Sites of Memory, Sites of Amnesia; glimpses of Abdullah Al Saadi’s solo exhibition at the National Pavilion UAE – La Biennale di Venezia

Join a conversation between artist Abdullah Al Saadi and Tarek Abou El Fetouh, the curator of Al Saadi’s solo exhibition representing the UAE at the 60th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia. This event will be moderated by NYUAD Professor and Director of Al Mawrid Arab Center for the Study of Art, Salwa Mikdadi, and will aim to shed light on the artist’s diverse art practice and to offer insights into his upcoming exhibition.

Considered a key figure in the development of contemporary art in the UAE, Al Saadi’s prolific practice ranges from painting, drawing, sculpture, performance, and photography, to collecting and cataloguing found objects, and the creation of new alphabets. His work is informed by the UAE’s landscape and his family history, often exploring relationships between individuals and their natural and social environment.

Abdullah Al Saadi has chosen to work with curator Al Fetouh, who developed an intellectual and artistic framework for the exhibition and titled it ‘Abdullah Al Saadi: Sites of Memory, Sites of Amnesia.’ It will feature eight artworks that were produced on his journeys in the wilderness and proposes to look at his creative process in relation to the practices of Arab poets centuries ago.

Abou El Fetouh is currently Senior Curator and Director of the Performance Department of Sharjah Art Foundation. Over the last 25 years, Abou El Fetouh has been curating numerous exhibitions in the region and worldwide, and has been dedicated to creating institutional platforms that provide opportunities for contemporary artists in the region through commissions, co-productions, touring projects, residencies, and events. His curatorial practice is influenced by classic Arab intellectual and scientific literature.

*This talk will be conducted in Arabic with English Translation. This talk will also be available for streaming.

About al Mawrid:

al Mawrid Arab Center for the Study of Art is a research center and archive dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of the visual arts of the Arab world. Through a range of activities that include fellowships, research projects, conferences and colloquia, as well as the construction of a unique digital archive, al Mawrid aims to be a major resource for scholars, independent researchers, and for educational and art institutions. Digitized content from our archival collections will be made available to the public starting in 2024, through the NYU Special Collections online repository and finding aid system.