Nujoom Alghanem, Sara Al Haddad, Vikram Divecha, Lantian Xie and Dr. Mohamed Yousif have been named the five artists representing the UAE at the 57th Venice Biennale this year. The exhibition, titled “Rock, Paper, Scissors: Positions in Play” from May 13 to November 26, will feature the work of the five artists who are all UAE nationals or long term residents.
Commissioned by the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation and supported by the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, the pavilion has been curated by Hammad Nasar. Themed around the idea of play and playfulness in artistic practice, the exhibition brings together existing works, re-fabricated of ‘lost’ works and new commissions.
“Through the artists’ diverse and distinctive practices, we believe that this exhibition will bring to life wider cultural and societal ideas around how ‘play’ functions in the world – as a source of vitality and a method of navigation” says Hammad Nasar.
This is the UAE’s fifth participation at the Venice Biennale and a book will be produced to complement the show, containing additional works and newly commissioned texts by artists, architects and writers, responding to the idea of play.
Alongside this institutions across the UAE will also extend the curatorial concept with exhibitions on the theme of play, with those confirmed including Sharjah Art Foundation, The Art Gallery at NYU Abu Dhabi, Alserkal Programming, Tashkeel, Maraya Art Centre and Warehouse421. More information on these programmes will be released soon.
“We see this exhibition as a contribution and extension to an ongoing conversation that continues beyond the time of the exhibition, and that the programing generated by each institution as a starting point for ongoing discussions,” says Khulood Al Atiyat, manager of Arts, Culture and Heritage at the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation. “These events will take multiple forms, including artist talks, workshops, game sessions, a film series, or artist interventions.”
The National Pavilion United Arab Emirates - la Biennale di Venezia (NPUAE) will run from May 13 to November 26, preview from 10 to 12 May.