Community and Critique: SEAF 2017/2018
This exhibition represents a culmination of a year-long engagement in the Salama bin Hamdan Emerging Artists program (SEAF). The Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation (SHF), in partnership with the Rhode Island School of Design, welcomes a group of emerging artists from across the UAE to participate in this unique educational program designed to encourage and foster artistic growth and development.
Through 4 November 2018
The SEAF program consists of four pillars; the artistic development process, the critique process, the immersive studio practice, and an online community for participating artists. Through on-site teaching in Abu Dhabi, an educational visit to the United States, mentoring, online discussions, and 24/7 access to their studio throughout the year, Fellows are able to develop their artistic skills, establish a greater understanding of their own work and its influences, and strengthen their ability to articulate their ideas.
Community and critique are mutually supportive where rigorous inquiry, analysis, and reflection support the advancement of content and form in one’s process and work. Access to materials, techniques, and methods support the development of ideas, and form reveals itself through multiple iterations of the work itself. As we finish the program’s fifth year with enthusiasm and a commitment to the future of the program, we reflect on its impact on individuals, as well as on its role in the UAE’s vibrant and ever evolving artistic community.
Fellowship suggests togetherness. These sixteen artists have worked side by side all year in a studio-based community, supporting one another by exchanging knowledge and critical dialogue along the way. Bringing their works into Warehouse421 means stepping outside the intimacy of the SEAF studios, into the culture and community of the city. Presenting their work in a professional space provides an opportunity to share and speak about it with others; and thus becomes an important moment within their continuing process.
Middle East Premiere
Shakespeare Theatre Company - Noura
By Heather Raffo | Directed by Joanna Settle
When / Thursday & Friday, May 10 & 11 @ 8pm | Saturday, May 12 @ 3pm
Where / The Red Theater
What does “home” mean and what will we do to protect it?
Noura challenges our notions of belonging, shame, and sacrifice through a portrait of Iraqi immigrants in New York. As Noura and her husband Tariq prepare to celebrate a traditional Christmas, she looks forward to welcoming a special guest—Maryam, a young Iraqi refugee. But the girl’s arrival opens wounds the family has tried to leave behind, forcing them to confront where they are, where they’ve been and who they have become.
Award-winning playwright and performer Heather Raffo (9 Parts of Desire) draws on personal stories of Arab American women responding to A Doll’s House, Henrik Ibsen’s classic drama of one mother’s struggle to balance her duty with her identity. Noura’s Middle East premiere follows its world-premiere production at Washington DC’s Shakespeare Theater Company in February 2018.
“Raffo’s script bounces effortlessly between humor and strained arguments. It’s one of the most realistic plays I’ve seen in the last few years” – DC Metro Theater Arts
“Director Joanna Settle has shaped the raw talent of her actors into well-paced scenes that never miss a beat. Every movement and every line feel intentional.” – DC Metro Theater Arts
“We’re not Iraqi anymore. A lot of this play is the loss of that.” – Heather Raffo
“I suggest that our value to national culture might lie in how open with each other we can be.” – Joanna Settle
“Noura…is a political show that could not be more timely in 2018. But the show never buckles under the immense weight of the pain Iraqi refugees have carried. They have faced war, and prejudice, and death, and battles to citizenship in countries all over the world. Noura pulses with this pain as its lifeblood and uses it to connect with the audience. The audience can’t help but feel something.” – DC Metro Theater Arts
Tania El Khoury - Gulf Premiere
Interactive Sound Installation | Performance (separate English and Arabic events)
When / Friday - Monday, Apr 27 - 30 - Various Times
Where / The Red Theater
An interactive sound installation sharing oral histories of ten ordinary people who were buried in Syrian gardens.
“even the dead will not be safe from the enemy if he wins.”– Walter Benjamin
Across Syria, many gardens conceal the dead bodies of activists and protesters who adorned the streets during the early periods of the uprising. These domestic burials play out a continuing collaboration between the living and the dead. The dead protect the living by not exposing them to further danger at the hands of the regime. The living protect the dead by conserving their identities, telling their stories, and not allowing their deaths to become instruments to the regime.
Gardens Speak is an interactive sound installation containing the oral histories of ten ordinary people who were buried in Syrian gardens. Each narrative has been carefully constructed with the friends and family members of the deceased to retell their stories as they themselves may have recounted it. They are compiled with found audio that evidences their final moments. Working with the friends and family of the deceased, the stories have been carefully constructed to be retold as they themselves may have recounted it.
“This piece will change the way you think” – What’s on Stage
“Eerily absorbing” – Evening Standard
“Out of the most specific experience, Tania El Khoury crafts something massive.” -Paul Mason, Channel 4
Tania El Khoury is a live artist working in London and Beirut. She creates interactive installations and performances in which the audience is an active collaborator. Tania’s work has been shown in five continents in spaces ranging from museums to cable cars. She is the recipient of the Total Theatre Innovation Award and the Arches Brick Award. Tania is co-founder of Dictaphone Group, an urban research and site-specific performance collective in Beirut.
- Shortlisted for the Artraker Award 2014
- Artsadmin Artist Bursary Scheme, London, 2013
Hosted by Warehouse421, Mina Zayed, Abu Dhabi
Meem Gallery presents works by Palestinian art historian and artist, Kamal Boullata. These paintings re created to reflect a sense of time and a feeling of light, giving the viewer a feeling a spatial ambiguity.