Summer at Alserkal avenue

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Saudi Gazette

Alserkal Programming is now running its third annual summer program.

SENSING MEMORY

From a patchwork of sights, smells, sounds, textures, and tastes, our senses construct the world around us, creating memories in the process. Beyond perceiving what is, our senses evoke what was. A mere smell or sound—brewing coffee, or waves breaking on the shore—can take us back in time.

From July to September, Sensing Memory will draw from the UAE’s creative community and beyond to explore the connection between the senses and our personal and collective memories. The program will feature a series of free events that are open to the public, including: a workshop exploring perfume’s potential to trigger memory of loved ones; tai chi lessons to tune participants into their bodies and senses; a lecture and workshop exploring traditional building materials from the UAE; an astronomy lecture exploring the cosmos through storytelling and different civilizations; and a book club reading the first volume of Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time.

On Mondays and Saturdays from 14 July to 15 September, the Avenue will host a series of events open to the public that will explore the connection between the senses and memory, both personal and collective.

MUSICAL THEATRE SUMMER CAMP

Sima Performing Arts has tailored a unique summer camp program that combines dancing, singing and acting for kids aged 7-14. Runs in two cycles, beginning 1 July.

FIERCE! AN AMERICAN FILM SHOWCASE PROGRAM

Presented by Cinema Akil, the program features a film that focuses women's perspectives and stories. A monthly screening will take place in the A4 Space Cinema Room.

WHAT SATISFACTION COULD YOU POSSIBLY HAVE

The apps and websites we turn to seem to offer direct portals to other lives – immediate and intimate interactions that can lead to in-the-flesh satisfactions. But there is no unmediated exchange: we are subject to, and encouraged to enact, self-censorship, self-exploitation. Our loves and loneliness mined for profit. Each of us put to work as blister-thumbed miner.

Both the reliefs and drawings by Monika Grabuschnigg at the show reference the ever-present screens through which this happens. We see fractured and repaired bodies morphing into one another; cropped and cracked identities exaggerated and engorged by algorithmic bias; character-limited emotions congealing into searching limbs, messy embraces, visceral gazes. Materially vulnerable, tonally fleshy, the inch-thick, flat-to-the-wall reliefs feel like substantial moments captured through a haze of distortion: the analog and digital worlds clashing head-on. The forms in the drawings are more of-this-worldly, but more deeply mired in dream-states.

More information is available on their website. The exhibition runs till 2nd of September at Carbon gallery.

Project Space Art Jameel

Basim Magdy’s, The Dent is a multi-layered video mixing together documentary footage, field recordings and written text by the artist. Magdy’s work layers film footage and text to produce a surrealistic visual essay, balancing the bleakness of contemporary conditions with sensitive humour.

Shot between Paris, New York, Brussels, Quebec, Basel, Madeira, Prague and Venice, among other locations, the scenes are lent an aura similar to that of early cinema by the familiar grain and saturated tones of 16mm film – a medium that the artist favours. Magdy’s film draws from life, capturing absurd details and everyday beauty, seeking the uncanny within manmade environments.

The film was commissioned in 2014 through the Abraaj Group Art Prize, and the full collection of the Prize is on long-term loan to Art Jameel.

THE PHOTOBOOK SHOW EXHIBITION

With The Photobook Show, Gulf Photo Plus is encouraging the community to engage with work from the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia, showcasing a unique sampling of more than 40 photobooks from 12 different countries. The exhibition highlights a wide spectrum of photobook forms including handbound, experimental booklets from Bon-Gah, an artist collective in Tehran, to a 630-page publication by Ahmed Mater from Saudi Arabia, documenting the changes taking place in the cityscape of modern-day Makkah. Through this collection, we are able to examine both contemporary photography practices as well as historical documentation of life in the region from a photographer’s perspective.

-Compiled by Mariam Nihal


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