taboos within present day village life in

Nasr. Nasr has transformed the pavilion into a multi-sensory installation

the artist’s home country—Egypt—and how it can only be overcome

from the moment one walks through the threshold of the pavilion—where

through humanity.

is the artist’s 12-minute film, The Mountain. It explores the daily life of a village, shot in the Egyptian countryside. The film explores the

L’Enfant-Femme: Galerie Eulenspiegel, Basel Photographer Rania Matar reframes her subjects through intimate portraiture, revealing in L’Enfant-Femme how girls between the ages of 8 and 13 interact with the camera. Addressing themes of representation, voyeurism and transgression, these images remind us of the fragility of youth while also gesturing toward its unbridled curiosity. The images at times provokes discomfort in the blurred boundary between innocence and seduction. Photographing girls in the Middle East and the United States, Matar forces the viewer to examine the universality of childhood and notions of beauty which transcend place, background and religion. Candidly capturing her subjects at a critical juncture in the early stages of adolescence, Matar delicately exposes the tumult which defines every girl’s transition from girlhood to womanhood—and in so doing, she captures that elusive moment when angst, sexuality and personhood intersect. On display at Galerie Eulenspiegel in Basel from June 15 to August 12. Rania Matar, Invisible Children Yasmine 12, Beirut (2012)

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INDUSTRY

Above: Arwa Abouon, I’m Sorry / I Forgive You from the series Learning by Heart (2012) Digital print 76.2 x 101.6 cm. Image courtesy of the artist. Right: Sama Alshaibi, Silsila (Link) (2013) from the series Silsila (2009 – 16) Archival pigment print 69.85 x 100 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.

Suspended Territories: MARTa Herford The Suspended Territories exhibition at Germany’s MARTa Herford gallery showcases women’s contemporary art from the Arab world, Iran and North Africa. Their artistic forms of expression are combined with biographical links, to create multilayered questions around identity and belonging. The selected artworks reflect and present the current socio-cultural zones of conflict between the Arab and Western worlds, but also document very personal experiences both in one’s home country or in exile. Participants of the exhibition include Arab photographers Sama Alshaibi (Palestine/Iraq) and Arwa Abouon (Libya). The exhibition runs from June 24 through September 24.

From left to right: Fatima Albudoor, Gazing 3 (2017) from the series Gazing, Cyanotype on cotton fabric; Saeed Al Madani, Art01.

Made in Tashkeel: Tashkeel Gallery, Dubai

than 30 different artists on display, the exhibition covers a variety of artistic

The annual group show, Made in Tashkeel is back, showcasing works by its

Lamovsek, Canay & Canbek Itez, Tor Seidel, Carles Llonch Molina and Mark

members, workshop participants and recent exhibition artists. With more

Pilkington. The show runs at the Tashkeel Gallery from May 25 to August 30.

mediums. Featuring photographers, Hind Bin Demaithan, Moza Al Falasi, Saeed Al Madani, Fatima Albudoor, Layan Attari, Ammar Al Attar, Marta

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INDUSTRY

Lalla Essaydi, from the series Les Femmes du Maroc Revisited 2 (2010) C-print

Still in Progress: Leila Heller Gallery, Dubai In her Middle East solo debut, Lalla Essaydi puts on display her intricately staged photographs, layered with calligraphy, architecture and painting. Carefully and intentionally composed, Essaydi’s photographs engage with the art of the past, while mining the complex identities of contemporary Arab, Muslim women. The meticulous process she engages in is fundamental to Essaydi’s work. The white borders of the film reveal the fantasy, the pure fabrication of the contexts she photographs. In doing so, she mocks existing Orientalist portrayals of Arab women. Hers differ in that they are rooted in authentic histories, and reflect the depth of her subjects’ social and cultural identity. On display at Leila Heller Gallery from June 7 to August 15.

From top: Ahed Izhiman, Jerusalem Lives; Mohammed Kazem, installation detail Raw Data (1999 - 2013) image courtesy of Hamoudi Shehade.

Jerusalem Lives: Palestinian Museum, Birzeit In August, the Palestinian Museum in Birzeit will unveil its inaugural exhibition, Jerusalem Lives, showcasing a collection of photography, installations, and sculpture. Curator Reem Fadda chose to highlight Jerusalem in light of the ongoing exclusionary policies enforced by militarisation in the city. In response, the Palestinian Museum has created a multi-faceted exhibition, which brings into sharp focus the life of Palestinians living in the contested city. Presenting Jerusalem as a case study in metaphorical globalisation and its failures, the curation steers clear of time-worn clichés, while attempting to expose the neoliberal, colonial and imperial challenges imposed by the Israeli occupation. Through the work, Fadda asks viewers to ponder

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Youssef Nabil, #XIV from the series I Saved My Belly Dancer (2015) Silver gelatin print

I Saved My Belly Dancer: Pérez Art Museum, Miami

crucial questions: How can we transform the concept of Jerusalem

Pérez Art Museum Miami is hosting Youssef Nabil’s latest solo exhibition, I Saved My Belly

Lives from a simple slogan into an action, which will in turn offer

Dancer. A lavish production featuring actors Salma Hayek and Tahar Rahim­—complete with

tangible content and support for life in the city? What are the stories

color treatments reminiscent of hand-tinted vintage photographs—the film is a hypnotic

of collective resistance? How do we make Jerusalem live? See the

allegory of Egypt’s cultural heritage and the shifting perceptions of the role of women in

works on display from August 27 to December 15.

the region. The exhibition is on from May 5 to October 1.


INDUSTRY

Dana Awartani, I went away and forgot you. A while ago I remembered. I remembered I’d forgotten you. I was dreaming (2017) Video stills. Images courtesy of The Mosaic Rooms.

Shift: The Mosaic Rooms, London

Awartani presents I went away and forgot you. A while ago I remembered. I

In their UK debut at The Mosaic Rooms, Saudi artists Dana Awartani, Zahrah

remembered I’d forgotten you. I was dreaming in which the patterned floor—

Al-Ghamdi and Reem Al-Nasser respond to their experiences of dramatic

which appears to be Islamic-style tiling—is actually an intricate installation

shifts in both the built environment of Saudi Arabia’s largest cities, as

of hand-dyed sand and the viewer watches as the artist steps into frame to

well as in domestic spaces. The aptly named exhibition, Shift shows the

sweep it away, revealing its impermanence and its subterfuge. The sand

work of women caught between a future driven by globalisation and

work seen in the film will be recreated on-site by Awartani. The exhibition

rapid urban development, and a history on the precipice of erasure. Dana

will run from July 1 to September 2. Homesick film still (2014) Two channel video, 11min and 7min, Inkjet prints, 150 x 190 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Kalfayan Galleries Athens –Thessaloniki.

Homesick: Sursock Museum, Beirut

Hrair Sarkissian is known for exploring the transience of life’s mundane moments and contexts, typically through large-scale photography. But his latest exhibition, Homesick—opening in July at at the Sursock Museum in Beirut—marks his engagement with the moving image, created with the same studied craft as his photographs. The two video installations, Homesick (2014) and Horizon (2016), are related confrontations of journeys taken in response to the war in Syria. In Homesick, Sarkissian turns the lens on himself, shown destroying a model replica of his childhood home in Damascus, where his parents still live today. For Sarkissian, the act of destruction expresses both a catharsis and a reclamation of agency. Horizon is a visual meditation on the harrowing, sea-bound journey refugees fleeing conflict are often forced to take. Together, these works portray a sense of loss and apprehension. On display at the Sursock’s Twin Galleries from July 7 to October 2. Hani.A.Musa, Alhamdulillah We Made It (2015) Image courtesy of RUANG MES 56 Collective

UNSEEN: Photography fairs, Amsterdam Unseen is an international contemporary photography platform with a focus on everything new in the world of photography. In addition to hosting one of Europe’s largest and most respected photography fairs, Unseen Amsterdam, Unseen celebrates up-and-coming talent across a diverse programme of year-round initiatives, including collaborations, awards and residencies, both on and off-line. In this way, they continue to provide innovative and diverse approaches for engaging with new photography that keeps a finger on the pulse at all times. Tribe returns this year as a continued media partner.

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REVIEW Images - Courtesy of the artists and Caravan. Writer - Tim Cornwell, arts writer.

I AM: Building Bridges Challenging regional stereotypes Conflict art, the so-called ‘art of resistance,’ seems to define much of the Middle East art scene at the moment—whether it is Palestinian artists skewering Israel, or newer artistic protests aimed at the authorities in Syria or Egypt. Photography in I AM, an exhibition of Middle Eastern women artists’ work, challenges regional stereotypes. The exhibition is the latest touring show from Caravan, a non-profit interfaith organisation originally launched in Cairo by Reverend PaulGordon Chandler in 2009 with the goal of using art to build bridges between ‘creeds and cultures,’ not divide them. Thirty-one Middle Eastern artists feature in I AM, this year’s offering, devoted entirely to women

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artists. Eight are photographers—nine, if you

Art critics have not been kind to Caravan shows

The selected artists were asked, if possible, to

count an enchanting digital print by the well-

in past years, the standard was uneven. But I

supply new work that “should all subscribe to our

known ‘photo artist’ Nermine Hammam in the

AM raises the bar much higher, with art that

theme or mission,” said Claire Marie Pearman,

line-up. The exhibition opened in Jordan, under

squarely challenges preconceptions about

Caravan’s Programme and Development

the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al

women from the region. Curator Janet Rady

Coordinator. It is “the interfaith aspect of using art

Abdullah, and tours to London in Summer 2017

was determined to move away from clichés,

to break down barriers and build bridges.” That

and the United States in 2018.

avoiding veiled shoppers or calligraphic art.

has not stopped them being provocative, and

There are iconic, powerful personalities, as

particularly on women’s roles, often using their

What is peace-building art that brings people

in Hammam’s tribute to Egyptian singer Oum

auto-portraits. Yemeni-Bosnian Alia Ali shows

together? It’s easiest to define by what it’s

Kalthoum. One favourite was Eden, a digital

herself bound up in heavy fabric, woven from

not—angry, anguished, inflammatory, violent.

montage by Egypt’s Marwa Adel, winner of

newspaper, a faceless female figure, robed, silent

The London venue for I AM is St. Martin-in-the-

the Best Arab Photographer in the Emirates

and accusing. “You don’t know who it is or what

Fields, the famous church on Trafalgar Square

Photography Competition. A black-and-white

it is—you superimpose your own prejudices on

known for work with the young and homeless.

piece, it shows the artist herself, robed in

it and which reflect back at you,” says Pearman.

