The Culturist Recommends - Exhibitions in February 2016

Last month I shared a list of exhibitions to visit as part of  as part of the new season of exhibitions in Dubai and decided will post a monthly list from now on. With the increased number of galleries and exhibitions, it will be difficult for me to feature the ones I recommend in separate posts.

Expect a monthly round up of exhibitions to see across the UAE and if time permits, I might add a few exhibitions outside the UAE too.

Here are exhibitions in Dubai and Sharjah I recommend you visit this month.


Nick Waplington | Alexander McQueen | Working Process
East Wing, until 3rd March 2016  

© Nick Waplington

© Nick Waplington


In 2007, Lee Alexander McQueen, one of the world’s most important fashion designers of the last two decades commissioned British photographer, Nick Waplington, to photograph and develop a book that would capture McQueen’s working process as he designed what would become his penultimate Fall collection, Horn of Plenty (2009), from inception to the grand finale presentation in Paris.
Waplington's resulting images unflinchingly capture what was essentially McQueen’s personal survey of his own creations to date; Horn of Plenty  was a a grand retrospective of his career; a recycling of ideas from the last 15 years - detailed down to the final stage set, composed of broken mirrors and a giant trash heap made up of all the sets from his previous shows.


Manal AlDowayan - And I, Will I Forget?

Cuadro Gallery invites you to the opening of Manal AlDowayan's solo show titled "And I, Will I Forget?" A collection inspired from a box of Kodachrome slides shot between 1962 and 1973 in Saudi Arabia and USA. Manal inherited these images as a child and has been playing with them her whole life. In this project she question; what happens to a memory that has no story? 
Manal uses these images to retell her story through someone else’s memories. She builds an imagined connection to the imagery found in the box of slides. Exploring themes of migration, separation, abandonment, and coming of age. "I have a fear of forgetting. I have a fear of being forgotten. And I, will I forget?"


Hussein Al-Mohasen - Āyah
XVA Gallery, until 9th March 2016 


A piece of visual art plays a big role in our lives, for example looking at the cover of a magazine and its title may inspire one to start constructing images in their mind, and continue with living the experience; reaching a point where there is a new and pressing need to visually communicate. I believe that visual art is an important medium to make people see and perceive the truth. In this series of ‘Āyah’, Āyah is the evidence of the truth that I am looking for.

With my latest work, I am trying to reach that which is beyond reality. To allow the viewers to experience a visual journey, which makes them see reality in a hopeful and peaceful manner; even if reality, sometimes, is not as desirable as we want.

I have expressed my thoughts and feelings of peace and the love of humanity in a different color perspective to that of seeing things. Color is very important in my work, where the different connotations associated with certain colours beautify what I am trying to convey through art. The medium of graffiti can be greatly inspiring. Seeing the impact it leaves on people from all around the world, a huge message with only a few words being sprayed onto the wall. I find the physicality of creating this type of art is highly liberating, as well as the spectrum of colours I set into my palette.

Hussein Al-Mohasen, 2016 



do it بالعربي  (do it bilarabi / do it in Arabic)
Bait Al Shamsi (Sharjah Art Foundation) until 23rd April 2016 

Co-curated by Sharjah Art Foundation Director Hoor Al Qasimi and Serpentine Gallery co-Director Hans Ulrich Obrist, do it بالعربي is a new iteration of the ongoing do it publication and exhibition project originally founded and curated by Obrist in 1993. 

do it بالعربي will be open to the public at Sharjah Art Foundation's Bait Al Shamsi from 23 January to 23 April 2016.  On view will be a selection of artist instructions, some of which will have been previously realised and others which visitors can use to create art works of their own.  Everyone is invited to join in the workshops, activations, performances and thought-provoking activities on one of the many Open Days, scheduled over the course of the exhibition.

The do it بالعربي bilingual publication will include over 60 newly commissioned artist instructions, a selection of previously published instructions as well as essays that contextualise the project. 


1980-Today: Exhibitions in the United Arab Emirates
The Flying Saucer, Dasman, Sharjah, until 14th April 2016 

1980-Today: Exhibitions in the United Arab Emirates looks at the history of exhibition making in the United Arab Emirates over the last 40 years.  The emergence of art practices in the UAE is presented here through a selection of over 100 works by fifteen Emirati artists.

The exhibition is built upon extensive research involving archives of newspaper articles, artists' writings, and catalogues, as well as interviews with artists and cultural practitioners. Reflecting personal and geopolitical trajectories, the research focused on the underexposed historical record and evolving practices of some of the UAE's most important modernist and contemporary artists. 


Noah's Ark
Sharjah Art Museum, until 21st March 2016

Sharjah Art Museum host annual exhibition of The Emirates Fine Arts Society to its current 34 in which the theme this year, "Noah's Ark". 
This topic refers to the races, cultures and religions gathered and even animal and plant organisms, birds and inanimate in one place is the outline of the land and the United Arab Emirates exclusively, which are complementary and extensive model for other models in the history of the human experience. Including highlights of the UAE enjoys being a unique model of the state in which the coexistence achieved between more than 200 nationalities from around the world.
The theme of Noah's ark symbolizes that survive by itself is not a goal as much as a problem, because the principle of the rupture of the building, and in the future exclusion principle, and the principle of last miracle. We only history and a moment of history for how long.المعرض-السنوي-لجمعية-الامارات-للفنون-التشكيلية-(1).aspx?lang=en-US


A few exhibitions I listed last month are still on, take a look here