E-Issue 07 –– AUH
Winter 2023-24

January 29th, 2024

  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in Abu Dhabi/Dubai
  3. Cover Interview: Shaikha Al Ketbi on Darawan
  4. Rapport: Public Art in the Gulf and a Case Study of Manar Abu Dhabi
  5. Hashel Al Lamki’s Survey Exhibition Maqam Reflects on a Decade of Practice in Abu Dhabi
  6. “You Can’t Stand on a Movement”: Michelangelo Pistoletto Interviews Benton Interviewing Pistoletto

Winter/Spring 2024

About ––

    What We Do
    Editorial Board

Interviews ––

    Selected Archive

Open Call ––

    E-08 Seoul

Newsletter ––

Chronological Archive ––

    Selected Archive

Artist Interview November 18th, 2016
AUH Raed Yassin in Abu Dhabi

Editorial March 1st, 2018
AUH Abu Dhabi Is The New Calabasas

Exhibition Listing May 22nd, 2018
DXB Christopher Benton: If We Don't Reclaim Our History, The Sand Will

Artist Interview June 15th, 2018
TYO An Interview with BIEN, a Rising Japanese Artist

Artist Interview July 17th, 2018
TYO Rintaro Fuse on Selfies and Cave Painting

Artist Interview August 28th, 2018
BER Slavs and Tatars: “Pulling a Thread to Undo The Sweater”

Artist Interview September 1st, 2018
NYC Shirin Neshat In Conversation with Sophie Arni and Ev Zverev

Artist Interview September 1st, 2018
PAR Hottest Spices: Michèle Lamy

E-Issue 01 –– AUH/DXB
Summer 2020

August 1st, 2020

  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in the UAE
  3. Pop(Corn): Hashel Al Lamki
  4. Tailoring in Abu Dhabi
  5. Rapport: Dubai
  6. Michael Rakowitz From the Diaspora

Fall/Winter 2020-21

Artist Interview August 23rd, 2020
LHR/MCT Hanan Sultan Rhymes Frankincense with Minimalism

Artist Interview August 24th, 2020
DXB Augustine Paredes Taking Up Space

Artist Interview August 26th, 2020
AUH Sarah Almehairi Initiates Conversations

Market Interview August 28th, 2020
AUH/DXB 101 Pioneers Ethical and Curious Art Collecting

Exhibition September 1st, 2020
DXB Alserkal Arts Foundation Presents Mohamed Melehi

Market Interview September 4th, 2020
DXB Meet Tamila Kochkarova Behind ‘No Boys Allowed’

Artist Interview September 7th, 2020
DXB Taaboogah Infuses Comedy Into Khaleeji Menswear

Artist Interview September 10th, 2020
LHR/CAI Alaa Hindia’s Jewelry Revives Egyptian Nostalgia

Curator Interview September 14th, 2020
UAE Tawahadna Introduces MENA Artists to a Global Community

Exhibition Review September 24th, 2020
MIA a_part Gives Artists 36 Hours to React

Artist Interview September 27th, 2020
AUH BAIT 15 Welcomes New Member Zuhoor Al Sayegh

Market Interview October 14th, 2021
DXB Thaely Kicks Off Sustainable Sneakers

Exhibition Review October 19th, 2020
DXB Do You See Me How I See You?

Exhibition October 22nd, 2020
TYO James Jarvis Presents Latest Collages at 3110NZ

Exhibition Review October 22nd, 2020
AUH Ogamdo: Crossing a Cultural Highway between Korea and the UAE

Book Review October 28th, 2020
DAM Investigating the Catalogues of the National Museum of Damascus

Exhibition Review November 13th, 2020
Kanye Says Listen to the Kids: Youth Takeover at Jameel Arts Centre

Exhibition Review November 16th, 2021
DXB Melehi’s Waves Complicate Waving Goodbye

