Emirati Expressions IV: Conventions of Arts

Words by Elena Scarpa
November 11, 2015

The questions Emirati Expressions IV: Conventions of Arts exhibition seeks to ask are related to the functionality and usability of art. Can art be useful? What does art look like when it is used? There is a vibrant and diverse practice of arts that beckons for the merging of use-value and art in the United Arab Emirates. Elements of design are incorporated, immersive experiences are developed, and engaged societal art has become the norm.

The exhibition will feature the work of Emirati artists whose projects oscillate naturally between design and fine art, combining languages of form and use to produce a communal art practice that is embedded in the social fabric of the United Arab Emirates. Artworks will include wearable textiles, photography, furniture design, interactive installations, paintings, illustrations, large-scale sculptures, and a live studio where artists will be working throughout the exhibition.

The exhibition will also present specially commissioned artworks inspired by Abu Dhabi’s diverse and historic social clubs. These interactive spaces, dedicated to community engagement, are the nuclei to modern cultural institutions within the UAE. The archives of these communal clubs will also be on display within the exhibition. Additionally, artists have been invited to produce site-specific works that will be on view within a number of these institutions, including the Emirates Writers Union, Armed Forces Officers’ Club, India Social and Cultural Center, and Abu Dhabi Theatre.

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