Ishara Signs, Symbols & Shared Languages

Mar 06,2018

UAE Unlimited’s fourth annual exhibition has opened at Concrete in Alserkal Avenue. Commissioned by UAE Unlimited, in collaboration with Alserkal Programming, and supported by the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, the exhibition will run until 1 April 2018. The exhibition opened in the presence of H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Founder and patron of UAE Unlimited, H.E. Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, Mohammad Al-Murr, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Arabic Language Award and Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal, Founder of Alserkal Avenue, Alserkal Programming and Concrete.

Ishara is curated by Karim Sultan and features new works by 10 UAE-based artists as well as a work by guest artists Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian that they describe as ‘visual poetry’.

“As our exhibitions have developed over the years, so too, have the size and scale of the artworks. With this year's edition, our commissioned artists were given the opportunity to produce artworks that would be on display in this spectacular space, Concrete; to experiment with proportions found only in leading global museums,” says H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan.

“We are proud to have Concrete—a space re-imagined for the purpose of showcasing world-class talent—be part of UAE Unlimited’s journey through the Emirates. Art and culture have an immeasurable impact on our sense of identity and purpose and joining hands to further the cause of arts and culture helps us widen our reach,” added Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal.

The ten artists—Amna Al Dabbagh, Cheb Moha, Chndy, Dina Khorchid, Farah Al Qasimi, Flounder Lee, Nasir Nasrallah, Saba Qizilbash, Salem Al Mansoori, and Shaikha Al Ketbi—created works for the exhibition that were thematically informed by the idea of lingua franca, and the understanding of the meaning and use of language. In Arabic, Ishara, denotes ‘sign’—the most basic form of communication, and refers to the linguistic marks, gestures and indications, as well as commonly used signals that transcend language, like those used in traffic or urban spaces. The artists have responded to the theme through a diverse set of practices and approaches, from drawing and print-making to immersive video works and responsive installations.

Dubai-based guest artists, Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh, and Hesam Rahmanian played an important role in mentoring the commissioned artists and providing guidance to help grow their practices. This format of mentorship has been central to UAE Unlimited’s exhibitions since its inception in 2015.

This year Ishara is also including two projects by local creatives who are experimenting digitally. Chndy and Cheb Moha will each be developing projects on Instagram accounts that deal with the themes of language and communication. Viewers can access them on screens and iPads in the exhibition but also on their own devices and follow throughout the exhibition.

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