Exhibition Review November 19th, 2020
DXB Spotlight on Dubai Design Week 2020

Exhibition Review November 21st, 2020
DXB 101 Strikes Again with Second Sale at Alserkal Avenue

Exhibition Review
November 23rd, 2020

AUH SEAF Cohort 7 at Warehouse 421

Exhibition Review December 9th, 2020
SHJ Sharjah Art Foundation Jets Ahead on the Flying Saucer

Curator Interview January 25th, 2021
DXB Sa Tahanan Collective Redefines Home for Filipino Artists

Exhibition Review February 21st, 2021
GRV MIA Anywhere Hosts First Virtual Exhibition of Female Chechen Artists  

🎙️GAD Talk Series –– Season 1 2020

November 1st, 2020
1. What is Global Art Daily? 2015 to Now

November 16th, 2020
2. Where is Global Art Daily? An Open Coversation on Migration as Art Practitioners

November 29th, 2020
3. When the Youth Takes Over: Reflecting on the 2020 Jameel Arts Centre Youth Takeover

December 20th, 2020
4. Young Curators in Tokyo: The Making of The 5th Floor

January 27th, 2021
5. How To Create Digital Networks in The Art World?

E-Issue 02 –– NYC
Spring 2021

February 21st, 2021

  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in NYC
  3. Pop(Corn): Zeid Jaouni
  4. You Can Take The Girl Out Of The City
  5. Rapport: NYC
  6. Kindergarten Records Discuss The Future of Electronic Music
  7. Sole DXB Brings NY Hip-Hop To Abu Dhabi
  8. Wei Han Finds ‘Home’ In New York
  9. Vikram Divecha: Encounters and Negotiations

Spring/Summer 2021

Exhibition Review March 3rd, 2021
DXB There’s a Hurricane at the Foundry

Exhibition Review March 7th, 2021
AUH Re-viewing Contrasts: Hyphenated Spaces at Warehouse421

Curator Interview March 21st, 2021
DXB Permeability and Regional Nodes: Sohrab Hura on Curating Growing Like a Tree at Ishara Art Foundation

Exhibition March 28th, 2021
DXB Alserkal Art Week Top Picks

Exhibition Review April 1st, 2021
DXB A ‘Menu Poem’ and All That Follows

Exhibition Review April 5th, 2021
DXB A Riot Towards Landscapes

Exhibition April 16th, 2021
RUH Noor Riyadh Shines Light on Saudi Arabia’s 2030 Art Strategy

Artist Interview April 26th, 2021
CTU/AUH/YYZ Sabrina Zhao: Between Abu Dhabi, Sichuan, and Toronto

Exhibition Review April 27th, 2021
TYO BIEN Opens Two Solo Exhibitions in Island Japan and Parcel

Artist Interview April 28th, 2021
DXB Ana Escobar: Objects Revisited

Exhibition May 9th, 2021
LDN Fulfilment Services Ltd. Questions Techno-Capitalism on Billboards in London

Artist Interview May 11th, 2021
BAH Mihrab: Mysticism, Devotion, and Geo-Identity

Curator Interview May 20th, 2021
DXB There Is A You In The Cloud You Can’t Delete: A Review of “Age of You” at Jameel Arts Centre

Market Interview May 26th, 2021
TYO Startbahn, Japan’s Leading Art Blockchain Company, Builds a New Art Infrastructure for the Digital Age

Exhibition June 11th, 2021
TYO “Mimicry of Hollows” Opens at The 5th Floor

Exhibiton Review June 20th, 2021
AUH “Total Landscaping”at Warehouse 421

Artist Interview June 30th, 2021
OSA Rintaro Fuse Curates “Silent Category” at Creative Center Osaka

Exhibition Review August 9th, 2021
DXB “After The Beep”: A Review and Some Reflections

