QUOZ on 10th November 2012

On Saturday, 10th November, all the galleries situated in Al Quoz (an industrial part of Dubai) will take part in a one day event called QUOZ which invites anyone interested in arts and culture to explore the 30 creative spaces within the area.  

There will be a wide range of free events and activities including talks, panel discussions, guided tours, workshops for adults and children, film screenings and performances. It will take place from 10am till 10pm (galleries will close at 8pm) and everybody is welcome. 

It's an opportunity for the community to meet gallerists, some of their artists and learn about the process behind the art creation and curating.

Al Quoz is a bit of a mystery to people that aren't familiar with the art and culture community in Dubai. I know people who always get lost trying to find their way there, or who think it's full of pretentious art crowd (which on some nights it is). But I hope QUOZ will attract new visitors and dispell the mystery of the place. 

The complete list of galleries, line up of events and map can be found on QUOZ's Facebook page. Don't be fooled by the map though, some of the venues are not within walking distance. There will be an ArtBus doing regular rounds, so you can hop on/off whenever you want. Just make sure you read the details on QUOZ's Facebook page. 

I am really looking forward to this event and here's my list of galleries and events I recommed you don't miss. I just hope there will public seating areas to rest between all the gallery hopping. 

Galleries within Al Serkal Avenue

Iris was a Pupil - James Clar


Waves by James Clar

James Clar is a media artist who used to be based in Dubai. He is now living in New York, but he will be in Dubai for his solo exhibition in Carbon 12. Between 3-6pm he will be in the gallery to meet visitors to talk about his work in Iris was a Pupil which is about 'the sensation of visual stimuli, the constant challenge of finding new viewpoints, and the demand to keep seeing things from fresh perspectives'. Read more about the exhibition here

Any Resemblance to Actual Persons, Living or Dead, is Purely Coincidental - Zoulikha Bouabdellah

Zoulikha Bouabdellah's work explores the rift between public and private, the visible and the unspoken. For this show, she reflects on reality through the guise of fiction, with film, works on paper, installation and sculpture. The show is named after the illuminated billboard work that welcomes, warns and appeases the audience upon entry with the words ‘Any Resemblance to Actual Persons, Living or Dead, is Purely Coincidental.’ Between 3-6pm, Gallery director Tessa de Caters will walk you through the exhibition and explain the work. Read more about the exhibition here

A Permanent Record For Future Investigation - Nazgol Ansarinia, Talia Chetrit, ImanIssa, Mehreen Murtaza and Hajra Waheed

Mehreen Murtaza, The Ethopian Emperor arrives in Jerusalem Taken either by the American Colony Photo Department or its successor, the Matson Photo Service, 2012, Hahnemühle Matte Cotton Smooth Inkjet Paper, 15.24 x 20.32 cm

The artists included in this exhibition take on the history of image-making and the notion of the image as historical document. They challenge our understanding of the image as truth through an investigation of form and a conjuring of a variety of historical references. For these artists, the meaning of objects and spaces are dependent on the context in which they exist.

The idea of truth or reality in an image is assumed to be subjective and malleable. The lines between documentation and fiction are blurred; narratives are not linear and archives do not follow rules of logic. Read more about the exhibition here

Between 3-6 pm, there will be a guided tour with gallery director Yasmin Atassi. 

House of Cards – Danilo Correale, Julian Göthe, Niklas Goldbach and Judith Hopf


The idiomatic phrase 'house of cards' can be traced back to its first use by poet John Milton in 1641, already reflecting on the structural defects within systems built on a shaky foundation and held together only in an insubstantial and fragile manner.

Little has changed in today’s meaning of the metaphor, though within the neoliberal era the complex global interdependence of systems and their balances of power have taken on a new dimension of inherent instability. For what applies to the card game applies even more to the structural and socio-political levels within systems: The taller the house of cards, the bigger the fall.

The exhibition House of Cards aims to explore heterogeneous artistic examinations and gestures towards this given fragility. The selected works by Danilo Correale, Julian Göthe, Niklas Goldbach and Judith Hopf decidedly reflect on current political, economic, cultural or gender-related conditions using various mediums such as sculpture, print, video or photography. 

Read more about the exhibition here

Vivid Dreams and Fragile Machines  - Brooke Shaden

Each photo in this series of photographs by Brooke Shaden expresses its own narrative, describing a curious world where dreams and nightmares merge.  Each image peers into the lives of characters that the viewer will find both intriguing and bizarre.  

Taking advantage of your imagination, Shaden leads you down a rabbit hole where vast landscapes and rich hues barely contain larger than life protagonists who appear to be both troubled and freed.  

