World Picks From the Editors, Sept 29—Oct 15, 2023

29 September, 2023
Reading Time :4 minutes
Net Zero, Ithra, Saudi Arabia, until Oct 23, 2023.
Net Zero, Ithra, Dammam, Saudi Arabia, until Oct 23, 2023.

Net Zero Exhibition at Ithra


Net Zero features 17 international and two Saudi contemporary artists whose works express the spirit of sustainable creativity and whose artistic practices maintain a professional focus on sustainability and global warming through well-informed environmental discourse and visual culture.

The exhibit also offers a thorough look into the current global climate change situation, presenting potential outcomes and solutions while encouraging awareness, dialogue, ideation and engagement with the global conversation surrounding environmental challenges; setting an example of museum best-practices under that light.

Some Seasons: Fereydoun Ave and the Laal Collection, 1959-2019, Jameel Arts Centre (courtesy Jameel).

Some seasons: Fereydoun Ave and the Laal Collection, 1959—2019 at Jameel Arts Center

ONGOING — MARCH 23, 2024, DUBAI more info

Over the past five decades, artist, curator, designer and collector Fereydoun Ave (b. 1945) has assembled a singular collection of modern and contemporary Iranian art inflected by personal history, friendship, sensibility and circumstance. Ave, who is an accomplished artist himself, serves as both subject and cipher of this presentation, which brings together works by over 30 artists, a unique vantage onto the fascinating — and contested — cultural history of 20th and 21st century Iran.

While this exhibition cannot speak to or about the current state of the Iranian body politic, it can offer uncommon insights into histories of art production and circulation in Iran from the late 1950s to the present — a period marked by both monarchy and theocracy.

Marking the opening, a conversation will take place between exhibition co-curators Negar Azimi and Sohrab Mohebbi, alongside Fereydoun Ave, graphic designer Aria Kasaei, and artist Nazgol Ansarinia.

Featuring works by Ali Golastaneh, Amirhossein Esmaili, Arash Hanaei, Ardeshir Mohasses, Ashurbanipal Babilla, Behjat Sadr, Bijan Saffari, Bita FayyaziCy Twombly, Davood EmdadianFarhad MoshiriHaydeh AyaziHossein-Ali Zabehi, Houman MortazaviIman Raad, Khosrow HasanzadehLeyly Matine-Daftary, Mamali ShafahiManouchehr Yektai, Monir Sharoudy Farmanfarmaian, Michaelis Makroulakis, Mohsen Vaziri Moghaddam, Mostafa Sarabi, Nazgol Ansarinia, Nikzad Nodjoumi, Parvaneh Etemadi, Raana Farnoud, Ramin HaerizadehReza Shafahi, Rokni HaerizadehSadra BaniasadiShahab Fotouhi, Shideh Tami, Shirin AliabadiSirak Melkonian, Yaghoub AmaemehpichYashar Samimi Mofakham.

Amir ElSaffar, feat. Ole Mathisen, Tomas Fujiwara, Tania Giannouli, Lorenzo Bianchi Hoesch at Pierre Boulez SAAL

SEPT 30 — BERLIN more info

Multi-instrumentalist, composer, and vocalist Amir ElSaffar combines a background as a classically trained jazz trumpeter with microtonal techniques idiomatic to Arabic music. For his Pierre Boulez Saal debut, he now presents two world premiere programs: in the first set, ElSaffar’s trio, with saxophonist Ole Mathisen, drummer Tomas Fujiwara, and ElSaffar on trumpet, is joined by innovative Greek pianist Tania Giannouli, whose instrument will be retuned to create microtonal sounds. The evening’s second part, featuring sound artist Lorenzo Bianchi Hoesch and ElSaffar on santour and vocals, explores the boundary between improvisation and composition with music that merges electro-acoustic ideas with traditional Iraqi maqam scales.

I M E D E A at Stone Nest, London, (photo courtesy of © Ivan Nocera).

I M E D E A at Stone Nest

OCT 1 — LONDON more info

This bold reimagining of the infamous Greek myth, Medea, draws on the eroding infrastructures of fact in a digital world, to reimagine Medea for an era of tech-driven authoritarianism. The UK Premiere of the award-winning touring production is presented by Shubbak Festival, in association with Stone Nest and Sabab Theatre.

In Sulayman Al Bassam’s award winning new text, Medea figures as an educated and outspoken Arab woman, living in a secular European state, with a powerful social media following. Finding herself at odds with the populist ruler for her outspoken political views, Medea re-directs the tools of state surveillance put upon her to re-enact the violence of history, accumulated over generations.

Performed by award winning Franco-Syrian actress, Hala Omran, and accompanied by a mesmerizing live score performed by Lebanese electro-acoustic duo, “Two, Or the Dragon,” the performance lies midway between a live rock concert and hi-concept slam poetry session.

Blane De St. Croix: Horizon, NYUAD Art Gallery, UAE.

Blane De St. Croix: Horizon at NYUAD Art Gallery

OCT 3 — JAN 14, 2024, ABU DHABI more info

Sculptor Blane De St. Croix unveils a series of new works rooted in his study of landscapes in the UAE. An artist-researcher, St. Croix works on site, together with scientific researchers, to develop art that is in direct response to the land itself.

The major new works in this exhibition, commissioned by The NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery, were developed during a series of residencies over the last year in which the artist worked closely with NYUAD faculty, and resident scientists. Inspired by the salt lakes “sabkhas” and estuaries of the UAE, the artists have created a 150-square-meter sculptural installation, made from the PET flakes recycled from more than 50,000 plastic water bottles, that gently moves with light and sound.

The exhibition will also include a number of never-before-shown works by Blane De St. Croix.

Farah Al Qasimi exhibit at Delfina Foundation, London.


OCT 4 — NOV 20, London more info

The solo exhibition of Emirati artist Farah Al Qasimi titled “Abort, Retry, Fail” draws inspiration from an error message on the artist’s family computer, exploring the desire to escape reality through gaming and mundane observations. It touches on our disconnection from the natural world amid ecological concerns.

Presented by Delfina Foundation, this is the first UK solo exhibition by its former resident Farah Al Qasimi, made possible through the support of Abu Dhabi Festival.

Based between Brooklyn and Abu Dhabi, Al Qasimi’s exhibition comprises new photographs, vinyl wallpaper works, and a specially commissioned video, which coalesce to create a layered visual constellation.


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