E-Issue 03 ––TYO
Fall 2021

October 1st, 2022

  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in TYO
  3. Pop(Corn): Nimyu
  4. Ahmad The Japanese: Bady Dalloul on Japan and Belonging
  5. Rapport: Tokyo
  6. Alexandre Taalba Redefines Virtuality at The 5th Floor
  7. Imagining Distant Ecologies in Hypersonic Tokyo: A Review of “Floating Between the Tropical and Glacial Zones”
  8. Ruba Al-Sweel Curates “Garden of e-arthly Delights” at SUMAC Space
  9. Salwa Mikdadi Reflects on the Opening of NYU Abu Dhabi’s Arab Center for the Study of Art

Fall/Winter 2021-22

Market Interview October 6th, 2021
RUH HH Prince Fahad Al Saud Discusses Saudi Arabia’s Artistic Renaissance

Exhibition October 7th, 2021
RUH Misk Art Institute’s Annual Flagship Exhibition Explores the Universality of Identity

Curator Interview October 15th, 2021
IST “Once Upon a Time Inconceivable”: A Review and a Conversation

Exhibition Review October 16th, 2021
AUH Woman as a Noun, and a Practice: “As We Gaze Upon Her” at Warehouse421

Exhibition Review February 11th, 2022

Artist Interview February 26th, 2022
TYO Akira Takayama on McDonald’s Radio University, Heterotopia, and Wagner Project

Artist Interview March 10th, 2022
DXB Prepare The Ingredients and Let The Rest Flow: Miramar and Zaid’s “Pure Data” Premieres at Satellite for Quoz Arts Fest 2022

Exhibition March 11th, 2022
DXB Must-See Exhibitions in Dubai - Art Week Edition 2022

Exhibition Review March 14th, 2022
DXB Art Dubai Digital, An Alternative Art World?

E-Issue 04 –– IST
Spring 2022

March 15th, 2022

  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in IST
  3. Pop(Corn): Refik Anadol
  4. Rapport: Istanbul
  5. Independent Spaces in Istanbul: Sarp Özer on Operating AVTO

Spring/Summer 2022

Curator Interview March 21st, 2022

Market Interview March 28th, 2022
DXB Dubai's Postmodern Architecture: Constructing the Future with 3dr Models

Exhibition April 23rd, 2022
HK Startbahn Presents “Made in Japan 3.0: Defining a New Phy-gital Reality”, an NFT Pop-Up at K11 Art Mall

Exhibition May 6th, 2022
Istanbul’s 5533 Presents Nazlı Khoshkhabar’s “Around and Round”

Artist Interview May 13th, 2022
“We Are Witnessing History”: Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian On Their Retrospective Exhibition at NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery

Artist Interview June 13th, 2022
DXB “Geometry is Everywhere”: An Interview and Walking Tour of Order of Magnitude, Jitish Kallat’s Solo Exhibition at Dubai’s Ishara Art Foundation

Exhibition June 21st, 2022
DXB Art Jameel Joins The World Weather Network in a Groundbreaking Response to Global Climate Crisis

Exhibition June 27th, 2022
What’s On in the UAE: Our Top Summer Picks

Curator Interview July 9th, 2022
IST Creating an Artist Books Library in Istanbul: Aslı Özdoyuran on BAS

E-Issue 05 –– VCE
Fall 2022

September 5th, 2022

  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in VCE
  3. Pop(Corn): UAE National Pavilion
  4. Rapport: Venice
  5. Zeitgeist of our Time: Füsun Onur for the Turkish Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale
  6. GAD’s Top Picks: National Pavilions
  7. Strangers to the Museum Wall: Kehinde Wiley’s Venice Exhibition Speaks of Violence and Portraiture
  8. Questioning Everyday Life: Alluvium by Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian at OGR Torino in Venice

Fall/Winter 2022-23

Market Interview June 28th, 2022
How Pearl Lam Built Her Gallery Between China and Europe

Exhibition November 11th, 2022
“Atami Blues” Brings Together UAE-Based and Japanese Artists in HOTEL ACAO ANNEX