The show will tour US churches too, aiming to

black, suspended, as if on air, looking up the

show a more peaceful side of the Middle Eastern

branches of an Iznik-style tile wall. It is a pose

Lalla Essaydi, from Morocco, shows a woman

and Muslim world in hinterland America.

both peaceful and defiant.

standing against a glittering golden wall with


Previous page: Alia Ali; Ahaad Alamoudi, Land of Dreams Left to right: Marwa Adel, Eden, Laysa Ana, I am not

trouser suit and girdle to match—but in her trademark style both wall and floor are made from bullet casings. By contrast, Sanaa-born Boushra Amutawakel shows an untitled triptych of a striking woman in a Yemeni hijab of brilliant colours in the traditional prayer poses of the three Abrahamic religions. This was inspired, apparently, by the argument that both make-up and the veil mask a woman’s identity.

What is peace-building art that brings people together? It’s easiest to define by what it’s not—angry, anguished, inflammatory, violent.

Saudi Arabia’s Ahaad Alamoudi, a Master’s student at the Royal College of Art in London, shows Land of Dreams, an installation set within the Saudi desert with pictures of the celebrity Emirati singer Ahlam Alshami in glitzy Kardashianesque poses. Palestinian artist Raeda Saadeh portrays a woman with eyelashes pouring out of her eyes down to her neck, weighted down with a host of tiny keys, but with an ambiguously satisfied expression that resembles the Mona Lisa’s smile.

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Lalla Essaydi, Bullets Revisited #15

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Raeda Saadeh, KEYS

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REVIEW Images - Courtesy of the Artist. Writer - Alia Al Senussi.

Of Safar and Segregation Saudi Art Council’s 21,39 Jeddah Arts In this new age where hard power is attempting

Artists Marwah Al-Mugait and William Kentridge,

push them open—by surrounding and helping the

to overcome all, we acknowledge those revelatory

both presented artwork that spoke to segregation—

isolated woman and minorities, and creating an

moments where culture asserts itself as a true voice

Al-Mugait the segregation of the sexes and

integrated space rather than a segregated one.

of progress and human achievement. Saudi Arabia is

Kentridge that of the races. As the catalogue

often referred to in the confined descriptions related

describes, Al-Mugait single-channel video

to the ban on women driving and other equally

installation We Were depicts a solitary woman on

knowledge safar yields about the self can only be

perplexing human rights constrictions. However,

a deserted road, who gradually gets surrounded

comprehensible within the context of the insights

the act of protest to such stringent social and political

by a flock of people, to then be left again on her

that we have made about others, the places and

rules does not necessarily manifest itself in revolution,

own. The curators, Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath

times we have left behind and those towards which

even more so in the Kingdom. Rather, soft power

write, ‘Al-Mugait has created a poetic ode to

we aspire. This is when artists, and what they do,

here reigns supreme. Safar, this year’s edition of

safar collapsing the distance between arrival and

become essential in helping us better understand

the annual exhibition of Saudi Art Council’s 21,39

departure, highlighting the state of ‘in-betweennes’

ourselves, and the world that we live in. That world

Jeddah Arts, features 24 artists, including 16 new

that it entails.’

is always an imperfect one, and no community is

commissions by emerging Saudi artists and 8 video

immune—it is for artists to help us move forward

works by leading international artists. These artists are

As part of the presentation at King Abdullah

brought in to conversation with the local community,

Economic City (KAEC), William Kentridge’s Tango

the regional public and the international art world in

for Page Turning (2012-2013) strongly illustrates the

a thoughtful, and dare one say, revolutionary manner.

artist’s ongoing inquiry into multiple temporaries

With this year of electoral change in the West, Saudi

and the correlation between technological progress

Arabia’s cultural community are demonstrating to us

and Imperial structures. The curators explain, ‘This

a different way in which political evolution occurs—

one-channel video installation represents safar in

that which is created by gradual pushes rather than

a fantastical manner, where the artist’s masterful

massive shoves.

command of stop animation allows the viewers to explore political and historical issues relating

Frances Morris, Director of Tate Modern, recently

to segregation through a highly sensational

spoke about the newly opened Wolfgang Tillmans

experience.’

show as an illustration of the importance of steady

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Bardaouil and Fellrath declare: ‘Whatever

progress. The Saudi Art Council’s efforts are

Both Marwah and William’s work attest to isolation

no different. After three editions that served as

but the very act of creating these works is the bridge

introduction, preface and key historical grounding,

to community and to dialogue. Showing these works

we have now with safar the next step—marrying ‘the

to the Saudi public is of the utmost importance,

mall,’ ‘the home’ and ‘the city’ with young and mid-

but demonstrating to the world that these works

career Saudi artists in conversation with established

were shown there is of equal significance—it is for

Western voices.

everyone everywhere to find the cracks of light and

and to communicate how.’


We Were from the series Subtitles (2017) Video, 6 minutes and 22 seconds

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PROFILE Images - Courtesy of Fondation Leila Alaoui and Galleria Continua.

Leila Alaoui: No Pasara Burning Borders No Pasara, Laila Alaoui’s first photographic

difficult reality through her portraits. Despite this,

project, acts as some kind of manifesto of her

the expressions captured by the artist are imbued

commitment. This series of shots reveals the

with great humanity, restoring to those who

faces of Moroccan youths in search of a ticket

have been denied the dignity that they deserve.

to Europe, candidates for an uncertain exile and

Any place she went and met with people when

somehow lost in their own country. A humble

working on migration matters, she faced the

portraitist, Alaoui observed and listened to them,

same disorientation, hope and shattered reality.

picking up her camera only after she had spent

Alaoui explored these realities, giving voice to

time with and talked to them. Her wish was to

distant words and re-transcribing with sensitivity

understand as much as possible about the lives

and humility the beauty of people who, thanks

and dreams of the so-called Harragas (literally,

to her work, were able to elude their destiny as

those who burn borders), and what prompts them

anonymous figures in the news.

to abandon their homeland. Leila Alaoui, who trained as a documentary She says, ‘In reaction to Europe’s policies to

photographer, also worked with video as a medium

tighten its borders, a new terminology emerged

to explore the frontiers of traditional historical

in the popular language to express a symbolic

narratives while avoiding clichés and victimisation.

resistance to all laws depriving the freedom to

Alaoui subjects exist not only for the duration of a

migrate. ‘Hrag’ (to burn) and ‘Harragas’ have

photograph, but through their stories shared by the

become common codes among a desperate

photographer. At once observer and participant,

youth willing to sacrifice everything to reach

she imagines a singular affinity with each individual.

the shores of Europe. No Pasara captures the

To discover her work is to participate in a common

lives of young Moroccans, who dream of a better

endeavor to look at and listen to the stories that

future on the other side of the Mediterranean.

were shared with the intimacy of a human bond;

The images bear witness to their realities as well

annihilating the distance which transforms the other

as to their illusions. In their attempts to burn the

into an exotic specimen, and returning to the idea

border, many end up burning their identities,

of communion.

their past and sometimes their lives.’ In January 2016, during a photographic assignment

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The series reveals the artist’s sensibility in the face

on women’s rights in Burkina Faso commissioned

of the social realities experienced by marginalised

by Amnesty International, Alaoui fell victim to the

people around the world–women and men with

terrorist attacks of Ouagadougou. She succumbed

forgotten faces, hidden behind statistics or

to her wounds on the 28 January, 2016. The Leila

stereotyped images. A globe-trotting artist, Alaoui

Alaoui Foundation has been set up to preserve

saw her mission as being essentially social. The

her work, defend her values and inspire artistic

people she met speak to us of a powerful and

engagement for human dignity.

The series reveals the artist’s sensibility in the face of the social realities experienced by marginalised people around the world– women and men with forgotten faces, hidden behind statistics or stereotyped images.


Untitled from the series No Pasara (2008) Lambda print on aluminium, 102 x 73 cm

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11 from the series No Pasara (2008) Lambda print on aluminium, 102 Ă— 73 cm

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20 from the series No Pasara (2008) Lambda print on aluminium, 102 Ă— 73 cm

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12 from the series No Pasara (2008) Lambda print on aluminium, 73 x 102 cm

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13 from the series No Pasara (2008) Lambda print on aluminium, 73 x 102 cm

Next page: 18 from the series No Pasara (2008) Lambda print on aluminium, 73 x 102 cm

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06 from the series No Pasara (2008) Lambda print on aluminium, 73 x 102 cm

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05 from the series No Pasara (2008) Lambda print on aluminium, 73 x 102 cm

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PORTFOLIO Images - Hashem El-Madani. Saida, Lebanon, c. 1950 – c. 1969. Gelatin silver negative on 35mm format film. From Akram Zaatari’s Objects of Study: The Archive of Studio Shehrazade. Courtesy of Akram Zaatari and the Arab Image Foundation. Writer - Gayatri Gopinath, Associate Professor.

Hashem El Madani: The Studio Portraits Envisioning Otherwise The image stopped me in my tracks. Identified in

Lebanese nation by successive waves of war and

the caption simply as ‘Abed, a tailor,’ and created

Israeli occupation between 1978 and 2000.

sometime between 1948-1953, the subject in the photograph looks forthrightly into the camera as he

We can glean from Hashem El Madani: Studio

leans on his elbows with his hands folded gracefully

Practices visions of gender nonconformity and

under his chin. With his finely chiseled face, perfectly

homosocial intimacy that marked this ‘othered’

arched eyebrows, and elaborately coiffed hair,

space of the region of southern Lebanon, and

‘Abed’ was to my contemporary gaze immediately

that were perhaps only possible within it. The

recognizable as a gender-nonconforming figure:

image of ‘Abed, a tailor’ that I found so arresting

one who is not easily intelligible within a gender

is but one of a series of five portraits of the figure,

binary system of male and female.

and appears in the midst of portraits of flexing male body builders and young male militants in

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There he created hundreds of thousands of portraits of Saida’s residents: brides and grooms, wrestlers and babies, resistance fighters and refugees.

