National Pavilion UAE - Munira Al Sayegh discusses Technology, Art and Historical Representations
  • Munira Al Sayegh discusses Technology, Art and Historical Representations

    The umbrella in which encompasses the world of Art in its classical sense argues that; art is beauty an idea engrained in our minds from the youngest stages of youth. In opposition to the idea found in the contemporary field that asks, what is art, whilst completely disregarding the idea of beauty.  In that nature, just as acrylics transformed to oils, just as clays were left behind to have David be carved out of marble, the contemporary field leaves what was considered as the norm behind and stretches the definition of art, moving alongside the present state of the ever growing, and inescapable technological world.

    As I was walking through various pavilions, I came to realise that regardless of the extent, all the art around me used an ample amount of technology. Even if barely used, the technology would attempt to give the wow factor to the piece. As stated earlier most pavilions were heavily reliant on technology, but what was captivating and capturing were the ones who used it as a medium to carry us from the state of our own realities into that which we have been invited to by the artist, and his thoughts.

    Although I can state a few art pieces in various pavilions that exemplified the above statement, the one that continued to stick with me is the Argentinean escape into history and politics. Using art to recreate the past is not a new innovation, but the way the artist presented the once foreign history, made me bias to a specific political party. Evita, a historical feminist is the character portrayed through the artist. The dark entryway, uses a lack of technology to properly light the way, only to prepare you for the next wave of technology which tells a history of past so distant from the modern day Argentina.

    In the first room there are two wooden benches and a half circle series of divided screens. On those screens you can see all the parallel characters Evita played as her years went on, interacting with one another without acknowledgement. At one point on the central couch, each Evita takes a seat on one part of the couch, and slowly they begin to translucently overlap until Evita in her best stages fluffs her dress and basically conquers all. As you follow her through your journey you are able to step into her bedroom, which incorporates two interactive mirrors that allow you to follow her wardrobe changes and habits that come along with it. The final two stages allow for the light to take the stage, giving weight to the static pieces shown. Before the exit are a series of archival moving images displayed on a few screens bringing us back to the historic reality of the time through media and to the basic idea of using screens to just display a simple form of film, annunciating on the importance of technology in relationship to art as seen in the initial stages of the pavilion. Technology birthed a new kind of realism, in the present day contemporary art world.

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