Read more about the exhibition here

Collision - Moataz Nasr

Moataz Nasr - Merge and Emerge, 2011 Three Video channels 6'25'' ciascuno, loop

Moataz Nasr's work explores the fragility and complexity of current social, economic and political conditions. Taking as his starting point the surroundings of his native Egypt, he translates his observations into the universal language of human despair and suffering - but also of love and hope.

His art is, on the one hand, lyrical and playful and on the other a daring account of the debilitating suffering of everyday life. Read more about this exhibition here.  

IRAN: RPM Vol. 1  - Ali Bahktiari   

I am looking forward to this the most. There will be talk about IRAN: RPM Vol. I, a book that rescues from obscurity a selection of vinyl covers from the soundtracks of Iranian films, 1965-1974.

The book is compiled by Ali Bakhtiari and focuses on specific vinyl covers that were designed for Iranian movie soundtracks. The talk will take place from 4.30-5.30pm and you could get a signed copy of the book after the talk. I really hope we get to hear some of the music as well. More information about the book can be found here.  

Build Re-Build - Hazem Harb

Hazem Harb's work deals with a number of core themes including war, loss, trauma, human vulnerability and global instability. 

He continues to explore his own brand of multi-media, conceptual art using all the tools at his disposal. 

Between 3-6pm, you can meet the artist Hazem Harb who will discuss his post-residency exhibition ‘Build Re-Build'.



3 Act Circus


Dubai International Film Festival will be hosting an exhibition called Inkblot at Shelter and between 5-7pm film, they will screen two films: 

Additionally, there will be a pop up bookshop by Art Dubai and Jashanmal Bookstores featuring a selection of art publications including artist's books, monographs and magazines. 


Beyond Rhythm - Francesca Galliani  

Artist Francesca Galliani will be signing copies of her book ‘The Inside of Angola’ between 2-4pm alongside her exhibition ‘Beyond Rhythm’.  

Here's an interview with the artist about the exhibition



At 7.30pm, The Fridge will host a live musical performance by Tacit, Dubai’s new electronic duo Aeron Kin and Yasser Anderson who will 'break down the conventions of traditional sonic boundaries'.

Galleries around Al Quoz:
Extimacy -  Hayv Kahraman
Learning by Heart – Arwa Abouon


Hayv Kahraman, Disembodied 6, 2012, Oil on panel with rawhide inlay and polycarbonate, 244 x 117 cm

Hayv Kahraman's latest exhibition at The Third Line tackles the complex relationships between gender and identity constructs; geopolitical and physiological boundaries; and, the perception of self vis-à-vis the demands of conformity within society. Read more about the exhibition here.

A second exhibition in the same gallery, Learning by Heart by Awra Abouon explores the artist’s own private journey in matters of spirituality, personal dynamics and human nature’s quest towards understanding faith. Read more about the exhibition here.

There will be a guided tour between 3-6 pm for both exhibitions. Hayv Kahraman is one of my favourite artists, so I strongly recommend you check out her latest exhibition.


Arwa Abouon, I'm Sorry / I Forgive You (Diptych), Digital prints and Graphically Ornamented frame, 101.6 x 76.2 inches each


Graffiti Art from the Streets of San Francisco

'From the Streets of San Francisco: Graffiti art of the City' is an exhibition depicting the culture of street art. 

The Cartoon Art Gallery will also be hosting a lecture and a workshop from 12-2 pm. Visual FX and Animation instructor Morris Mozingo will present a lecture on the ‘History of Animation’ followed by an animation technique workshop.

pre-titled  - Walid Al Wawi

Walid Al Wawi is thejamjar's latest artist in residence. He has embraced the space with words, creating an ephemeral experience. Read more about this exhibition here

Additionally, between 10-2 pm, people of all ages are invited to drop by thejamjar and contribute to the creation of ‘Looking Through’, a public art mural.


Carrara and more - Bertram Kober

J+A Design Gallery will be hosting Bertram Kober's Carrara and more and the photographer, who is also a 2011 Venice Biennial winner will be present between 12-2pm to meet visitors and to talk about his work.

The Courtyard

The Courtyard is the first gallery/community space that opened in Al Quoz in 1998. It's a lovely complex which gets overlooked. Do step inside, and enjoy this quirky pastel coloured building. In addition to a few galleries that can be found there, you can also enjoy the weekly farmer's market between 11am and 1pm organised by Ripe


So there you have it, that's my list. To keep up to date with the latest updates and news, do follow QUOZ on Facebook (Facebook.com/QUOZhappens) and Twitter (@QUOZhappens). I must say the Twitter account just keeps tweeting the dates and posting images of the map and the programme and not really engaging effectively with its followers. That might change closer to the date, but for now, I find the Facebook account more useful. 

Spread the word and hope to see you at QUOZ. 




[Images and exhibition information via the various gallery websites.]