Step into a dark cozy cove at the corner of the gallery, and be transported to the streets of Damascus.
Inside, glowing lanterns surround a large illuminated mirror. The ceiling twinkles with galaxies, and sounds of bustling street vendors don’t seem far away. All this and more form part of Dina Saadi’s little Bab Sharki Studio installation.
It’s one of ten works part of Ramadanization, an exhibition commissioned by Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre (DUCTAC) at the Gallery of Light.
When: 9am to 10pm, Saturday- Thursday &2pm to 10pm on Fridays. Open till July 31 2016
Where: Gallery of Light, DUCTAC, Mall of the Emirates
How much: Free entry
Saadi, a visual artist, recreated her love for Damascus’ lively streets with glow-in-the dark paint.
In a nutshell, the show reflects artists’ personal interpretation of Ramadan in the form of one-stop motion films, art installations and live performance. It showcases a perfect blend of rich heritage and creativity.
This exhibition traces the socio-cultural impacts of the concept of Ramadan on the behavior of contemporary Middle Eastern Muslims while major challenges in identity formulation occur coeval with the rise of ISIS
says Muhanad Ali, Arts Centre Manager and Curator.
Exhibits carry several layers of meaning, yet some contain undertones of quirkiness. Take for instance, the Fast Safety Manual by Safwan Subzwari, , that spells tips for fasting in the lingo of a child. Cautions such as, “Do not dance like an animal”, “Overeating is harmful to health and fast”, with colorful comic strips make this satirical piece.
Some chose the everyday as their muse. Consider Fatima Albudoor’s Tawlat al Iftar, where she utilizes an iftar table to convey memories of breaking fasts with her household. Covered with aluminum foil patterned with niqabs.
Visitors are welcome to sit on a soft couch facing a television, set against a backdrop of blue wallpaper patterned with armchairs, televisions and crescent moons. This exhibit called Television of the Month by Khalid Mezina portraying his family’s post-iftar television watching practice. Complimented with a 15-second video, viewers are prodded to question the appropriateness of media consumed during the holy month.
A series of three illustrations titled Reflections, by Salama Nasib portrays three household traditions of sharing, devotion and charity with catchy colors printed on a prayer mat.
If you’re fortunate enough, you might catch Mohammed Jumairy’s performance showcasing his quest to discover the process of identity formations. He writes and reads passages of the Quran in this discovery.
Watch Walid Al Wawi, a Palestinian artist, explore the dynamics of faith and its influence on culture as he cooks a vegetarian meal. Wawi’s video installation comprising two short films explore Middle Eastern identity formation.
Don’t miss Sara Al Haddad’s single channel video, titled “‘I don’t want them to think badly of you’, she said.” Haddad has completed her MFA in sculpture from Maryland Institute College of Art.
Enter a dark canopy and ponder at the sight of a light covered by fishing lines. This surreal Untitled piece by Amal Al Khaja, a graduate in Fine Arts from Zayed University, captures the tribulations one must overcome to reach ultimate peace.
Ramadanization is successful in starting a conversation about the experience of Muslims during the Holy Month through familiar imagery and contexts. It transports you to different cities, homes and minds, breaks your shell and leaves you feeling reflective.
We, at B-Change, highly recommend it.