National Pavilion UAE public program continues in collaboration with local cultural institutions

calendar-iconWednesday, 25 October, 2017

25th October 2017, United Arab Emirates: The National Pavilion UAE – la Biennale di Venezia’s public program continues throughout October and November with a series of panel discussions, film screenings and workshops, amongst other events. The programs will take place across Dubai and Sharjah in collaboration with local cultural institutions. The public program is being held in

conjunction with the UAE’s current exhibition at la Biennale di Venezia (Venice Biennale), Rock, Paper, Scissors: Positions in Play, which is on display until November 26th.

“The International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale attracts more than half a million visitors to each edition, and is an important opportunity for the UAE to tell its story to the world through the arts – but sharing this story within the UAE itself is equally crucial,” says Khulood Al Atiyat, Manager of Arts, Culture and Heritage, Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, the commissioner of the National Pavilion UAE. “We are very pleased to offer this exciting program of events which allow the local community to participate in the conversation and engage with the ideas of this year’s exhibition. Nurturing new generations of cultural professionals and enthusiasts in the UAE is a central part of our mandate, through public programming and initiatives like our Venice Internship, which offers the opportunity to spend one month in Venice working with the Pavilion.”

National Pavilion UAE commissioned program

The National Pavilion UAE has commissioned Dubai-based artist and writer Hind Mezaina to develop Home: Food | Music | Sports, a program which builds on the curatorial themes of the exhibition by exploring how food, music and sports contribute to building a sense of home and community. Following two successful events in Abu Dhabi, the upcoming Dubai and Sharjah events include panel discussions with DJ and record store founder Shadi Megallaa, cricket writer Osman Samiuddin and The National journalist John Dennehy, and screenings of documentaries Les Petits Chats and Anwar Roma (The Lights of Rome).

Home | Music: A conversation about cassette culture in the UAE between Hind Mezaina and Shadi

Megallaa, DJ and founder of independent vinyl store The Flip Side, including music and artwork. 6:00-7:00pm, Saturday 28th October, The Flip Side, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai

Les Petits Chats: A screening of a documentary film about legendary Egyptian band from the 1960s and 1970s, Les Petits Chats, as they reunite for one last performance, directed by Sherif Nakhla. Held

in collaboration with The Scene.

From 7:00pm, Monday 30th October, Roxy Cinemas, The Beach, Dubai. RSVP essential:


Home | Sport: In conversation with journalists Osman Samiuddin and John Dennehy, Hind Mezaina will discuss how people create a sense of community through sports and playing in public spaces. 4:30pm, Saturday 4th November, Mini Golf Park, Al Majaz Waterfront, Sharjah

Anwar Roma (The Lights of Rome): A screening of the 2016 documentary telling the story of the only UAE football team to make it to the World Cup in Italy, 1990, in collaboration with Image Nation Abu

Dhabi and MAD Solutions.

8:00pm, Saturday 25th November, Al Qasba Theatre, Masrah Al Qasba, Sharjah

For more information about the events and to RSVP: http://www.fb.com/NationalPavilionUAE/events/

Community collaborations

The National Pavilion UAE has invited cultural institutions to engage with and expand on the core curatorial themes in their own ingoing programming. Several other important UAE institutions have already participated throughout their recent programming, including Tashkeel, Alserkal Programming, Warehouse421 and The Art Gallery at NYU Abu Dhabi.

Throughout October and November, Sharjah Art Foundation and Art Jameel will organize a series of interactive public events in dialogue with the themes of the National Pavilion UAE’s current exhibition.

Sharjah Art Foundation

Workshop: DesignAware Fractals 6.0 Curve Network: This course will introduce participants to design thinking through computational development steps in order to build an understanding of rule-based aggregation. Participants will create aggregation rules that can eventually be turned into

a manual for the creation of a large-scale installation.

