Catalogue design by Tarek Atrissi Design Studio
Project Management Curating Cultures – Kuwait
The Catalogue will be available on our website soon
Worldmaking within Politics of Sight and Space:
ARAK collection’s core mission lies in an appreciation for art and its ability to facilitate conversations, relationships, and knowledge. The collection’s approach to art differs from others in the region as it focuses on taking a communal and educational approach to the process of collecting. As the collection tries to harness new emerging talents in the scene that offer a fresh perspective on how art is perceived and approached in the twenty-first century. ARAK is a collective for lovers of art from all over the globe to learn from and enjoy its collection. ARAK is interested in the lived experiences of its artist’s and the countries, regions, villages, and people they belong to.
ARAK’s first exhibition showcases those core values while offering an exciting look at the potential that Sub-Saharan and African Contemporary Art can bring to the Arab Gulf’s perspective as well as the world. That is why their first exhibition “Worldmaking within Politics of Sight and Space” is so exciting in its interdisciplinary approach to art, politics, and the self. It sets forth to answer questions of self-expression and identity through material and spatial perspectives within the artworks. It also touches on the timely subject of alienation from material space, especially during a global pandemic and our increased online presence. The exhibition’s main theme of “Worldmaking” comes from Nelson Goodman’s use of the word,
which refers to the active performance of experiencing the world. By centring worldmaking, this exhibition wills the viewer to actively engage with the artist’s visions in their works and the dual local and global perspective they showcase. The exhibition boasts artists from Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, and Mozambique whose works range in style, substance, and meaning to showcase a wide view of what the contemporary art scene in East Africa has to offer. Each artist in the exhibition taps into their local geographical spaces to express an identity that otherwise would not be seen in the mainstream global art world. Their works reflect the duality of belonging to a local place while living in a larger globalized space.
The exhibition has been curated by Sarah Abdu Bushra. Sarah is a curator of visual and performing arts exhibitions. She’s a co-founder of Contemporary Nights, an Addis Ababa based curatorial forum. In her creative research practice, Sarah works with performing artists looking at the body and its representations as a focal point of exploration and the body as a metaphor to navigate Ethiopian and East African contemporary identity. Sarah has written a book, Movements Mean More, which explores the theme of the body through documenting traditional dances. The book navigates Ethiopia’s history and culture by weaving contemporary identity into movements. Sarah is the recipient of the first ARAK curatorial residency fellowship.
As part of ARAK’s intention to be a collective for art lovers and experts alike, there will be an interactive element to the exhibition called “Building Meta-Text” wherein the audience will participate in an activity to add to the curatorial statement of the exhibition. Through this exercise, the exhibition’s main message will come through, as worldmaking comes to life through the audience’s words interactions with the curator’s message and the artist’s pieces.
ARAK’s first exhibition “Worldmaking within Politics of Sight and Space” offers a timely and important message of connection and comradery through an appreciation of art. It has been an awe-inspiring journey to witness my father’s passion for art grow into the ARAK collection, and a pleasure to have written the introduction for ARAK’s first exhibition. This is only the beginning of many more exciting exhibitions and activities for the collection, and I hope it inspires many more people to share our family’s love and appreciation for art in all its forms.
Introduction by –
Muneera Abdulrahman Alkhelaifi