Containing almost 200 objects donated by the public and created by emerging artists, the exhibition explores traditional Emirati jewellery and weapons, perfume and makeup
Lest We Forget – Emirati Adornment at Warehouse421 opening extended until September 2017
Lest We Forget – Emirati Adornment: Tangible & Intangible, the exhibition that explores Emirati traditions through collections of clothing and weapons, perfume and jewellery has had its run at Mina Zayed's Warehouse421 extended until 24 September 2017.
The display contains almost 200 objects, many of which were donated by the public, and also includes commissions by contemporary artists and short films as well as animations and interactive displays of perfume and fragrance.
What links all of these disparate examples of Emirati cultural heritage is the fact that they were all worn or displayed as very personal items and, that each has its own remarkable story.
The show opens with a display of antique swords, rifles and daggers loaned by the Emirati collector and antiquarian Dr Ahmed Al Khoori.
These reach beyond living memory into a more distant past in which the Trucial States, though remote, were connected to a wider world by trade.
The show is the third iteration of the memory and archiving project, Lest We Forget.
The first edition, Lest We Forget: Structures of Memory, was an object-based architectural history of the emirates that formed the core of the UAE’s National Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2014, while Lest We Forget: Emirati Family Photographs 1950-1999 was exhibited at Warehouse421 in 2015.
All three exhibitions and their accompanying books, public lectures, workshops and talks were curated and devised by the American art historian Michele Bambling, a long-term Abu Dhabi resident who developed the Lest We Forget concept in 2012 while teaching at Zayed University.
“The idea of Lest We Forget as both an initiative and an archive is to really develop a history of vernacular Emirati memory, not just of Emiratis, but of people who have lived and contributed to the Emirates as well as nationals who have lived their whole lives here,” Bambling told The National in February 2017.
“But this is a sharing exercise, a way in which people can hear and know the memories of others,” she said.
“The objects are triggers for people to celebrate and share and reflect on the cultural history of the country but also to trigger their own memories and [new] conversations.”
Lest We Forget: Emirati Adornment will run until September 24, 2017. For more information on Warehouse421, the Lest We Forget exhibition and other upcoming events, visit www.warehouse421.ae