10:00 am3:00 pm, Saturday 28th October, The Flying Saucer, Dasman area of Sharjah. RSVP:


Workshop: Transforming Everyday Objects: March Project artist Al Anood Al Obaidly will take participants through the process of deconstructing everyday found objects such as paper, metal, sponge and plastic in order to produce 3D works. Whilst this transformation is underway, participants will explore the symbolic meanings invested in consumer materials and the ways colour,

shape, form, composition, balance and tension contribute to these meanings.

6:30 pm9:00 pm, Saturday 11th November, Collections Building, Arts Square, Sharjah. RSVP: [email protected]

Workshop: Bookbinding: After a brief introduction to different methods of bookbinding and the history of each method, participants will learn the skills and techniques required to bind a book. By the end of the workshop, they will know about different paper types and the strongest book structures as well as techniques for binding with both thread and glue.

5:00 pm7:00 pm, Saturday 18th November, Al Mureijah Square, Sharjah. RSVP:


Art Jameel

Research Studio: Annotations,

Interdisciplinary practices of the early 80s, UAE

Building on the functions of Art Jameel’s Research Studio program focus and library collection, the Project Space in Alserkal Avenue will be transformed into a dynamic spatial experience where audiences can interact with the research material produced for the Rock, Paper, Scissors: Positions in Play publication. Materials will physically manifest through projected videos, graphic interventions and annotations expanding on multiple topics referred to in the text, extending the research on subjects including: the history of theatre in the UAE and the region, Ahmed Rashid Thani and other key critics’ writings, the role that newspapers played in fostering UAE’s critical cultural masses of the early 80s and other important contributions to the country’s formative history. The space will be supplemented with material, books, clippings and recordings. The gallery will look like an active research lab and will help to inform the contemporary art history section in the planned Jameel Arts Centre library.

Annotations takes an experimental approach to presenting research and work-in-progress, and is indicative of the direction of the research library at the Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai, opening in winter 2018. This Studio at Project Space Art Jameel focuses on the dynamic period of the early 1980s in the UAE and, in particular, on the collaborative, multidisciplinary stance taken by artists, poets, playwrights, theatre directors and writers at that time.

‘Interdisciplinary practices of the early 80s, UAE’ follows Art Jameel’s collaboration with ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors: Positions in Play’, the National Pavilion United Arab Emirates 2017 exhibition curated by Hammad Nasar at la Biennale di Venezia (Venice Biennale), and takes as inspiration an interview with the poet Khalid Albudoor and artist Nujoom Alghanem, titled “A Dialogue between Rhythm and Form”, published in the exhibition’s accompanying book.

This conversation reflected on the overlap in interdisciplinary practices of the early 1980s, particularly vis-à-vis poetry, theatre and art writing in the UAE. Through annotations, in the form of reproduced images, essays, observations and summaries, the Research Studio’s premise is to actively engage with material that documents the UAE’s cultural histories. The narrative is ongoing for the duration of the studio; conversations and public programmes are designed to highlight further intersections and circles of influences.

In bringing the interview to life and adding to it, this Studio explores alternative research methodologies for ‘thinking in public’ and working with nonlinear history-writing and representation. The interpretations in turn help inform the Jameel Arts Centre’s research library and

its focus on arts histories of the UAE and the GCC.

Wednesday 1st November to Thursday 21st December, Art Jameel Project Space, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai

Other information

The current exhibition at the National Pavilion UAE, titled Rock, Paper, Scissors: Positions in Play, presents the work of five UAE-based artists: Nujoom Alghanem, Sara Al Haddad, Vikram Divecha, Lantian Xie and Dr. Mohamed Yousif. Curated by Hammad Nasar, the exhibition 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.

Applications for the annual Venice Internship are currently open at the National Pavilion UAE website. The program offers training opportunities to Emiratis and long-term residents of the UAE aged 21 and above with an interest in arts and architecture. Selected interns will each spend one month in Venice staffing the UAE’s exhibition at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia (Venice Biennale), which will take place from May 26th to November 25th, 2018. Applications are available on the National Pavilion UAE’s website until Sunday 3rd December 2017.