DUCTAC’s alternative art platform, MinD (Made in Dubai) is returning for a third year from 14th March to 14th April 2012. This year’s exhibition, titled MinD – Dubai Contemporary, is curated by the acclaimed Emirati artist and curator Mohammed Kazem. The group art exhibition will see experimental artworks in a range of media displayed throughout the DUCTAC complex, on level 2 of Mall of the Emirates.
The MinD initiative serves to advance the cultural dialogue within Dubai by encouraging fresh thinking and opening up new ways of viewing and appreciating contemporary art in the UAE. This year’s exhibition will see the participating artists, who come from various cultural backgrounds, exhibiting work that reflects their observations and impressions of the city of Dubai.
MinD – Dubai Contemporary is made up of work by three divergent groups of artists: Emirati artists, foreign artists who have a connection to the Emirate of Dubai and finally, a group of three artists from The University of the Arts, located in Philadelphia, USA, who are visiting the UAE for the first time.
Curator Mohammed Kazem hopes that the three collections will produce an overview of the many faces of modern Dubai. Kazem said:
“The concept of MinD - Dubai Contemporary is conjured mainly from the simple philosophical notion of putting together the different visual perspectives of artists from various cultural backgrounds, who meet together and register their observations and impressions of Dubai - a city that combines a deep rooted history of Arabic and Islamic tradition with modernity and futuristic prospects.”
According to Mohammed, “Cities like Dubai impose an ever changeable question inspired by the fast rhythm of living and the convergence of sensual points of view in an interactive environment made up of multiple roots and identities. This exhibition tends to serve as a microcosm for this idea.”
Mohammed Kazem has established a leading role in the development of contemporary art in the UAE. Having worked with one of the leading cultural centres in Dubai, The Flying House, as an artist and curator from 2007 – 2011, Kazem is a former board member of the Emirates Fine Arts Society and now has his own studio and gallery space in Dubai, Empty 10. As an artist, he won the first prize for his installations at the Sharjah Biennale in 1999 and 2003. His works are part of private collections with the Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha and the Sharjah Art Museum amongst other museums and private collections abroad.
The four Emirati artists featured in the exhibition are Hassan Sharif, Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim, Layla Juma, and Abdul-Rahman Al Ma'aini. Despite coming from different generations and backgrounds, the four will exhibit work that exposes their reactions to the multi-layered environment of their home nation. Exhibiting alongside them will be a group of foreign artists (Cristiana de Marchi, Jessica Mein and Nelly Massera) who either live and work in Dubai or have a connection with the Emirate.
The third group is made up of a pair of students from the Master of Fine Arts programme at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia; Corrina Celeste Mehiel and Lujin Yoon, as well as the director of the MFA programme Joe Girandola. The three artists are residing in Dubai with Mehiel and Yoon working as artists-in-residence at DUCTAC’s Gallery of Light for a month prior to the exhibition. During this time they will explore the Dubai and its way of life before registering their impressions of the city artistically.
The ten artists will display work that uses a variety of media (including video, installation, painting, printmaking and sculpture) and conceptual approaches to art making.
DUCTAC will also offer the public an opportunity to enter into an active dialogue with these artworks, and with one another, through a diverse public programme, including workshops and discussions. This programme is devised to compliment the exhibition and advance the cultural dialogue within Dubai - to encourage fresh thinking and to open up new ways of viewing and appreciating the art on display.