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“Pavilion from the United Arab Emirates featured at the Venice Biennale”

by Dubaiforum

The upcoming solo exhibition will showcase a collection of artworks created by Emirati artist Abdullah Al Saadi, known as a pioneer of conceptual art in the UAE. Titled “Abdullah Al Saadi: Sites of Memory, Sites of Amnesia,” the exhibition invites viewers to immerse themselves in Al Saadi’s unique world, featuring eight distinct bodies of work inspired by his wilderness journeys.

This exhibition aims to explore Al Saadi’s creative process in comparison to the practices of Arab poets from centuries past. Much like these poets, Al Saadi begins to draw, paint, or write when surrounded by nature during his travels. Visitors will have the opportunity to follow a path through the exhibition, discovering both the prominently displayed art pieces and hidden works within metal chests. Performers will engage with viewers, sharing stories and providing insights into the artist’s journeys and the collective memory that Al Saadi evokes and preserves for the future.

Al Saadi shared, “I find inspiration from my surroundings during my solo journeys, accompanied by specific books, music, animals, or modes of transportation. These travel companions greatly influence my artworks as they traverse the land and contemplate humanity’s place within it.”

Curator Tarek Abou El Fetouh expressed his excitement about collaborating with Al Saadi once again, highlighting the artist’s dedication to his craft over four decades. The exhibition will offer a performative experience, mirroring the atmosphere of Al Saadi’s studio and showcasing his ritualistic approach to archiving and presenting his work. The design of the exhibition space draws inspiration from Al Saadi’s art, with an accompanying publication providing a fresh perspective on his practice and its impact on the art scene in the UAE and the wider region.

This showcase at the National Pavilion UAE marks their eighth participation in the Venice Biennale. The 60th International Venice Biennale is set to open in Venice, Italy, on April 20 and will continue until November 24, 2024.

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