This image of ‘Abed’ was my initial encounter with

poses of masculine bravado. The ‘Abed’ series

In Akram Zaatari’s 2015 film Twenty Eight Nights and

the remarkable studio photography of Hashem El

speaks to an entirely different sense of gender

a Poem, an off-screen voice (presumably Zaatari’s)

Madani. Madani’s work was made available to a

embodiment, and is one manifestation of these

asks Madani why he photographed ‘Abed’ in poses

transnational public through the work of the Arab

subterranean regional histories. It is accompanied

usually reserved for women. El Madani replies,

Image Foundation and the Beirut-based Lebanese

by a succinct yet telling caption from Madani. He

‘That’s because he himself was between a man and

artist Akram Zaatari. Indeed as a New York based

writes, ‘As he was effeminate I would give him

a woman. Before that I had shot his sisters. He came

academic, I first came across this image while

poses that I usually chose for women. He used

in and asked to be photographed like them. He

leafing through Zaatari’s 2004 co-edited book

to come often to the studio with his family and

considered himself in the same category as women.

Hashem El Madani: Studio Practices. Madani

friends.’ Madani’s non-judgmental, matter-of-fact

Psychologically.’ Madani’s response indicates his

opened his Studio Shehrazade in Saida (Sidon)

explication, as well as the images of Abed gazing

absolute commitment to creating portraits that

in southern Lebanon in 1953. There he created

calmly and confidently into the camera with his

spoke to his subjects’ own aspirational desires for

hundreds of thousands of portraits of Saida’s

sister and his male companions, give a sense of

self-representation. This same lack of judgment

residents: brides and grooms, wrestlers and

an individual whose gender nonconformity is

and his fidelity to his subjects’ self-making desires

babies, resistance fighters and refugees. The

not spectacular or fetishized but quite ordinary.

is apparent later in the film when Madani recalls

portraits in Hashem El Madani: Studio Practices

We can thus read the images as aspirational

photographing a young, recently divorced woman

date from the early 1950s to the mid-1970s, and

enactments of belonging: they produce Abed

who wanted to be photographed nude, an anomaly

tell us a great deal about the centrality of image-

as a subject who is deeply embedded within

at the time. Whether photographing militant young

making practices such as studio photography in

a rich social world, within a network of friends,

men, young divorcees, or ‘effeminate’ tailors, Madani’s

the construction of modernity in Lebanon. But

lovers, and family members, and they speak to

gaze is deeply humane and equally respectful of the

we can also understand Madani as a chronicler

the quotidian strategies of self-representation by

desires and longings of all his subjects; he serves as

of everyday life in southern Lebanon per se, a

which non-normative subjects envision a sense

an unwavering, loyal collaborator in their poignant

region rendered ‘other’ in relation to the larger

of place and emplacement.

performances of world-making and self-fashioning.


Abed, a tailor. Madani’s parents’ home, the studio. Lebanon/Saida (1948 - 1953)

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PROFILE Images - Courtesy of the artist. Writer - Shiva Balaghi, scholar and curator.

Tala Worrell: Abu Dhabi in Black and White Images, ideas and memories Taking photographs, wrote the critic Susan

I shoot in black and white,’ Worrell tells me, ‘it

Sontag, is a way of ‘converting experience

becomes a search for the nature of things, an

into an image, a souvenir.’ For Tala Worrell,

unseen truth. Stripping away colour allows me

photographing Abu Dhabi became a way to

to rely on the basics—light and shadow, the

capture memories of a place she knows as home.

discovery of form.’ And within those stratified

‘I felt compelled to photograph this world,

layers of grey color, there is a beautifully grainy

because it is the backbone of my foundational

quality which Worrell uses to ‘speak to the

imagery,’ Worrell says. ‘It is the world that I

graininess of Abu Dhabi air in the summer when

return to in my mind when I feel uncertain or

the dust just sits suspended in the atmosphere.’

at a loss for what to do next. I wanted to make sure I had this cornucopia of images, ideas and

Her photographs are at once spare and redolent.

memories available to me wherever I went going

The waters of Mina Zayed Port are calm. The

forward. Maybe I wanted to be sure that I could

horse track at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club is

carry the security of knowing that I know a place

barren. The construction of the new Abu Dhabi

and have seen it for what it is.’

National Oil Company building is at a standstill.

‘After living away from Abu Dhabi for a few

nowhere. ‘A photograph,’ wrote art critic John

years, I was struck by how comforting it felt to

Berger, ‘while recording what has been seen,

be somewhere that I knew like the back of my

always and by its nature refers to what is not

hand,’ the artist explains. Abu Dhabi is where

seen. It isolates, preserves, and presents a

she learned how to read and write, how to ride

moment taken from a continuum [. . .] What

a horse and how to make art. After studying at

it shows invokes what is not shown.’ Invoked

Brown University and the Rhode Island School

by Worrell’s photographs is the stark absence

of Design (RISD), Worrell spent time as an artist

of people; a disconnection which creates an

The photographic moment lies on a continuum. There is what came before the photograph was taken, what comes next.

in residence at Beirut’s Ashkal Alwan, and in

aesthetic gap. Worrell’s images are marked by

traffic, the movement of people—are absent.

2016 she returned to Abu Dhabi as an award

a vast emptiness.

And yet we know time is passing, change is

The horizon extends just beyond a bridge to

recipient of the Salama Bint Hamdan Fellowship

for Emerging Artists.

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happening. The horses will be racing. The The photographic moment lies on a continuum.

fishermen will cast their nets. A new ADNOC

There is what came before the photograph

building is taking shape alongside the old one.

Worrell’s series of black and white photographs

was taken, and there is what comes next. The

A sculptural suspension bridge that appears to

depicting Abu Dhabi’s urban landscape have

temporal ambiguity in Worrell’s photography is

go to ‘nowhere’ suggests that some day the

a light, ethereal tonality. Stripped of colour,

a deliberate, artistic choice. When were these

city will extend itself further. Time stops and

perception comes into play. The photographs

photographs taken? The usual markers one

starts. Change is incremental and the past always

convey a layered, architectural quality. ‘When

might use—the colour of the sky, the flows of

anchors what comes next.


ADNOC from the series Abu Dhabi in Black and White (2015) Scanned 35 mm negative

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From Top: Bridge To No Where — Al Bateen, from the series Abu Dhabi in Black and White (2016) Scanned 35 mm negative Marina Mall Corniche View from the series Abu Dhabi in Black and White (2015) Scanned 35 mm negative

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From Top: Mina Zayed, from the series Abu Dhabi in Black and White (2016) Scanned 35 mm negative ADNOC 2.0 from the series Abu Dhabi in Black and White (2015) Scanned 35 mm negative Next page: On the Bridge to Nowhere from the series Abu Dhabi in Black and White (2015) Scanned 35 mm negative

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PORTFOLIO Images - Courtesy of Saleh Barakat Gallery. Writer - Natasha Gasparian, art historian.

Waddah Faris: Do Not Contemplate A photo archive of fleeting moments of the everyday The true image of the past flits by. The past can

the photographs away, leaving them dispersed in

be seized only as an image that flashes up at the

the places he moved between. They would have

moment of its recognizability and is never seen

likely gone unseen; they would have not even

again …For it is an irretrievable image of the

flitted by.

past which threatens to disappear in any present that does not recognize itself as intended in that

Waddah Faris is not a photographer per se. As an

image. – Walter Benjamin, Theses on the Concept

opposer to the professionalization of the sphere of

of History

art, he at times dabbled, and at others, plunged in an impressive range of activities. For the most part,

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Waddah Faris’ photographs had been lying in boxes, collecting dust for nearly half a century. They had largely gone unseen.

Waddah Faris’ photographs had been lying in

he produced the graphic designs for books and

boxes, collecting dust for nearly half a century. They

journals, including the cover of Ghassan Kanafani’s

had largely gone unseen. No seductive narrative

first book A Death in Bed No. 12. He had short

can describe the sudden motivation Faris found

stints at both Annahar and al-Hurriya newspapers

to return to his archive of negatives and images;

as a graphic designer, and regularly contributed

he was led to it by unremarkable occurrences.

drawings and designs to the reviews Shi’r and

However, he began to find photographs he had

Hiwar. With César Nammour and Mireille Tabet

never seen before—or ones he could not remember

as his partners, he founded Contact in 1972—an

having seen—of moments he often could not

art gallery in Ras Beirut which hosted an erratic

remember having experienced. From the early

program of young, modern Arab artists at a time

continued to represent Arab artists, but he was

1960s up to the outbreak of the Lebanese civil

when commercial art galleries were preoccupied

now participating periodically in art fairs like the

war in 1975, Faris snapped fleeting moments of

with European art. The gallery ran three zany

FIAC and Art Basel. Eventually, he came to settle

the everyday. He observed his own extended

issues of a review also titled Contact. Rather than

in Barcelona.

circle of friends and comrades closely, and took

a catalogue of objects for sale, it was intended as

portraits of them caught in action. There were artists

a directory of exhibitions and events happening

In all of this, Faris’ photographic practice was

mingling at exhibition openings in the Sursock

elsewhere in the city, as well as a literary journal

peripheral. Whether he took pictures for posterity

Museum; dancers rehearsing for the Baalbek

which published poetry, prose, and articles of

is impertinent, for the pictures retroactively

festival performances; poets and collectors taking

criticism—often astringent—of the gallery’s own

gain an urgency which exceeds his intentions.

