What’s On previews the latest art exhibitions in Dubai, at Alserkal Avenue and DIFC. In May 2015, Christian Ghammachi exhibits in Dubai.
Any traveller who has been to Africa will be familiar with the word ‘mazungu’. It’s the word commonly heard in Africa (usually by excited children) when they see a foreigner in their neighbourhood.
The Beirut-born photographer Christian Ghammachi has used mazungu as the title for his new photography exhibition in Dubai. Subtitled The Aimless Wanderer (another translation of mazungu), the photos show Ghammachi’s 19,000km trip through 16 countries in Africa, from Cape Town in South Africa to Djibouti in the east of the continent.
The journey took six months and was aborted after Ghammachi crashed his motorbike on the first attempt. He got back in the saddle to take the 25 photographs on display this month – this is one exhibition that’s worth a wander through.
From May 18
La Galerie Nationale, Al Quoz 1, Street 8, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai, Sat to Thur 10am to 7pm, free. Tel: (04) 3804652. Taxi: Alserkal Avenue. galerie-nationale.com
OTHER EXHIBITIONS THIS MONTH
Jameel Prize 3
London’s Victoria & Albert Museum has one of the world’s finest collections of Islamic art. Its biannual Jameel Prize celebrates modern art and design inspired by Islamic tradition. As this touring exhibition reveals, it’s mining a rich seam. All the shortlisted entries are displayed here – a selection of ten, whittled down from more than 270 nominations. Dice Kayek’s Instanbul Contrast a series riffing on the city’s architectural heritage is a worthy winner.
Until Jun 6
Sharjah Museum Of Islamic Civilisation, Corniche Street, Sharjah, Sat to Thur 8am to 8pm, Fri 4pm to 8pm, Dhs5. Tel: (06) 5655455. islamicmuseum.ae
Sands Of Time
The Third Line’s recent announcement that it’s marking its 10th year with a move to new premises in Alserkal Avenue makes this show a lap of honour for the pioneering gallery. Not that you need an excuse to see Zineb Sedira’s new show. A Parisian of Algerian descent, she uses the historic routes of the sugar trade as inspiration for a meditation, not just on commerce and humankind’s impact on the environment, but as a metaphor that speaks of the loss of identity in the ‘endless flow of goods and human cargo’ of those who travel the globe in search of better lives.
Until May 30
The Third Line, Street 6, Al Quoz 3, Dubai, Sun to Thur 10am to 7pm, free. Tel: (04) 3411367. Taxi: Opposite Bounce Middle East. thethirdline.com
Seeds From The Desert Sand
Many artists’ work is personal, which makes it all the more interesting to see the effect that collaboration has on it. Oman-based German artists Miriam Humer and Gazmend Kalemi have worked together for the first time to create this show. It’s rooted in their experiences of desert living and features both individual and partner pieces, which makes the temptation to compare and contrast their existing styles (and muse at where they meet) impossible to resist.
Until May 31
XVA Gallery, Al Fahidi, Bur Dubai, Dubai, daily 10am to 6pm, free. Tel: (04) 3535383. Metro: Al Fahidi. xvagallery.com
Return To Abstraction
This solo exhibition is a theoretical revisiting of roots for acclaimed Syrian painter Assad Arabi. Part of the inspiration for this collection of works is Arabi’s passion for what he sees as the almost spiritual the relationship between music and form. These cityscapes play on unheard melodies with brushstrokes informing mood in the manner of a conductor leading an orchestra with his baton.
May 4 to June 18
Ayyam DIFC, Gate Village 3, DIFC, Dubai, Sun to Thur 10am to 6pm, free. Tel: (04) 4392395. Metro: Financial Centre. ayyamgallery.com