Exhibition December 2nd, 2022
TYO Wetland Lab Proposes Sustainable Cement Alternative in Tokyo

Artist Interview December 9th, 2022
DXB Navjot Altaf Unpacks Eco-Feminism and Post-Pandemic Reality at Ishara Art Foundation

Artist Interview January 8th, 2023
TYO Shu Yonezawa and the Art of Animation

Artist Interview January 19th, 2023
NYC Reflecting on Her Southwestern Chinese Bai Roots, Peishan Huang Captures Human Traces on Objects and Spaces

Exhibition Review February 9th, 2023
DXB Augustine Paredes Builds His Paradise Home at Gulf Photo Plus

Artist Interview February 22nd, 2023
DXB Persia Beheshti Shares Thoughts on Virtual Worlds and the State of Video Art in Dubai Ahead of Her Screening at Bayt Al Mamzar

E-Issue 06 –– DXB/SHJ
Spring 2023

April 12th, 2023

  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in the UAE
  3. Pop(Corn): Jumairy
  4. Rapport: Art Dubai 2023
  5. Highlights from Sharjah Biennial 15
  6. Is Time Just an Illusion? A Review of "Notations on Time" at Ishara Art Foundation
  7. Saif Mhaisen and His Community at Bayt AlMamzar

DXB Christopher Joshua Benton to Debut Mubeen, City as Archive at The Third Line Shop in Collaboration with Global Art Daily

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Is Time Just an Illusion? A Review of "Notations on Time" at Ishara Art Foundation

By Harmehar Maini

Published on April 12th 2023

        “Time is your ally” - is a quote my mother reiterated since I was a child. While I only understand its deeper essence now, I do fathom that us humans are obsessed by the notion of time – something intangible, that nevertheless creates an illusion. Some might say time is an illusion. From Dali to Pippin, the concept of “time” has indeed received much attention throughout art history.

How we interpret time is a question that Notations on Time, an ongoing exhibition held at Ishara Art Foundation, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai, seeks to ask. Curated by Sandhini Poddar and Sabih Ahmed, Notations on Time is a group exhibition running until May 20, 2023 that comprises 20 artists from South Asia and its diaspora. The exhibition encourages a conversation between artistic generations that lays emphasis on connections between the past, present, and future.

1. Installation view. Haroon Mirza, Light Work xlix (2022). Shown in Notations on Time at Ishara Art Foundation, 2023. Image courtesy of Ishara Art Foundation and the Artist. Photo by Ismail Noor/Seeing Things.

While I have not viewed the exhibition in-person, my digital outlook through Ishara Foundation’s website and Instragram made me discover an artist selection I was very pleased with. I have been following Ayesha Sultana and Zarina & Dayanita Singh for a long time now. The theme of the exhibition, however, resonates with me the most. While having a look at the exhibition it struck me how seamlessly the curators picked different works of art that represent highly diverse forms of the notion with time. The works naturally flowed and were in sync with one another. The exhibition poses a good question - “where and how do we ‘read’ time?” The answer is simple if we notice beautifully natural and obvious things in front of us like bodies, skins, machines, rivers, landscapes, stars, and much more.

It is no secret that Dubai is making calculative strides to strengthen its status as one of the world’s leading creative hubs, and this has also become an advantage to the South Asian region. Because of its demographic makeup, the UAE understands and appreciates art other than Western art trends, which gives the UAE’s contemporary art scene a fresh personality. Over the past decade, South Asian artists have been receiving great attention thanks to Art Dubai, Sharjah Art Foundation, Volte Art Projects, Ishara Art Foundatation and many more venues. This creates a multifaceted scenario where artists, gallerists, and new-generation collectors benefit from one another.  Ishara has played a pivotal role in representing artists from South Asia, now and even in the past.