long drags of their cigarettes at the Horseshoe

exhibitions. In 1974, Faris alone began to set up

The photographs seize the past in the form of

Cafe; Annahar journalists speaking on the phone

Al Riwaq, an art gallery which failed to open to

an image, but this past is not a determinate

in their offices; large gatherings of friends eating

the public under the perilous conditions of the

object: it is not a fixed set of spatial or temporal

and drinking at the Palmyra Hotel in the Bekaa

impending war. With the civil war erupting, Faris

coordinates, nor is it an archive from which

valley; Stockhausen in the grottos of Jeita; Max

moved to Paris where he founded and ran The

historical material can be appropriated. What is

Ernst at the Basta market­­—the list goes on. Faris

Faris Gallery (1979-1992). It was the third of his

known of the past does not exist apart from the

developed some of the film, but eventually stowed

art galleries, and the most conventional. Faris

present’s relation to it. The past itself is subject


Renée Deek at Horseshoe Café (1974)

to historical change. The two are dialectically intertwined. The past is a

to represent the past ‘as it really happened.’ Rather, it is a venture into an

disruptive force actualized in the present—the former only comes into

unfulfilled past. To quote Walter Benjamin’s Theses on the Concept of History

being when resurrected as the latter. To historicize the 60s as the era of

once more, ‘If one looks upon history as a text, then one can say of it…that

failed struggles puts the past in the service of the needs of the present.

the past has left in them images comparable to those registered by a light-

However, the past cannot be assimilated within a definitive course of history.

sensitive plate.’ The light-sensitive plate is the negative—the undeveloped

The past calls into question the necessity of the historical outcome in the

film. It registers the images of the past, but it is not readable or cognizable. It

present. Unlike the historicist’s descriptive account, Faris’ images have an

is no mishap that Faris had never developed, printed, scanned and displayed

actualizing agency. They are not to be contemplated. To intervene in the

his photographs. The historical distance was a necessary one. Now printed

unfulfilled past of each present, the images are to be acted upon.

and on display, the images are here to be read. And yet, it is in a potential

A body of work such as this one should not be misunderstood as an attempt

future which we can aspire to descry the details.

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Left to right: The Rue du Caire Suite, Hamra, Beirut, (1971) 35 x 24 cm Max Ernst and Brigitte Schehade, old vegetable souk, Beirut (1971) Huguette Caland, Beirut (1973)

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Bacchus on a night in Baalbek, 66 x 78 cm

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Mona Hatoum (1973) 35 x 24 cm

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From top: Max Ernst taking belly dancing lessons (1969) 35 x 42 cm Charlie Mingus, 35 x 42 cm May Khoury and Francoise Hardy (1969) 35 x 42 cm

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PROFILE Images - Courtesy of the artist. Writer - Lara Khaldi, curator.

Hazem Harb: Archaeological Narrations Excerpts from the essay Concrete Mattresses ‘I went back to Gaza in 2010 for the first time in

In our conversations over the last several months,

years, it was traumatic. I asked my brother to show

many questions about the images of destruction in

me the destroyed houses, I stopped by the factories...

Palestine have been posed: how to represent them

They were recycling the concrete blocks from the

and whether to represent them? How, through

destruction, I took many photos.’ He continues to

material and form of the sculpture or installation,

tell me that what he saw at the factories was morbid,

does one challenge certain icons of an oppressive

as they were reassembling the building materials

architecture such as concrete, which is the flesh of

from destroyed houses. ‘They were crushed and

the wall of apartheid and city of Tel Aviv? How do the

then recycled, the same bombed houses, with

Israelis use different strategies other than destruction

human remains, imagine?’ he said nervously. ‘I had

to convert the landscape?

been working on it since then and thinking about it for years... The forced transit: the transition from

Harb has been preoccupied with Jerusalem’s Museum

destruction to the new, it has to do with rising from

on the Seam, which was a Palestinian house up until

the ashes again and again.’

1948 when the Israeli military used it as a military outpost until the 1970s when it was used as a museum

Harb foregrounds the alienating feeling of our homely

intermittently. For the exhibition, he builds a platform

and intimate surroundings turning into nightmarish

in the form of the museum’s floorplan, on which he

life-threatening structures, where architecture

will display several small sculptures and a video that

becomes the crushing weight of violence against

include the tropes of sleep—perhaps suggesting

I’d just seen these collages full of concrete slabs

our bodies. He disrupts our trust in architecture and

another context for sleep in relation to architecture,

at Harb’s Dubai studio and he insists on dropping

infrastructure. He strips bare both the brick—usually

where sleep becomes a sign of transformation and

me off to my hotel. Incidentally, a huge grey

hidden behind painted walls—and the thinness of the

potential, subverting the power of the museum in

slab hovers before us, interrupting the horizon.

mattress, which is usually cushioned in layers and cloth,

question by suggesting that it is only dormant, but

It turns out to be the backside of the Mall of

revealing an architecture of vulnerability. And here,

will one day wake up to a different future.

the Emirates ski slope. Harb laughs amused by

we arrive at Harb’s solo at [Salsali Private Museum]

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The forced transit; the transition from destruction to the new; it has to do with rising from the ashes again and again.

the stark similarity between this vision and his

Invisible Landscape and the Concrete Futures as

Seen with the series of collage Archaeology of the

collages. We begin another discussion about how

he has been looking deeply into questions about

Occupation, Hazem sees the sculptural intervention

his work is always read in relation to Palestine, as

architecture in relation to colonialism and oppression.

of the floor plan as presenting a palpable physicality

that is indeed where he sees the world from, but

He has been developing a series of collages, where

to the landscapes from pre 1948 in the Collage series.

that is not necessarily only what his work is about.

one sees chunks of concrete suspended in the air over

As in the case of the Palestinian house turned into

The questions that Harb poses through his work

archival images of Palestine pre 1948. Dark masses

Israeli Museum, the conversion was not done through

and the positions he takes are not bound only

of geometric shapes hover over the cities ominously,

architecture but in the narrative and in usage. Hazem

to Palestine. They tackle questions about power,

as if they were alien shapes leaving or landing over

hopes to reclaim the house as a base and structure

hierarchy, oppression and history—the very

the landscape.

binding his works together.

questions that should be addressed everywhere.


27 from the series Archaeology of the Occupation (2015) Archival pigment print, 185 x 150 cm

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16 from the series Archaeology of the Occupation (2015) Archival pigment print, 172 x 120 cm

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21 from the series Archaeology of the Occupation (2015) Archival pigment print, 235 x 150 cm

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26 from the series Archaeology of the Occupation (2015) Archival pigment print on wood, 209 x 150 cm

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PORTFOLIO Images - Courtesy of The Third Line. Writer - Dr. Kathryn Brown, art historian.

Fouad Elkoury: Egyptian Sequence A personal fiction Fouad Elkoury’s Suite Égyptienne retraces a journey

dimensions, Elkoury’s suite questions the truth-telling

to Egypt made by two nineteenth-century French

promise of Du Camp’s images. Whereas the latter

artists: the novelist, Gustave Flaubert and the

trained his camera lens on ancient monuments and

photographer and journalist, Maxime Du Camp.

purported to catalogue and communicate unbiased

These two friends embarked on their trip in 1849

knowledge about the sites that he visited, Elkoury’s

as part of a longer tour of the region and recorded

photographs privilege the haphazard, the elusive and

their impressions of the country and its people in

the fleeting: a ghostly hand protrudes into the picture

extensive journals and photographs. For the 28 year

frame, a body is glimpsed as it disappears behind a

old Flaubert, Egypt was an ‘immense and merciless’

pillar, a dog wanders into the scene. In contrast to

country that both seduced and overwhelmed the

the use of lens-based technologies to suggest the

visitor with a prodigious variety of sensations.

artist’s control over a particular environment, Elkoury

carried a portable, wooden camera and produced

Elkoury’s acknowledgment of the role that chance

photographs using a calotype process in which

plays in his works has important consequences for the

negatives were created by exposing treated, high

role of the photographer. No longer a person who

As he puts it: the photographer can often be ‘surprised’ at producing an image that differs from the one that had been planned, ‘One can never quite predict the moment of the shutter’s release.’

quality writing paper to a chosen scene. His resulting

has complete directorial control over the outcome of

Throughout Suite Égyptienne haunting landscapes

work marked an exciting development in publishing

an image, the photographer is required to admit a

are juxtaposed with the bustle of urban life. The

history. It anticipated the modern ‘travelogue’ and

vital link between creativity and uncertainty. In a book

grandeur of ancient monuments is tempered by

purported to convey the truth about a place by

published in 1999 from a selection of photographs

the quiet of domestic interiors. While, for Du

capturing its image in the new ‘objective’ medium

comprising Suite Égyptienne, Elkoury emphasized the

Camp, Egypt was a country comprised primarily

offered by the camera.

impact of chance on the unfolding of his own Egyptian

of romantic relics and ruins, Elkoury’s photographs

acknowledges the intervention of external forces While Flaubert’s diaries are characterized by a tone

and their potential for disruption. As he puts it: the

of exhilaration, Du Camp’s visual record of the trip

photographer can often be ‘surprised’ at producing

offers a different perspective on the journey. Carefully

an image that differs from the one that had been

composed and ordered, his images were conceived

planned, ‘One can never quite predict the moment

as an archeological record and were published in

of the shutter’s release.’

Paris to great acclaim in 1852 and 1860. Du Camp

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journey. Whether subject to the contingencies of

show different ways in which history permeates

While Elkoury derived inspiration from the books,

weather conditions, the interruption of crowds, a

the present. Whether encased in museum

images and diaries produced by his nineteenth-

model’s lack of co-operation, or abrupt changes to

displays, crumbling in a field of grazing sheep,

century counterparts, Suite Égyptienne is far from

the itinerary, Elkoury repeatedly found himself in a

or commemorating individuals from an ancient or

a simple ‘re-enactment’ of the journey made by

condition that mirrored that of life itself – one in which

recent past, monuments break into the everyday

Flaubert and Du Camp. Produced between 1985 and

an individual remains ‘balanced between action and

and demand to be negotiated by contemporary

1998 and comprising over 80 photographs of varying

submission’ to forces beyond his or her control.

audiences both physically and imaginatively.


