National Pavilion UAE - Reviewing Water in Arsenale | By Ahmad Al Areef
  • Reviewing Water in Arsenale | By Ahmad Al Areef


    The purpose of practicing art is always evolving like any other industry with potential to great, creative, awed, and inspirational work that would one day come out of it. The 55th biennale is the battlefield to whoever would take the courage.  Art is escalating and becoming a prominent field globally yet, my hope has been fulfilled earlier than I would imagine once I reached up the escalator to enter the United Arab Emirates Pavilion here at Venice.

     The first morning in my internship, and just before visitors started rushing in, I ran inside the igloo-shaped dome and just stood inside alone. It caught me by surprise, it was cool and cleansing, it started drowning me away from the reality I was in and made me walk for quite a long time in my realm. The bold impression I had just went like shallow water taking take over sand hue. Body, movement, space, and mind openness in the dark took its chance to interact well with the art installation-incubated me.

    The concept of using water as a calming and intense oceanic blue clearly advocated heavily with the audience. As I was witnessing individuals leaving without rushing to the next pavilion. As a fact, the title of the artwork (walking on water) written bilingually made it stimulating enough to go behind the wall, for many reasons some visitors took pictures of it and surprisingly they just stood there admiring the words.

    The element of water has been used in many ways and many other pavilions. The Chilean pavilion featuring the artist Alfredo Jaar had a module of the Giardini square that currently consists of 28 national pavilions placed in a water tank and literary goes under water every three minutes, the Bahamas had a piece ice that was brought from south pole installed in a box. Both installations tackled water in different perspectives and stages. But to be fair,  Mohammed Kazem had no real water added to convey his idea., yet still the sensation crawled in.  The gentle and smooth constancy of digital work was enough to live it.

    There are some minor suggestions to be considered that would give justice to all visitors and have the magic working. Not more than a batch of five can go inside at once, when it gets crowded inside visitors find it not as interesting as I realized.

    Finally, the efforts of Mohammed Kazem all those years deserved the title as a solo artist representing the UAE.

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