The sphere of Arab culture contains some of the most diverse and dazzling stories and legends in the world. Many of these stories have been passed down by word of mouth from generation to generation for thousands of years. While some of them are recognised as myths by the Arab population and considered fairy tales, many others still suggest, in some way, that they really happened. Attitudes towards myths in the Gulf region have changed dramatically from the time before the discovery of oil to the time after its discovery: Back then, myths were attributed to religion and the social behaviours it sanctioned. Today, myths have been altered in such a way as to create an artificially created national identity.
The show unpacks the tension set in the spectrum that lays between myth and fact. Myth is presented as a social function that acts as a marker of time and place. It plays a formative role in understanding the laws of change. Myths allow us to validate belief systems through emotion over information—an evocative hint of a truth is much more powerful than a statistic one, especially when trying to sway a society.
The participating artists have worked on popular folklore and myths in the Khaleej (Arabian Gulf). Their work has instigated new fantastical dimensions related to subjects of environment, gender, and societal power structure. In the spectrum drawn, fact is presented in opposition towards myth, two sides of the same coin. Fact is drawn as the solidification of myth, the removal of its magic, and its sanctity: fact becomes the framework that dissolves and demystifies.