Project Space Art Jameel, in Alserkal Avenue, Dubai, featured a year-round programme of art exhibitions, studios, workshops and events. The Space was Art Jameel’s temporary home until Jameel Arts Centre opened in November, 2018. While some shows featured works from the Jameel Art Collection, others were developed in collaboration with partner institutions; research studios and educational initiatives aiming to bring together creative communities of all ages and nurture experimentation, dialogue and a discursive approach to art and art-making.
Project Space Art Jameel hosted the second iteration of its experimental six-week studio following a collaboration with Campus Art Dubai (CAD) – Art Dubai’s intensive five-month course for UAE-based artists, writers, curators and cultural producers and the opportunity to develop practices under the mentorship of world renowned tutors. Art Jameel is the programme’s curatorial partner for 2017-2018; this edition saw the launch of a peer-run grant supported by both Art Dubai and Art Jameel, and initiated by CAD 5.0 members. The participants of this second studio edition at Project Space Art Jameel include: Layan Attari, Sophiya Khwaja, Sara Masinaei, Lujaine Rezk and Moylin Yuan. This marked the end of Art Jameel’s 18-month residency in Alserkal Avenue, ahead of Jameel Arts Centre’s opening in November.
‘Research Studio: Confluence’ took the form of a curated reading room and active research space open to the public, housed in Project Space Art Jameel from June 28 to July 31, 2018. As a response to this curated bibliography by writer and curator, and the director of Dar al-Ma’mûn, Omar Berrada, interdisciplinary artist Noush Anand and translator and critic Hafsa Hariga ran reading groups. Anand and Hariga led group sessions in English and Arabic (respectively), based on readings selected from the Research Studio; each created a language-specific open platform for discussion, reflection and debate, dwelling on the programme’s thematic concerns.
A series of ‘Collection Focus’ art exhibitions, allowing for in-depth engagement with single works from the Jameel Art Collection. The Dent by Basim Magdy, took place from April 30 to June 13, 2018, and is a multi-layered video that combines documentary footage, field recordings and written text by the artist. Previous exhibitions have included Alif Beh (2006-2009) by Hazem El Mestikawy and And yet my mask is powerful 1 by Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme. The ‘Collaboration’ strand has included an exhibition of art works by Maha Maamoun, acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, through the Art Jameel fund. Our first Research Studio, featuring roundtable talks with the arts and architecture community in the UAE, was devoted to Madrid-based foundation Factum Arte who illustrated their work in new technologies to preserve heritage sites and create works with contemporary artists.
Delfina Foundation and Art Jameel collaborated to present Plan for Feminist Greater Baghdad, a solo exhibition by Ala Younis held simultaneously in London and Dubai. The exhibition included a major new installation co-commissioned by the two organisations, Plan (fem.) for Greater Baghdad (2018), that builds on Younis’s 2015 work, Plan for Greater Baghdad, which was included in the Central Exhibition of the 56th Venice Biennale curated by Okwui Enwezor, and which will be shown alongside the new commission in the exhibition. The exhibition took place on March 1 and until April 19, 2018.
The history of photography in Saudi Arabia is as old as the discovery of oil in the Kingdom. Oil companies were among the first to import cameras, photographers and darkroom materials. Since the 1950s, Saudis have been capturing the development of their ever-changing urban surroundings, vast landscapes and social environments.
Running from January 11 to February 13, ‘Saudi Seen’ presented a diversity of views from the inside captured by a new generation of image-makers, working across documentary, art, portrait, and landscape photography. In a way, these images are a counterweight to somewhat limited nature of the outside view. Featured photographers include: Adriano Pimenta, Akram Alamoudi, Bader Awwad Albalawi, Filwa Nazer, Iman Al-Dabbagh, Kholood Saleh Al-Bakr, Majid Angawi, Moath Alofi, Sami Altokhais and Tasneem Alsultan. This exhibition is organised by the Art Jameel curatorial team, advised by photographer and artist Ahmed Mater; with several photographers having been previously shortlisted for the Art Jameel Photography Award (2010-2016) and/or participants in its successor programme, Photography Jameel. The commissioned catalogue essay has been researched and written by Dr. Maha al-Senan, academic researcher in ancient Arabian arts and modern Saudi art.
The Research Studio, ‘Interdisciplinary practices of the early ’80s, UAE‘, was part of a series titled Annotations, which took an experimental approach to presenting research and work-in-progress, and is indicative of the direction of the Research Library at the forthcoming Jameel Arts Centre. The Studio (November 1-December 21) focussed on the dynamic period of the early 1980s in the UAE and, in particular, on the collaborative, multidisciplinary stance taken by artists, poets, playwrights, theatre directors and writers at that time. The public art programme featured talks and poetry nights.
Previous programming at Project Space Art Jameel is indicative of the diversity of the organisation’s activities. The summer of 2017 featured a six-week experimental studio for members and alumni of Campus Art Dubai (CAD), an educational platform for artists and creatives, and part of a curatorial partnership with Art Dubai. The project concluded with Open Studios (August 26-September 6). Click here for more information and here for current CAD and other educational programmes open for community participation.