Rock, Paper, Scissors: Positions in Play
The 57th International Art Exhibition
Curated by Hammad Nasar for Biennale Arte 2017, Rock, Paper, Scissors: Positions in Play explored a strand of artistic practice in the UAE through the analogy of play. Featuring existing works, re-fabrication of “lost” works and new commissions, the exhibition staged a set of nested questions: where does “playfulness” in artistic practice come from? How and where is “play” nurtured? What does “play” do? The exhibition presented works by five artists who call the UAE home: Nujoom Alghanem, Sara Al Haddad, Vikram Divecha, Lantian Xie and Dr. Mohamed Yousif, and explores the theme of playfulness in artistic practice as a source of vitality and inspiration, and a mode of experimentation with movement, sociality, times and places.
In line with the curatorial premise, several cultural institutions across the UAE were invited to join the conversation in exploring the themes of the exhibition as part of a public program. Some of the institutions include Sharjah Art Foundation, The Art Gallery at NYU Abu Dhabi, Alserkal Programming, Tashkeel, Maraya Art Centre, Art Jameel, Warehouse421 and London-based art school Central Saint Martins. By developing these themes in ways they deem relevant, this served to extend, expand, critique, reflect and respond to the myriad issues that the exhibition catalyzed.
Dubai based artist Hind Mezaina was also commissioned within the same program, exploring the curatorial concepts of the exhibition. The program, titled Home: Food | Music | Sports, explored how food, music and sports contribute to building a sense of home and community. The events took place across Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.
The accompanying publication, titled Rock, Paper, Scissors: Positions in Play, was edited by Hammad Nasar and Michele Robecchi, the publication explores a strand of artistic practice in the UAE through the analogy of play and as a source of vitality and inspiration.
The 57th International Art Exhibition, titled Viva Arte Viva, curated by Christine Macel was open to the public between 13 May – 26 November 2017.