x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Ductac to reinvigorate local arts scene

Experimental artist Ebtisam Abdulaziz is curating an upcoming exhibition of work by 20 young UAE artists.

DUBAI // The experimental artist Ebtisam Abdulaziz is curating an upcoming exhibition of work by 20 artists, all living in the UAE, in the hope of invigorating the local art scene.

Made in Dubai – City’s Dialogue will open on March 10 at the Dubai Community Theatre & Arts Centre (Ductac) at Mall of the Emirates.

“My focus is to bring new blood to the art scene in the UAE,” said Ms Abdulaziz, 35, who is originally from Sharjah.

Most of the artists taking part in the group show, she said, “are young and talented”.

“And the most important [aspect of the project] is to give them exposure and to open dialogue with the older artists who are stuck using more traditional art forms.”

The show will feature art in the forms of video, installation, painting, graphic, sculpture, photography and performance.

It is meant to encompass the ways in which Dubai affects the artist’s lifestyle.

She chose each artist individually and talked to them about their contribution to the exhibition, persuading some to create pieces specifically for the show.

“I tried to encourage them to do something different,” she said.

As one result of her exhortations the Syrian artist Basem al Sayer, usually a painter, produced an installation made of used oil drums to draw attention to the issue of recycling.

“I am so happy Basem got out of the frame and tried out something new,” she said. “It looks fantastic.”

An emphasis on innovation is nothing new for Abdulaziz.

She began to earn her reputation as one of the country’s most experimental artists when she put on a black body suit covered in green numbers and posed on the side of a Sharjah road next to a group of labourers for an exhibit entitled Autobiography of 2007.

This is the second year for the Made in Dubai series, which will also feature an interactive element.

Visitors will be able to talk to the artists, enter public discussions and take part in a contemporary painting workshop held within the Ductac complex.

The exhibition opens March 10 at 7.30pm and runs daily until March 20. It will be open from 9am until 10pm Saturday to Thursday and from 2pm on Fridays.

aseaman@thenational.ae