Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Wild and wonderful pieces from Iranian collector Ramin Salsali

Photographs and video pieces from the Iranian collector Ramin Salsali, on display at the Salsali Private Museum, include a colourful merger of the Arab and African worlds.

A selection of photography and video pieces from the sizeable art hoard of the Iranian collector Ramin Salsali continues until the end of July at the Salsali Private Museum.

Life is Too Short refers to the immediate, shutter-click pace of the media showcased here. It also works as a whistle-stop tour of the last few years in Dubai's art scene, with a number of the works having passed through the city's galleries. Several unusual additions, however, keep things interesting.

Hassan Hajjaj's Helen the Venus Bushfire, from 2011, caught our eye - fizzing off the walls with patterns and colours that clash together like battling horns. Against one of Hajjaj's scatty backgrounds, a woman sits playing a Hang drum wearing wild sunglasses and shot in a style redolent of work by Samuel Fosso. The piece captures that textural meeting-point where the Arab world hits Africa - a cultural divergence that continues to fascinate this Moroccan artist.

Also worth looking out for is a video piece by Anahita Razmi, How Your Veil Can Help You in the Case of an Earthquake, Lesson 1-8. This wry work from 2004 still inspires a chuckle. "Just cover your head, using your veil as a helmet," says Razmi's weirdly deep voice-over, a rock bouncing off the smiling face of the artist who is wearing her black chador like a hard-hat-turban.

The figure of Mohammad Mossadegh - the democratically elected prime minister of Iran who was deposed in a US-backed coup in 1953 - appears several times in Life is Too Short. There's a brown bust of him, and an odd painting showing him touring the canals of Venice by speedboat. A mock cinema built to house the work of Nazzy Beglari discusses Mossadegh's history directly. The work is an animation projected on to a painted canvas in which we see Alice's White Rabbit discussing Mossadegh in exile. The piece is a tribute to Farideh Lashai, an artist whose recent work of animation-on-canvas has explored the connection between the surreal Wonderland and contemporary Iran.

Life is Too Short continues at Salsali Private Museum, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai until July 31. www.salsalipm.com. Entrance is free

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Hajer Almosleh, the winner of the last year's short story competition, at her home in Dubai. Duncan Chard for the National

Get involved with The National’s short-story competition

Writers have two weeks to craft a winning submission, under the title and theme "The Turning Point".

 It is believed that the desert-like planet of Tatooine is being recreated for Star Wars: Episode VII. Could that be where filming in the UAE comes in? Courtesy Lucasfilms

Could the force be with us? The search for Star Wars truth

On the hunt for the Star Wars: Episode VII set, which a growing number of people are sure is in Abu Dhabi, but no one can seem to find.

 With an estimated 18,000 comic and film fans having already paid a visit to this weekend’s Middle East Film and Comic Con, organisers are hopeful they will have surpassed last year total, of 21,000, by its close. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

In pictures: Middle East Film and Comic Con in Dubai

Dubai's World Trade Center was awash with people visiting this weekend’s Middle East Film and Comic Con. Here's some of our best pictures.

 Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, presents Quincy Jones with the Abu Dhabi Festival Award as the Admaf founder Hoda Al Khamis-Kanoo applauds. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Festival.

A candid talk with Quincy Jones about the UAE, Lil Wayne and the Abu Dhabi Festival award

The Abu Dhabi Festival honoree Quincy Jones discusses his legendary career as a music producer, the return of Dubai Music Week and why he can’t handle the rapper Lil Wayne.

 Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge arrive at Wellington Military Terminal on an RNZAF 757 from Sydney on April 7, 2014 in Wellington, New Zealand. Chris Jackson / Getty Images

In pictures: Will and Kate visit Australia and New Zealand

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge are on a tour Down Under for three weeks.

 A protester gives a victory sign during clashes near Tahrir Square in Cairo in November 2011. Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

Street life: humanity’s future depends on ability to negotiate and sustain public space

Negotiating our ever more crowded cities and maintaining vibrant public spaces are among the major challenges facing humanity in the coming decades.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National