Art Jameel collaborates with the UAE National Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

May 13, 2017

Art Jameel has partnered with the National Pavilion UAE – la Biennale di Venezia to support the exhibition ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors: Positions in Play’ at the 2017 Venice Biennale. The exhibition, which is commissioned by the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation and supported by the UAE Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, is curated by Hammad Nasar, and explores the concept of “playfulness” as a connecting thread across multiple generations of artistic practice in the UAE. It will run from May 13 to November 26, 2017, with a preview from May 10-12, 2017.

Art Jameel has collaborated with the National Pavilion United Arab Emirates to support an intensive six-month research period (led by Uns Kattan) in the lead-up to the exhibition, which resulted in a rich, extensive body of historical material on the foundations of the contemporary art movement in the UAE, plus new interviews and perspectives. Not only has the research informed the publication accompanying ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors: Positions in Play’, but it will also contribute to the Jameel Arts Centre Research Library’s focus on arts histories of the UAE and GCC.

The exhibition in Venice attempts to address a set of nested enquiries — Where does ‘playfulness’ in artistic practice come from? How and where is ‘play’ nurtured? What does ‘play’ do? – and presents a mix of new commissions, existing works and re-fabrications of ‘lost’ pieces by five artists who call the UAE home: Nujoom Alghanem, Sara Al Haddad, Vikram Divecha, Lantian Xie and Dr. Mohamed Yousif. Their exhibited works approach play through movement, rhythm, form, time and place.

In the UAE, Art Jameel has joined several cultural institutions in developing the themes of the exhibition to extend, expand, critique, reflect and respond to the myriad issues raised by the exhibition. These themes will be featured in dedicated programming throughout the year.

2017 Venice Biennale

Tickets Required

May 13-November 26, 2017

Venice, Italy



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