National Pavilion UAE - Blue Print of Arab Identity – By Khawla Darwish
  • Blue Print of Arab Identity – By Khawla Darwish

    Review of Adel Abdin’s exhibition at Maraya Art Centre.

    Adel Abidin is an Iraqi artist who was born in Baghdad (1973) and is at present living in Helsinki. Amongst his enormous participations in solo and group exhibitions around the world, some to be noted are: The consumption of war, at the Iraqi pavilion during the 54th edition of the Venice Biennale and The center of contemporary art (Salamanca) at the 10th edition of the Sharjah Biennial. His involvement in future exhibitions embraces the Museum of Anthropology (Canada) and the 10th anniversary exhibition of the Mori Art Museum.

    Blueprint is a site specific project at Maraya Art Center in Sharjah, that was created by the artist to raise questions about the Arab identity as the concept of it in our modern world today has been misunderstood, transformed and at some points overused as the artist’s body of work usually intrigues projects and issues that echoes on social matters and essential stereotypes.

    The large artwork that occupies the exhibition space is a huge-scale drawing of a blueprint of machinery equipments that would normally be found in an industrial factory setting alongside a sound piece of loud working machines.  When the viewers enter the exhibition space it feels like they are in a real factory.

    I particularly liked the Blueprint exhibition as in my own art practice I moved from drawing and painting; the two dimensional form of art to installation using different elements such as; light, sound and machines, the three dimensional form of art. Therefore I related to the artist and his work and was very interested as well as fascinated with the large-scale art piece and the interweaving of the element of sound in the space, and the idea of having only one artwork to fill an entire exhibition space.

    At the beginning I couldn’t figure out that the artwork was related to the Arab spring and to the Arab identity, after understanding the concept of the artwork I find the presentation of it very interesting, creative and present due to what is occurring today in the Arab world.

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