In this following interview, we take a multipolar, experimental form, in which some of the participating artists (Mariah Lookman, Sheba Chhachhi, and Anoli Perera) and the two curators of the exhibition (Sandhini Poddar and Sabih Ahmed) share multiple perspectives that we then weaved into one text. 

2. Above: Sandhini Poddar. Image courtesy of Andrew Testa. Bottom: Sabih Ahmed. Courtesy of Ishara Art Foundation.

Mehar Maini: Could you tell us about the process of making this exhibition? As curators, what has been your biggest learning?

Sabih Ahmed (S.A.): Notations on Time is an exhibition three years in the making. It started when Ishara extended an invitation to Sandhini to curate an exhibition in 2020, for which she developed an extraordinary framework for a show titled ‘A Laboratory of Time’. With all timelines coming to a halt due to the pandemic that year, the project was put on hold. When we resumed conversations, Sandhini wisely suggested that we go back to the drawing board because it would be impossible to speak about time in the same way again. As we read, researched, spoke to artists, and shared notes over the next two years, our ideas moved from experimenting with a laboratory, to thinking of the exhibition as a time-machine, to creating time-capsules, to marking time-stamps.

Over this period, she very generously extended the invitation for me to co-curate the exhibition along with her, and we finally arrived at the idea of ‘notations’. The title invoked the idea of marginalia and notes made on the margins of books where subjective interpretations and personal thoughts annotate the printed page. Another reference for the title was of musical notations on a score, which are at once silent and yet repositories of music. This led us to approach the exhibition in what Sandhini referred to as an archaeological site - layered and scattered with fragments belonging to distant yet connected histories.

The [exhibition] title invoked the idea of marginalia and notes made on the margins of books where subjective interpretations and personal thoughts annotate the printed page.

These ideas were formative for the curatorial direction and exhibition design. We were clear about what this exhibition was not going to be. We did not want it to be encyclopedic. Neither did we aspire for taxonomies or thematic divisions into categories. It was also not going to be about binaries such as east-versus-west; north-versus-south; objective-versus-subjective; or natural-versus-machinic notions of time. Instead, we wanted the exhibition to stage an interwoven field where artifacts put together convey complex stories and geographies around our understanding of time.

For Ishara, this is something my colleagues and I are deeply invested in, i.e., to keep experimenting with curatorial methodologies and exhibition-making in order to present a richer and more dynamic image of the world that is not constricted by borders.

Sandhini Poddar (S.P.): This exhibition germinated over a long period of time; its seeds were first planted prior to the pandemic. We therefore started anew and decided to include 20 practitioners, who are both residents across South Asia but also from the diaspora. Speaking for myself, my biggest learning has come in the form of audience responses to the exhibition, which, since it opened on January 18th, has proven to be aesthetically inviting, intellectually thought-provoking, and sensorily rewarding, from what has been shared with me thus far. It is gratifying when an interior intent—that of understanding the palimpsest of time—is shared and communicated with an audience and goes on to create reverberations of kinship.

We were clear about what this exhibition was not going to be. We did not want it to be encyclopedic.

M.M.: Could you please elaborate on your artist and artwork selection for this exhibition? Were there any specific criteria before selecting the works?

S.P.: This exhibition was borne of ideas, sensations, and questions, rather than from a list of artists or artworks. We knew that we wanted to open up different readings of time; how one can read time on bodies, skins, rivers, stars, and even songs. We wanted every artistic gesture to be diaristic or notational in form, likes haikus or couplets, veering away from grand gestures and statements. The artists selected hail from different generations, some are known to audiences in the UAE and some aren’t. They work across every media.

This exhibition was borne of ideas, sensations, and questions, rather than from a list of artists or artworks.


S.A.: As Sandhini has already mentioned, instead of starting out with a selection criteria, Sandhini and I began with reading how time is registered in different art practices and artworks. We collectively researched artists who have been deeply invested in working through historical traumas, on politics of care and healing, ecology and deep-time, on cultures and technologies memory keeping, on digital technologies and the attention economy.  While the two of us discussed artists from around the world, we slowly focused our inquiries to a question Sandhini raised around “what are the questions South Asia can ask globally through geography, history, cultural and temporalities?”

