VIEW FROM INSIDE is joined by an exhibition of twelve Emirati artists curated by ADMAF, Emirati Insights, as well as three 2015 Festival Commissions sponsored by ADMAF. VIEW FROM INSIDE, the Abu Dhabi 2015 Festival Commissions and Emirati Insights will be open to the public from March 21 to April 20, 2015 at the Emirates Palace Gallery (Sunday - Thursday: 12pm - 8pm; Friday - Saturday: 10am - 10pm). Admission is free.
Organized by FotoFest International, VIEW FROM INSIDE brings together one of the world’s leading curators of contemporary Arab art, Karin Adrian von Roques, with FotoFest’s co-founder and expert in the international photographic arts. Wendy Watriss.
“This exhibition focuses on the works and the voices of artists who are important and pioneering figures in the use of photography and media-related arts in the Arab world,” says lead curator Karin von Roques. “The range and quality of their work vividly reveal the inter-relationships between tradition and change, both regional and global, and how these inter-connections are central to the way contemporary artists engage with the world around them.”
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 artworks reveal strong connections between contemporary experiences and the histories of the cultures from which they come - their relationship to Arab society today and the world beyond,” says Wendy Watriss, Co-founder of FotoFest International. “With passion, irony and anxiety, they confront the issues of transformation in their social and physical environment. Reflective, critical and often humorous, the artists show a deep engagement with what is happening in the Arab world today. The exhibition is about their voice.”
At its original showing in the United States, Al Jazeera America described VIEW FROM INSIDE as “one of the largest exhibitions to date of contemporary Arab photography and mixed media.” It was received enthusiastically by thousands of U.S. and international visitors over its six-week presentation. Reviewer Rupert Goldsworthy recently noted in the Arab art journal Contemporary Practices, that VIEW FROM INSIDE illustrates: “a clear view of what the future may hold.”