Abu Dhabi Festival has a trio of exhibitions this year: View From Inside (Contemporary Arab Photography, Video and Mixed Media Art), the 2015 Festival Commissions and Emirati Insights.
The Festival is hosting the Middle East debut of FotoFest International with The View from Inside exhibition which includes over 140 works by over 35 leading Arab artists from 12 countries in MENA. FotoFest’s first iteration of View From Inside was curated for the 2014 FotoFest Biennial in Houston. That event featured more than 700 pieces from 49 artists.
The National writes about the five Emirati artists included in the Fotofest exhibition: Ebtisam Abdulaziz, Karima Al Shomely, Mohammed Kazem, Khalil Abdulwahid and Lamia Gargash. Other artists featured in the exhibition include Youssef Nabil, Ahmed Matar, Jowhara AlSaud, Sami Al Turki, and Tarek Al Ghossein.
The exhibition features video animations and three dimensional works alongside vivid photojournalistic images of recent news events and personal reflections on contemporary Arab life. The works are conceptual and figurative. Many of the works address issues of the diverse and shifting identities of both people and place in Arab life today. The artists confront societal and environmental changes, the rapidity with which they are occurring and how they are affecting traditional relationships with “homeland,” family, religion, gender, diaspora and displacement. Other works look at questions of religious and historical heritage; the legacies of colonialism; and political upheaval.
The View from Inside exhibition runs from Saturday until April 20 at the The Gallery, Emirates Palace.
Emirati Insights is a group exhibition of works by 12 Emirati photographic artists: Sheikha Fatima Bint Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ammar Al Attar, Yousif Al Harmoudi, Farah Al Qasimi, Alia Al Shamsi, Hamdan Buti Al Shamsi, Afra Bin Dhaher, Maitha Demithan, Reem Falaknaz, Saeed Khalifa, Lateefa Bint Maktoum and Shamma Al Amri.