Cheops a l’Aube (1990) Archival pigment print, 14.8 x 18.5 cm

[One] character recurs [in Suite Égyptienne] as a more potent presence:

thoughts, and emotions remain as obscure as the unseen image in the

a woman – Nada. She is an elusive and changeable form throughout the

frame above her head.

photographs. Whether a spectral shape before a pyramid, a bird, a chimera, an explorer, or simply a silhouette, Nada becomes an insistent object of

As the photographs comprising Suite Égyptienne become physically larger,

pursuit for the camera lens. The strong presence of a woman within this

they become increasingly devoid of human presence. In a collection of works

narrative recalls Flaubert’s own ‘feminizing’ of Egypt, a history that was

published in 2011, Elkoury recollects meeting a guard at the entrance to one

epitomized in the writer’s imagination by Cleopatra’s rule. For Flaubert,

of the temples he visited. The guard was sitting, he mentions, ‘in complete

however, the most compelling encounter of his own journey was with a

submission to time.’ It is a metaphor that also closes Elkoury’s essay in

dancer known as Kuchuk-Hanem. The writer’s strong physical attraction to,

Suite Égyptienne, the final paragraph of which describes the temple guards

and short-lived relationship with this woman is acknowledged by Elkoury

as individuals who watch over silent tombs in a state that is suspended

in a photograph that bears her name. Reclining playfully on a sofa, Nada

between the transitory and the eternal.The same could be said of Elkoury’s

is momentarily transformed into the heroine of Flaubert’s adventure, the

landscapes. Like Du Camp’s images, they are records of a journey, a visual

outstretched folds of her white skirt mirroring the feathers of the fan that

archive that evidences specific times and places. Yet, Elkoury works against

hides her face. In a combination of seduction and unknowability, this hybrid

any historicizing drive of this enterprise. As a subtle dialogue with histories of

figure­­—Nada/KuchukHanem—is simultaneously present in, and absent

Egypt, of colonial adventure, of personal relationships, and of photographic

from, the photograph. Although the woman’s body is visible, the viewer

image-making, Suite Égyptienne enquires into the durability of human

is forced to accept information about her that remains incomplete. There

production and creativity. Ultimately, this exhibition suggests, it is the Egyptian

is, this image suggests, no refuge of certainty. Rather, the woman’s face,

landscape itself that prevails.

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Beit Suheimi, Nada (1990) Archival pigment print, 60 x 90 cm

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Fichawi (1988) Archival pigment print, 60 x 90 cm

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From top: Portrait A. Thabet (1990) 21 x 30 cm Nada, Entree immeuble (1990) 72 x 90 cm

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Kuchuk Hanem (1990) 72 x 90 cm

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From top: L’oiseau (1990) ink-jet print mounted on aluminium 22 x 14.5 cm Kagemni (1990) 21 x 30 cm

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Abydos, Croquee (1990) 21 x 30 cm

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From top: Oum Koulthum (1990) 60 x 90 cm; Table et Portraits (1994) 60 x 90 cm Kasr El Nil (1987) 60 x 90 cm

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From top: Gare Centrale (1985) 21 x 30 cm; Gebel el Teyr (1989) 21 x 30 cm Gare Ramses (1985) 60 x 90 cm

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SERIES Artist - From Lebanon, lives between Bahrain and Canada Images - Courtesy of the artist.

Camille Zakharia: Distorted Memories The changing character of Bahrain is the subject of the Distorted Memories series, a metaphysical journey around the island I have made my home. Though the individual pictures appear to be realistic images, they are in fact composite montages, through which I try to capture my own personal impressions and recollections of places— landscapes, cityscapes, deserts and villages—many of which are already lost. Camel markets and traditional shop-windows have been replaced by commercial complexes; festivals and elections have come and gone; surreal situations and odd juxtapositions may or may not have occurred. I question the reliability of memory, the very basis of history and identity.

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Camille Zakharia holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Nova Scotia College

Scotia Arts Council. Commissions include the British Council, the Ministry of Culture

of Art and Design (NSCAD). Using photography and collage, Zakharia makes work

Bahrain, Sharjah Art Foundation and the Canadian Museum of Civilization. Zakharia’s

about identity and displacement, reflecting his own life journey. He sees collage as a

photographic essay, Coastal Promenade for the Reclaim project, commissioned by

means of expressing the fragmented self and of reassembling memories. Zakharia is

the Ministry of Culture Bahrain, won the Golden Lion Award at the Venice Biennale of

the recipient of several grants, including the Canada Council for the Arts and the Nova

Architecture in 2010. www.camillezakharia.com


Bouri II from the series Distorted Memories (2001-2007) Archival pigment print, 47.25 x 30.48 cm

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Barbar from the series Distorted Memories (2001-2007) Archival pigment print, 30.5 x 50.88 cm

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Gufool from the series Distorted Memories (2001-2007) Archival pigment print, 30.5 x 85.67 cm

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Karranah from the series Distorted Memories (2001-2007) Archival pigment print 47.25 x 30.48 cm

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Dar Kulayb from the series Distorted Memories (2001-2007) Archival pigment print, 47.25 x 30.48 cm

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Janussan from the series Distorted Memories (2001-2007) Archival pigment print, 45.72 x 30.48 cm

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SERIES Artist - Syrian, born in London, lives and works in Paris. Images - Courtesy of the artist.

Sara Naim: Heartstrings Heartstrings examines the internal and external tensions of the human body by looking at the artist’s own dead skin cells. Naim manipulates the initially accidental glitch that corrupts the image, as it mimics the relationship one has to their own internal body—non-retrievable information. The individual artwork titles in this series—Stare, Choke, Tense, Sweat, Falter, Palpitate—originate from physical manifestations of human emotions. This challenges the dynamic tension of the internal and external body. The concepts of boundary and proportion become questioned, and the dialectics of scale become complicated, as the cellular lends itself to vast landscapes. Using the Scanning Electron Microscope, the black and white photographs are taken from scans of Naim’s dead skin cells collected from her fingertips— the point of our body that connects us to the external world through the sense of touch.

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Naim completed an MFA degree at the The Slade School of Fine Art, and studied at the

has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions, as well as art fairs, in Dubai, London and

London College of Communication and the Chelsea College of Art and Design. Her work

Paris. www.sara-naim.com - Instagram: saranaimphoto


Falter from the Series Heartstrings (2015-16) Archival pigment print, 167 x 122 cm

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Tense from the Series Heartstrings (2015-16) Archival pigment print, 167 x 122 cm

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Palpitate from the Series Heartstrings (2015-16) Archival pigment print, 167 x 122 cm

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Stare from the Series Heartstrings (2015-16) Archival pigment print, 167 x 122 cm

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SERIES Artist - From Palestine, lives and works in Ramallah. Images - Courtesy of the artist.

Bashar Alhroub: Shaman Returns In the summer of 2016, I travelled to the south-western region of Tunisia, on the edge of the desert, hoping to experience something new in this area inhabited by Berbers. What I found instead was the dust and remains of the people who had been there. The Berber tribes used to live in ‘the mining basin’ area. The traditional Amazighi life-associated with the spirit of nature-began to disappear as a result of colonisation and the persistence of capitalism. This project is a search for the remains of the Berber people, which also tracks the impact of the colonisation that played a role in dismantling and erasing their indigenous culture.

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Alhroub was born in Jerusalem in 1978 and spent his childhood in Hebron. Alhroub

Center of Contemporary Art, Manama, Bahrain; Abu Dhabi Art fair, Abu Dhabi,

graduated from the Fine Arts from Al-Najah National University, Palestine and

UAE (2015); The Aga Khan Museum, Toronto, Canada (2015). In addition to

completed an MFA at the Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton

participating in several international artist’s residencies and workshops, his artwork

in the UK. His work deals directly with the polemics of place, how to humanise

has been included in a number of International collections and museums and in

it and its influence on creativity. Alhroub has exhibited at various museums,

many other renowned private collections worldwide. www.basharalhroub.com

biennales and art venues including: Art Dubai, Dubai, UAE (2016); La Fontaine

f bashar_alhroub


1 from the series Shaman Returns (2017) Archival pigment print, 40 x 26.5 cm

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Previous page: 3 from the series Shaman Returns (2017) Archival pigment print, 40 x 26.5 cm From top: 2 and 5 from the series Shaman Returns (2017) Archival pigment prints, 40 x 26.5 cm

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From top: 4 and 7 from the series Shaman Returns (2017) Archival pigment prints, 40 x 26.5 cm

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SERIES Artist - From Morrocco, lives and works between London and Marrakesh. Images - Courtesy of the artist, Rose Issa and The Third Line.

Hassan Hajjaj: The Sitter’s Soul This is a selection of my work across different series. In my photoshoots, I also shoot some black and white images because I like it very much. Black and white shows more of the sitter’s soul, as the viewer is less distracted. It also has more depth and becomes more of a ‘classic’ timeless image.

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Born in Larache, Morocco in 1961, Hassan arrived in London in his teens and grew up

first foray into film with Karima: A Day in The Life of A Henna Girl—a melange of

amid the emerging club culture in the UK. Known as the ‘Andy Warhol of Marrakesh,’

documentary and B-movie set within Marrakesh’s Jemaa el-Fna square, which the

Hajjaj is very much a child of the pop art generation. His work encompasses many

artist refers to as ‘the University of Street Life.’ Hajjaj’s work has been exhibited

techniques and fields, from designing and producing furniture made from recycled

internationally in many high-profile exhibitions, His works have also been acquired by

North African objects, to custom-made clothes and photography. 2015 saw Hajjaj’s

LACMA, Brooklyn Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the British Museum.


