Curator and theme announced for UAE’s exhibition at 2017 Venice Art Biennale

Hammad Nasar has been appointed as the curator of the UAE exhibition for the 2017 International Art Exhibition at la Biennale di Venezia (Venice Art Biennale).

Nasar is a curator, writer and currently head of research programmes at Asia Art Archive in Hong Kong.

The exhibition will explore the theme of play through contemporary  artistic practices and experimentation within the UAE, taking inspiration from Emirati veteran artists such as Hasan Sharif.

It also aims to stage a collective conversation through imaging and non-linear exploration of art, between projects selected from UAE-based contemporary artists.

“Hammad brings deep curatorial expertise and extensive international experience, and we feel confident that his exhibition will present a unique and interesting look at the art of the UAE,” said Khulood Al Atiyat, manager of Arts, Culture and Heritage at the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, the commissioners of the UAE Pavilion.

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“As an emerging global center, the UAE is developing a dynamic and rapidly maturing arts scene in conversation with cultures around the world, but rooted in a sense of place,” said Nasar.

“The exhibition I have conceived for the National Pavilion UAE explores the playful approach characteristic of iconic Emirati artists whose works draw on gestures, actions and schemes accumulated over time through creative experimentation – a distinctive approach which has become embedded as one prominent strand in the very DNA of artistic practice in the Emirates.

“UAE’s exhibition for 2017 considers how this approach to art-making is reflected in the practices of a diverse group of contemporary artists practicing in the Emirates across the last four decades. It will build a playful set of conversations between complex artistic practices, diverse demographics, and the growing cultural ecology of the UAE.”

The current exhibition at the National Pavilion UAE’s permanent space in Venice is Transformations: The Emirati National Housecurated by Yasser Elsheshtwaly, exploring the architectural development of ‘sha’bi houses’ which were built across the UAE in the 1970s to offer modern amenities to a transient population.