Abu Dhabi Art announces details for this year’s Beyond: Emerging Artists programme

Artsy Fairs
Nov 13, 2020 3:35PM

Curated by Maya El Khalil, Beyond: Emerging Artists, which showcases and supports up and coming Emirati artists, will explore the theme of memory and feature three new
commissions for the 12th edition of Abu Dhabi Art

Abu Dhabi, UAE, 28 October 2020: Abu Dhabi Art has announced further details around its Beyond: Emerging Artists programme, which each year commissions new work by up and coming Emirati artists. Beyond: Emerging Artists 2020 is curated by Maya El-Khalil, who has selected artists Hind Mezaina, Afra Al Dhaheri and Afra Al Suwaidi to produce works exploring the theme of memory. For this year’s primarily digital event, the artworks can be viewed through Abu Dhabi Art’s website throughout the days of the fair or at Manarat Al Saadiyat, where they will be exhibited, from 19 November through the end of December 2020.

Dyala Nusseibeh, Director of Abu Dhabi Art commented: “Our Beyond: Emerging Artists programme exists as a vehicle to enable exceptional younger artists from across the UAE to realise ambitious new projects and exhibit them to a wide audience. Part of our mandate is to support the local art ecosystem and this particular project forms one of our cornerstone initiatives in this regard. Given her extensive understanding of the Middle East and her experience in enabling artists to interrogate and develop their artistic practices, we believe that Maya El Khalil will be a thought-provoking mentor, as well as a great champion for this year’s selected artists.”

Maya El Khalil, Curator of the programme Beyond: Emerging Artists, Abu Dhabi Art 2020 said: “Throughout the years, working alongside emerging artists, I have developed a strong sense of understanding that the journey of emerging or becoming is a process of discovery. I see myself as a guide, making way for up and coming artists by asking questions rather than answering them. For this year’s Beyond: Emerging Artists programme at Abu Dhabi Art, I am working with three incredibly talented women, Hind Mezaina, Afra Al Dhaheri and Afra Al Suwaidi. Together, we acknowledge the art world’s currently altered sense of reality and each of the artists, through their distinctive practices, will be investigating how experiences of remembrance are constituted.”

Exploring the theme of memory, this year’s Beyond: Emerging Artists programme will feature artworks from Hind Mezaina using multimedia archival materials, such as photography and archival film, to express elements of collective memory, masculinity, heritage, and the UAE. Mezaina often describes her work as a form of ‘visual archaeology’.

As a starting point to explore identity formation, Afra Al Dhaheri disorders hair strands, using her own reclaimed hair, which she collects once it has fallen out. Beyond exploring self-identity, her work will draw on broader social associations and inhibitions related to female hair and its containment. Al Dhaheri will be using mixed media to render nuances of memory and time.

Afra Al Suwaidi will reconstitute fragmented visual memories, rendering lines of trauma as embodied in domestic architectural forms. Al Suwaidi will present her work through a process of collage. In her work, time is caught in a fugitive state but also pushed further away, to elsewhere.

Through the Beyond Emerging Artists section of the fair, Abu Dhabi Art is committed to supporting emerging local artists in the development of their work. The support offered by Abu Dhabi Art for Beyond: Emerging Artists includes both critical feedback and support through the appointed guest curator each year and also financial support in covering the costs of artwork production fees, materials, time, travel and research, to enable the artists to create new works. Abu Dhabi Art brings recognition to ambitious art projects under the guidance of established artists and curators such as Maya El Khalil.

Taking place from 19 – 26 November, Abu Dhabi Art is returning as a virtual fair for its 12th edition this year, bringing together a number of galleries and artists from across the world through its curated gallery sections including ‘The Day After’ curated by Simon Njami, ‘Material – Real’ curated by Sung woo Kim, ‘India Today’ curated by gallerist Ashwin Thadani and ‘A Picture Held Us Captive’ curated by Nada Raza. The 2020 digital fair will also host a public Performing Arts Programme, curated by Rose Lejeune.

A Talks Programme will be available online, offering a series of stimulating cultural conversations and panels featuring some of the art world’s leading figures, which aim to engage audiences in discussions related to the complex history of the UAE and contemporary art practice in the country and around the world.

The fair’s upcoming edition will be live from Thursday 19 November to Thursday 26 November 2020. For more information on Abu Dhabi Art 2020 and its year-round programmes, visit abudhabiart.ae and follow Abu Dhabi Art on social media: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

This material is distributed by Brunswick Group LLC on behalf of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi. Additional information is on file with the FARA Registration Unit of the Department of Justice, Washington, DC.

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