Jen Stylin (2016/1437) Courtesy of the Artist

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Just Do It (2016/1437) Courtesy of The Third Line, Dubai, UAE

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Tariq & Zak Stylin (2016/1437) Courtesy of the Artist Next Page: Garage Hajjaj (2003/1424) Courtesy of the Artist

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Next page: Ilham (2000/1437) Courtesy of Rose Issa Below: L.V. Posses (2000/1437) Courtesy of the Artist

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Henna Crew (2010/1437) Courtesy of the Artist

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SERIES Artist - From Palestine, works and lives in Berlin. Images - Courtesy of the artist.

Steve Sabella: Search I built for myself a new world. My world. I try in most of my work to show a trace of light. I jump to an invisible world—to a place where only the imagination can reach. There, I start to sense a little of the private intimacy of the world, its hidden gentleness, the power of light and its behavior. In my photographs, I offer the viewer the opportunity to be transported from a normal and known dimension to another one. To one where the imagination is the only bridge one can rely on as means of vision. Who ever wants to see the invisible has to penetrate more deeply into the visible.

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Sabella born in 1975 in Jerusalem, is a Berlin-based artist who uses photography and

the University of Westminster and a MA in Art Business from Sotheby’s Institute of Art.

photographic installation as his principle modes of expression. He is also the author of

In 2008, he received the Ellen Auerbach Award from the Akademie der Künste in Berlin,

The Parachute Paradox, published by Kerber Verlag in September 2016. He holds a BA in

which included the subsequent publication of his monograph Steve Sabella—Photography

Visual Studies from the State University of New York, a MA in Photographic Studies from

1997-2014, published by Hatje Cantz. www.stevesabella.com, f steve_sabella


Dusted 5 from the series Search

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Previous page: Dusted 2 from the series Search Below: Dusted 7 from the series Search

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Dusted 9 from the series Search

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SERIES Artist - From Oman, lives and works in Muscat. Images - Courtesy of the artist.

Hassan Meer: Reflection of the Others I explore the dichotomy between the self and the other, and the conflicts and contradictions between reality and reflections. This series is a mirror-image of Omani youth, which has a different view of the world than previous generations. Looking at them and being close to them led me to see their reflections upon myself. Some of them believe in a new identity and others in tradition. The globalised world is shaping us and our directions. Each image is both a story and biography of a young Omani artist who wants to share his/ her voice and language with the world.

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Meer completed his Master’s degree in Art in 2000 and his Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art

In 2000, he organised the Circle Show with a group of friends, a movement that is taking

with a specialisation in Media Art from Savannah College of Art and Design, Georgia,

the lead in encouraging a new form of art in Oman. He is the Artistic Director of Stal Gallery,

USA in 1999. During his studies, he started using video and installation art as a new form

which is working to nurture artists in Oman. His work has been presented in many local and

of expressing his ideas, inspired by personal experiences, childhood memories and an

international exhibitions. In addition to working as a designer, he has taught several art courses

impressionable sense of spirituality.

at Sultan Qaboos University and The Fine Art society. www.hassanmeer.com, f Hassameer_33


Budoor from the series Reflection of the Others (2016) Archival pigment print, 90 x 130 cm

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Ahmed from the series Reflection of the Others (2016) Archival pigment print, 90 x 130 cm

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Raya from the series Reflection of the Others (2016) Archival pigment print, 90 x 130 cm

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Sarah from the series Reflection of the Others (2016) Archival pigment print, 90 x 130 cm

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Shahla from the series Reflection of the Others (2016) Archival pigment print, 90 x 130 cm

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SERIES Artist - From Oman, lives and works in Muscat. Images - Courtesy of the artist.

Al-Moutasim Al-Maskery: Beyond The Fog The mountains of Dhofar are a mysterious, ancient place. During the year, dramatic changes occur within the landscape of this southern region of Oman. While the rest of the Arabian Peninsula endures the summer heat, the monsoon comes from India and brings relief in the form of rain and fog. The season from July to September is locally known as khareef. These mountains are home to the Jabalis—the people of the mountain. Beyond the Fog is divided into three chapters: the Environment, the People and their way of life, and Heritage.

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Al-Maskery lived in Dubai for over 14 years, and recently moved back

extraordinary trips to the mountains, valleys, and deserts of his native

to Muscat. While in Dubai, he completed a BFA in Photography from

Oman. His work has been exhibited in group exhibitions in Paris, New

the American University in Dubai. His interest in photography began

York and Dubai, with his most recent at The Empty Quarter Gallery in

at the age of 12 when he was accompanying his geologist father on

Dubai. www.almaskeryfoto.com

f almaskeryfoto


Mother tree shading on the side of a rocky muddy rocky road from the series Beyond the Fog (2016) Archival pigment print Next page: An old tree witness over the change of time from the series Beyond the Fog (2016) Archival pigment print

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The roots of this plants drives deep thru the rock from the series Beyond the Fog (2016) Archival pigment print

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The Khareef as comes from the Indian Ocean from the series Beyond the Fog (2016) Archival pigment print Next page: As the khareef hugs the mountain it gives salvation to the dry seeds and plants soon they will be blooming from the series Beyond the Fog (2016) Archival pigment print

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SERIES Artist - From Saudi Arabia, lives and works in France. Images - Courtesy of the artist.

Emy Kat: Souls on the Streets In this project, I capture an array of energies that I call souls. Each soul represents a segment of our human existence on earth. Life elapses as the soul passes through tunnels of time. We are a bundle of energy passing through tunnels of time as part of a massive cosmic process. We are channeled in the same manner, regardless of culture, race or religion. People are conditioned to think that ‘time has passed,’ while I believe instinctively that we pass through time. I chose to work with oriental fabric to reflect my cultural roots.

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Mohamed Alkhatib, also known as Emy Kat, was born in 1959 in Jeddah and grew

on the subject Femme is archived and collected by the BNF Bibliothèque Nationale

up in Lebanon. He completed his higher education in the UK. Kat began his career

De France (2000). Kat has participated in a number of local and international shows,

as an industrial consultant in Saudi Arabia, but changed career paths to become a

including the inaugural Jeddah Arts 21,39 exhibition Moallaqat (2014), Art Dubai

photographer in 1993. A researcher and photographer, Kat is best known for his

(2014) and Paris Photo (2014). Most recently his work from the project The Everlasting

explorations of culture and heritage, as well as landscape and spiritual transformations.

Now has been acquired by the British Museum. He is currently based in Paris where

His work is included in a number of private collections, and his iconographic studies

his studio has been located since 1999. www.emykat.com f emykat59


Ames Dans Les Rues No 12- (Women) from the series Souls on the Streets (2009) Silver gelatin print, 100 x 80 cm

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Ames Dans Les Rues No 14 - Divine souls from the series Souls on the Streets (2009) Silver gelatin print,100 x 80 cm

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Ames Dans Les Rues No 15 - Heavenly Woman from the series Souls on the Streets (2009) Silver gelatin print,100 x 79 cm

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Ames Dans Les Rues No 18 - The Young (Jeune) from the series Souls on the Streets (2009) Silver gelatin print, 45.5 x 61 cm

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Ames Dans Les Rues No 19 - Ouvrier 3 [Workman] from the series Souls on the Streets (2009) Silver gelatin print, 45.5 x 61 cm

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SERIES Artist - From Iraq, lives and works in Houston. Images - Courtesy of the artist.

Mohammed Shammarey: Black Boat With every conflict, a new wave of refugees is displaced. Having left the familiarities and comfort of their native lands, they must adopt new customs and rituals often incongruent with their previous lives. Degrees and certifications from prior education and occupations are no longer relevant. With limited support for refugees and immigrants in the United States, latent talents are undiscovered and skilled professionals sometimes find themselves having to abandon their practices for menial jobs or entrepreneurial pursuits. Fresh off the boats, airplanes, or the backs of pickup trucks, they must relearn even the most basic methods of navigating a new culture, bringing about an alienating experience. Cultural shame and pride, assimilation and tradition contend for mental space. Black Boat is a realistic concept of the self-struggle of the immigrants with dreams of prosperity and riches, whose destiny is to crash on the shores of the Atlantic, shattered with little hope of return.

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Al Shammarey is a self-taught Iraqi artist. He is a member of the UNESCO International

Africa, North America and Europe, including the Frankfurt International Book Fair,

Association for Plastic Arts (AIAP), The Iraqi Artist Association and the Iraqi Society

2004 and 2005, and Imagining the Book International Biennial at the Alexandria

of Plastic Artists. His work has been exhibited throughout the Middle East, North

Library in Egypt, 2005.


Paper Boat from the series Black Boat (2013) Archival pigment print, 150 x 68.5 cm

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Paper Boat from the series Black Boat (2013) Archival pigment print, 150 x 68.5 cm

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Paper Boat from the series Black Boat (2013) Archival pigment print, 150 x 68.5 cm

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Paper Boat from the series Black Boat (2013) Archival pigment print, 150 x 68.5 cm

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SERIES Artist - From Kuwait where he lives and works. Images - Courtesy of the artist.

Mohammed Al Kouh: How to Break a Heart in 9 Years A Movie With No Audience This project is about a secretive relationship that lasted for nine years, which ended in heartbreak and indescribable loss and pain. It was the type of relationship that can not be announced as society would not accept it. They were young when they met. They matured observing their hopes and dreams fading away, struggling with the reality that there was no future. It’s like an empty cinema with a film playing on the screen, a film that no one is watching. There is too much black in this work, with a neon like white light desperate to prove its existence. Faces have a ghostly feeling having been stolen by time. These photographs have been made using black and white negatives and instant prints (Polaroids). The images are full of light leaks and the Polaroids are missing some of their parts, as if the camera refused to give a full image. Instead it produced a scarred one.

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Al Kouh is a self-taught artist who has explored different aspects of art since

for an era he never lived, an era where everything was romantic and

childhood. After graduating from Kuwait University with a BA in Business

beautiful. With the sensitive technique of hand coloring black and white

Administration & Marketing, Al Kouh took his passion for art to a new level.

photographs he traveled back to that time creating staged realities that

As a child he was captivated with the idea of stealing souls and keeping

generate a contrast between past and present. He created what looks like

them in negatives. He began to photograph everything he wished not to

a dream that allows him to be here and there…. ‘In dreams you’re always

lose. Photography became his way to steal his favorite moments in life

more beautiful than reality. You’re always happy and with the ones you

and keep them in his closet. Growing up he developed a great nostalgia

love, and no one can hurt you…’


No one was there from the series How to Break a Heart in 9 years

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Scene from the series How to Break a Heart in 9 years

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Scene from the series How to Break a Heart in 9 years

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SERIES Artist - From Tunisia, lives and works between Paris and Sfax. Images - Courtesy of the artist.

Mouna Karray: Noir In jail, my body is constrained but remains able to create. Only my hand is visible to activate the shooting distance. The air release, single connection with the outside world, is no longer just an instrument to accomplish a photographic act, but turns out to be a way to get free. It is in the dark we start to see.

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Karray grew up and studied art and culture in Tunisia before moving to Japan to complete

personal approach to her work. Since then, Karray’s work has been rooted as much in her

an MA specialising in photography at the Tokyo Institute of Polytechnics and Arts in 2002.

personal experience as well as in her intellectual concerns. She is currently living and

Japan has been crucial in her artistic practice as it was there that she developed a very

working between Paris and Sfax, her home town in Tunisia.


#1 from the series Noir (2013) Archival pigment print, 128 x 128 cm

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#2, #4, #7, #8 from the series Noir (2013) Archival pigment prints, 128 x 128 cm

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SERIES Artist - From Kuwait, lives and works in New York City. Images - Courtesy of the artist.

Maha Alasaker: Belonging This series speaks about the feeling of being a woman struggling to fit in with society. Addressing issues such as the double life that many people live in Kuwait, the abayah here is a reference to covering and hiding. This work speaks about being different in your own skin.

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Alasaker is a Kuwaiti photographer and is a 2014 International Center of

‘Miami Project (2014) and ArtMarket—Hampton (2014). Her work engages with

Photography graduate. Her work has been featured in numerous exhibitions in

identity and cultural issues. She is currently represented by JHB Gallery in New

New York City, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, including Art on Paper (2015),

York City since 2014. www.mahaalasaker.com

f mahaalasaker


Belonging-6 from the series Belonging

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Belonging-1 from the series Belonging

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Belonging-2 from the series Belonging

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Belonging-7 from the series Belonging

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Belonging-5 from the series Belonging

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SERIES Artist - From the UAE, lives and works in Dubai. Images - Courtesy of the artist and The Third Line, Dubai. Commissioned by The Cultural Foundation Abu Dhabi for Emirati Expressions, Nov 2015 – Mar 2016.

Lamya Gargash: Abu Dhabi Clubs Concerned with the relics of an ever self-renewing architecture, Gargash documents the forgotten spaces in public and private realms in Emirati society. Through exploring the architecture of space and of bygone eras, this series offers a unique look at the cultural, social and sports clubs of Abu Dhabi. They are captured devoid of human presence, in contrast to their intended purpose.

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Gargash earned a B.S. in Visual Communication from the American University of

which documents every one-star hotel in the UAE, was featured in the UAE’s first

Sharjah, UAE, in 2004 and a M.A. in Communication Design from Central Saint

Venice Biennale exhibition, It’s Not You, It¹s Me. In 2004, she received first prize

Martins College of Arts and Design, University of Arts London, in 2007. She lives

in the Emirates Film Competition, as well as a Special Recognition award in Dubai

and works in Dubai. Concerned with the relics of an ever self-renewing architecture,

Media City¹s Ibda, a Media Students Awards for her movie Wet Tiles. Her first artist

Gargash documents the forgotten spaces in public and private realms in Emirati

book, Presence (Dubai: The Third Line, 2006), is a photographic series documenting

society. Throughout her career, she has won a number of awards for her work in

recently vacated houses and structures in the UAE that have been abandoned or

film and photography. At the 53rd Venice Biennale (2009), her series Familial,

left for demolition. www.lamyagargash.net f Lamya_gargash


Al Wahda Football Club Field from the series Abu Dhabi Clubs (2015) Silver gelatin print, 60 x 60 cm

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The Cultural Foundation- Chairs from the series Abu Dhabi Clubs (2015) Silver gelatin print, 60 x 60 cm

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Officers Club Abu Dhabi – Indoor Football from the series Abu Dhabi Clubs (2015) Silver gelatin print, 60 x 60 cm

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The Cultural Foundation AD – Lonely Chair from the series Abu Dhabi Clubs (2015) Silver gelatin print, 70 x 52 cm The Cultural Foundation - First Floor from the series Abu Dhabi Clubs (2015) Silver gelatin print, 70 x 52 cm

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The Cultural Foundation - Cafe from the series Abu Dhabi Clubs (2015) Silver gelatin print, 70 x 52 cm The Cultural Foundation - Ceiling details from the series Abu Dhabi Clubs (2015) Silver gelatin print, 70 x 52 cm

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SERIES Artist - From the UAE, lives and works in Ajman. Images - Courtesy of the artist.

Ammar Khalfan Al Attar: Salah Salah presents an investigative series of self-portraits centered around the act of prayer in Islam and the underlying explanations for the rituals of each micro-movement. This was both a continuation and a plot twist on the previous series, Prayer Rooms, which captured empty prayer spaces; from portamosques, shopping malls and corporate prayer rooms to makeshift outdoor areas. Here, the act of prayer is isolated, compartmentalised, dissected and celebrated.

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Al Attar is a photographer and mixed media artist. He is a self-taught artist. Al Attar’s

are increasingly illusive in his rapidly globalising society. He often incorporates retro

practice seeks not only to document and translate but also methodically to research

photographic equipment into his shoots. He is represented by Cuadro Gallery in Dubai.

and examine aspects of Emirati ritual, material culture and geographic orientation that

www.ammaralattar.com f ammaralattar


Fajr Salah from the series Salah, Archival pigment prints,100 x 15 cm

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Dhuhr Salah from the series Salah, Archival pigment prints, 100 x 15 cm

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Asr Salah from the series Salah, Archival pigment prints, 100 x 15 cm

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Maghrib Salah from the series Salah, Archival pigment prints, 100 x 15 cm

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Isha’a Salah from the series Salah, Archival pigment prints, 100 x 15 cm

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SERIES Artist - From the UAE, lives and works in Dubai. Images - Courtesy of the artist.

Amani Al Shaali: Damaged Goods In the Arab world, there are countless women with amazing potential, but they find themselves constrained by social boundaries and expectations. The time has come to acknowledge and embrace women in broader society and let go of antiquated notions. ‘In Arab society, if a women is in her mid-twenties or older, and she’s not married yet or is a divorcee, then she’s damaged goods. My model wishes to remain anonymous, but she gave me permission to share her story: She is almost 30 years old. She went through two engagements. She got divorced before she even started her marriage. To society, she’s a divorcee, she’s broken, she’s damaged goods. But to me, she’s beautiful. She’s independent, she has goals and dreams, she’s fearless.

Al Shaali is a an Emirati fine art and portrait photographer. She studied at the American University in Dubai and graduated with a BFA in Interior Design. www. amanialshaali.com, f amanialshaali

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Damaged Goods 1 from the series Damaged Goods

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Damaged Goods 2 from the series Damaged Goods

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Damaged Goods 3 from the series Damaged Goods

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SERIES Artist - From Morocco, lives and works between Paris and Casablanca. Images - Courtesy of the artist.

Amina Benbouchta: Skies Have Fallen This series tells a story of a woman who, although hidden in her home and hiding her individuality behind a mask, decides to become free and climbs to the terrace of her house. From there, she can reach the sky, or the sky, reaches her. From on that giant chair, she feels small, overwhelmed by the infinity of freedom. For several years, she has developed a body of work that is rooted in the exploration of the limits of painting, transforming concepts and observations into pictures, sculptures and installations. The diversity of the mediums that she explores, allows a full analyses of the complex social structure of contemporary life.

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Benbouchta was born in Casablanca in 1963, and lives and works between Paris and

and installations. The diversity of mediums which she explores, allows a full analysis

Casablanca. After graduating in 1986 in Anthropology and Middle Eastern Studies at

of the complex social structure of contemporary life. Since 1986, her work has been

McGill University, Montreal, she attended various drawing, lithography and etching

presented in Morocco and abroad in numerous institutions and contemporary art events,

workshops in Paris. She was also an auditor at the École Nationale des Beaux Arts de

including The Cairo Biennial, The French Institute of Casablanca, The National Museum

Paris between 1988 and 1990. In 2005, she co-founded the Collectif 212, an organization

of Women and the Arts - Washington DC, USA, Kerava Museum, Finland, The Museum

dedicated to defending the emergence of a new phase of contemporary art in Morocco.

of Marrakech, Casa Arabe, Madrid The Biennial of Alexandria, The Art Fair Brussels and

For several years, she has developed a body of work that is rooted in the exploration of

the Marrakech Art Fair. In 2011, she held two solo exhibitions, one at Docks Art Fair

the limits of painting, transforming concepts and observations into pictures, sculptures

Lyon, and the other at Artae Lyon Gallery.


From the series Skies Have Fallen (2016) Printed on cotton thread paper, 105 x 70 cm

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From the series Skies Have Fallen (2016) Printed on cotton thread paper, 105 x 70 cm

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From the series Skies Have Fallen (2016) Printed on cotton thread paper, 105 x 70 cm

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SERIES Artist - From Lebanon, lives and works in London. Images - Courtesy of the artist.

Aya Haidar: Wish You Were Here This edition of Wish You Were Here was produced exclusively for the Black and White issue of Tribe. The genesis of this work stems from the broader series which began as a collection of 100 used postcards from across Europe, each one doctored with handembroidery. The subtle interventions reflect social and political realities which would virtually never make their way onto a postcard. Postcards serve to highlight the beauty of a city or landscape yet never seem to present the whole reality. Their composition is so well framed that the selection of embroidered postcards offered here paints a more accurate picture of the current socio-political contexts: migrant boats making their way to shore; a church adorned with a Muslim crescent; Northampton cathedral doctored with an embroidered hoisted white flag of surrender; a group of protestors encircling a Spanish amphitheatre; and a garden square in Paris with refugee tents erected across the lawn. The title, Wish You Were Here, highlights the link that postcards have to ‘home’ or a sense of ‘longing for home,’ where the irony lies within the stark reality of what is being represented.

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Haidar completed a foundation course at Chelsea College of Art and Design,

Here (2017) was exhibited at Athr gallery in Jeddah and Art Berlin Contemporary,

London and later graduated with a BA in Fine Arts from the Slade School of

preceded by Year of Issue (2014) and Behind Closed Doors (2011) at the New

Fine Art, London where she also completed an exchange program at the

Art Exchange, Nottingham and Bischoff Weiss Gallery, London, respectively.

School of the Art Institute, Chicago. Following this, she completed an Msc in

She has participated in various international art fairs, namely ABC Berlin (2016),

NGOs and Development with Merit from the London School of Economics

Abu Dhabi Art (2016, 2015), FIAC (2009), Art Dubai (2016, 2015, 2013, 2012,

and Political Science. Her most recent solo exhibitions, titled Wish You Were

2011), MENASA (2013) and Art Istanbul (2013).


Wish You Were Here (Black and White) (2017) Embroidery on postcards, Sizes variable

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Left to right: Wish You Were Here (Black and White) (2017) Embroidery on postcards, Sizes variable Wish You Were Here (Black and White) (2017) Embroidery on postcards, Sizes variable

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From top: Wish You Were Here (Black and White) (2017) Embroidery on postcards, Sizes variable Wish You Were Here (Black and White) (2017) Embroidery on postcards, Sizes variable

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SERIES Artist - From Bahrain, lives and works in Manama and New York City. Images - Courtesy of the artist.

Mai Al Moataz: A Constellation of Chairs The idea of stuckness; It flows into stuckness. To define sitting: Physically Literally Metaphorically  As counter-flow, Also as a way of understanding flow. You can only really see the flow when you are still Otherwise it is a state; something experiential​.​ The cyclicality of being stuck In your flow or out of your flow; And it oscillates.

The key is to sit: To evoke the experience of memory ​Your own memory​ With technique and tone A nostalgic ode to stillness Peppered with contradiction To layer from my own memories Where I was Where I am. RestAssured; It’s a symbol for being stuck To highlight that the answers are within And until one seeks them One will never know the truth So have a seat and pursue the truth By looking at your own flow  The key is to sit.

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Al Moataz is an artist, dead rose collector, project director, and space

Art Foundation in 2016, Tadafuq / Flow as a part of 2017’s Jeddah Art

designer. For the past decade, she has used black and white film to

Week 21,39, Sikka Art Fair 2017, Do You Trust Me? a collaboration between

produce photographs through a meticulous traditional analog process, a

the Goethe Institute and Bahrain’s Bin Mattar House, and Femmes: Par

deeply cathartic ritual. Her images are romantically solitary and ethereal,

Des Artistes Femmes Bahreinies at the Unesco in Paris. Her series Proof

as they present emblems of nostalgia and femininity. Her work has been

of Presence won first place in the Art Jameel Photography Award 2016.

exhibited in a number of shows, including Vantage Point 4 at the Sharjah

www.maialmoataz.co f maialmoataz


A Constellation of Chairs (2017) Silver gelatin prints, fibre warmtone, single and multiple exposures 20 x 25 cm

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A Constellation of Chairs (2017) Silver gelatin prints, fibre warmtone, single and multiple exposures 20 x 25 cm

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SERIES Artist - From Yemeni origin, born in the US, lives and works between Germany and Yemen. Images - Courtesy of the artist.

Ibi Ibrahim: Shedding light These photographs were made at the beginning of my career when I was engaged in a process of self-discovery through my work. It was an idealistic time. While many of his pieces are based on his own life-experiences, they often address controversial topics which conflict with the traditional Yemeni society that he comes from. Ibrahim’s work touches upon issues of sexuality, gender and tradition. In his body of work, Ibrahim seeks to emphasise a pivotal aspect of Middle Eastern culture and history that is accepting and open to change, regardless of conservative trends that have swept throughout the region. He also hopes to shed light on the clear tradition of liberalism in the region dating back centuries which now can only reveal itself through contained spurts. Through his practice, Ibrahim engages in controversial topics in an effort to normalise public discussions about self exploration, sexuality, gender equality and freedom of expression in his country and the region as a whole.

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Ibrahim was brought up in Yemen, Libya, Iraq and the UAE. He reflects his multi-

Berlin. It is part of a number of prestigious private collection as well as the Colorado

cultural background through his photography and film works. Ibrahim’s work has

College USA, and Barjeel Art Foundation UAE, He has participated in the Cité

been exhibited through out the United States, Europe and the Middle East in various

International des Arts residency program in Paris, where he developed a series of

institutions including Malja Space, Bahrain; Gallery 9, Los Angeles and Spraeschsaal,

paintings using Yemeni Coffee. www.ibiibrahim.com f ibiibrahim d ibiibrahim


Reem (2014) Archival pigment print, 60 x 40 cm

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Sarrah (2014) Archival pigment print, 105 x 70 cm

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Rashida (2012) Archival pigment print, 60 x 40 cm

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SERIES Artist - From Lebanon, lives and works in Beirut. Images - Courtesy of the artist.

Ziad Antar: Expired ‘Ziad Antar aims for a type of photography that suffers only from its defects and absences. Purity has withdrawn in favour of what remains secret and preserved. He strangles the neck of reality and kicks the criteria of contemporary photography, document and fiction, in the backside.’ Francois Cheval from the book Expired In 2000, Ziad Antar walked into Studio Scheherazade, Hashem El Madani’s photography studio in Sidon, Lebanon. El Madani­—a prolific and for some, daring studio photographer active through the mid-20th century—sold Antar ten rolls of expired, medium format, black and white film from 1976, and a 1948 Kodak Reflex II. For 10 years, he toyed with the unexposed film by manipulating the rolls, testing them in unsuitable cameras, experimenting with apertures, and shooting subjects he effectively could not ‘see’ and whose exposure he could not guarantee. From these experiments, the unexpected emerged. The first image of this series taken in the year 2000 was the portrait of Hashem El Madani posing in his studio Shehrazade in Saida.

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Born in Saida in 1978, Antar is a Lebanese multi-disciplinary artist. After studying

Antar’s art, which ranges mainly across film and photography, is its reliance on hazard

Agricultural Engineering at the American University of Beirut, he pursued a post-

and non-conforming techniques often leaving place for experimentation. Antar’s

diploma at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris and participated as

work has been acquired by several public collections, including the Centre George

an artist-in-residence at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris. Perhaps the best-known aspect of

Pompidou in France and the British Museum in the United Kingdom, amongst others.


Walid Joumblatt from the series Expired (2011) Silver gelatin print, 50 x 50 cm

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JJ-12 from the series Expired (2011) Silver gelatin print, 125 x 125 cm

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JJ-09 from the series Expired (2011) Silver gelatin print, 125 x 125 cm

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Burj Khalifa 1 from the series Expired (2010) Silver gelatin print, 125 x 125 cm

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Burj Khalifa IV from the series Expired (2012) Silver gelatin print, 125 x 125 cm

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REMEMBERING

Hashem El Madani photographed in his studio by Ziad Antar (2000) Silver gelatin print, 120 x 120 cm. Courtesy of the Artist.

Hashem El Madani 1928 - 2017

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Through remarkable, bare-faced portraiture, Hashem El Madani deftly

stark, yet deeply-nuanced aesthetic which emerged. For nearly three

captured the dramatic changes in Lebanon’s political and cultural identity

decades, Madani continued this brand of local portraiture, until 1982

during the mid-20th century. Madani’s first portraits date back to 1948,

when his studio was bombed and destroyed. In 1999, the Arab Image

where men, women and children posed for him in his Saida-based studio,

Foundation began working with Madani to archive his photography

and whose images are today, a living, visual record of a country whose

and generate global exposure for his work. Through his collaboration

social mores were in the process of an unprecedented and radical shift.

with the Foundation, collections of his portraits have been shown at

His hands-off, come-as-you-are approach to staging (Madani did not

the Tate Modern and the Photographers’ Gallery in London, among

invite, instruct or pose his subjects) was the underlying catalyst for the

other prestigious institutions.


Tarek Al-Ghoussein, (In)Beautification 1333

Galleries AB43 CONTEMPORARY | Agial Art Gallery | Aicon Gallery | Albareh Art Gallery | ATHR | Ayyam Gallery | Ceysson & Benetiere | Cuadro Fine Art Gallery | Custot Gallery | Elmarsa | Etihad Modern Art Gallery | Galerie Brigitte Schenk | Galerie Georges-Philippe & Nathalie Vallois | Galerie Janine Rubeiz | Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac | GALLERIA CONTINUA | Gallery One | Gazelli Art House | Giorgio Persano | Hafez Gallery | Hanart TZ Gallery | Hunar Gallery | kamel mennour | Lawrie Shabibi | Le Violon Bleu Galerie | Leehwaik Gallery | Leila Heller Gallery | Lisson Gallery | Meem Gallery | October Gallery | Pentimenti Gallery | Pi Artworks | Sabrina Amrani | Salwa Zeidan Gallery | Sean Kelly Gallery | SETAREH GALLERY | Shirin Gallery | TABARI ARTSPACE | The Park Gallery | Whitestone Gallery

Focus: Beyond Territory GALERIST | Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde | In Situ - fabienne leclerc | Jhaveri Contemporary | Marian Goodman Gallery | Sean Kelly Gallery | Spruth Magers | The Third Line Abu Dhabi Art is a dynamic multi-disciplinary arts platform that widens Abu Dhabi's role as a cultural activator in regional and international spheres. Abu Dhabi Art supports the local art ecosystem through an annual fair and a year-long cultural programme. *Gallery list is correct at the time of publishing, for up to date information please visit abudhabiart.ae


OPENING 11 N O V E M B E R 2 017 SEE HUMANITY IN A NEW LIGHT

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