M.M.: What are some of the reading material, films and literature that informed your curation?

S.P.: I have always been interested in the notion of time as being multiple and non-linear, given my initial training in Indian philosophy and aesthetics. Rather than point to any specific books or films as source material—although there are many I could cite—I would say that I have been most inspired by architectural sites such as Sanchi and Borobudur (in Java) and the stories they tell of the Buddha’s life, or Rajput miniature paintings and how the trope of ‘continuous narrative’ enabled painters to show the passage of time within a single wasli folio. I also studied Hindustani classical music for over a decade and have always been interested in mythology, song, and oral traditions of storytelling.

S.A.: The citations that went into the making of this exhibition would be difficult to list here. Because of my decade long experience of archiving at Asia Art Archive, a reference I often found myself going back to was Michel Foucault’s formulation on ‘heterochronias’, where he talks about museums, libraries and archives as political apparatuses that accumulate time. This brings up the question, what are the times that museums accumulate? And what other times resist conventional narratives, rejecting accumulation as a method to tell history. Art practices seem to offer rich responses to how we can resist thinking about time based on a framework of accumulation that can be possessed by some and divested from others. Notations… is an attempt to explore such redistributions that art and exhibition making can offer.

M.M.: Could you illustrate through a couple of artworks how some of the ideas in the exhibition are conveyed?

S.P.: Zarina’s work, The Ten Thousand Things was inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s famous work, La Boîte-en-valise (box in a suitcase), in which Duchamp included miniature replicas of his artworks in portable suitcases. For Zarina, this ability to miniaturize her output, through archiving and reformulating fragments, scraps, and otherwise discarded bits of paper, enabled her to think through the question of nomadism and being in constant exile. It also gave her the ability to think over her own biography and peripatetic life as the wife of an Indian diplomat. Given her early training in mathematics, she was very interested in counting, and once told me how she was counting down towards her own death. Questions of mortality and immortality were certainly on my mind even prior to the pandemic, but became more pressing, as our very breadth came into question. This also leads me to the work of Ayesha Sultana, whose vulnerable and intimate markings on paper can be rhythmically understood through the pacing of inhalation and exhalation.

3. Zarina, Detail view of The Ten Thousand Things III (2016). Shown in Notations on Time at Ishara Art Foundation, 2023. Image courtesy of Ishara Art Foundation and the artist. Photo by Ismail Noor/Seeing Things.

4. Ayesha Sultana, Installation view of Breath Count XXI, XXII, XXIII (2021). Shown in Notations on Time at Ishara Art Foundation, 2023. Image courtesy of Ishara Art Foundation and the artist. Photo by Ismail Noor/Seeing Things.

S.A.: While we were aware that every artwork brought something singular and unique to this exhibition, Sandhini and I were looking at works in clusters so that when seen together, they produce a relational field of interlocked expressions – performing like a chorus, if you may. For instance, we have three instances of ‘generational time’ presented in this exhibition, through the juxtaposition of works by Lala Rukh and Mariah Lookman; Jangarh Singh Shyam and Jagdish Swaminathan; and, Gauri Gill with Rajesh Vangad and Ladhki Devi. In each instance, you can see how deeper aesthetic and political sensibilities are transmitted and shared between artists belonging to different generations that are not merely formal and stylistic resemblances. We had the wonderful opportunity to experience this more closely with a music playlist compiled by Mariah Lookman reminiscing about the time spent with her mentor and friend Lala Rukh, titled ‘… Saaz keheta hai is ko din mei na cchair’ (‘… the instrument says do not touch/tease/strum it during the day’). Another example is of Sheba Chhachhi Silver Sap, where you see a photographic portrait of a healer and care-giver presented in eight parts delicately depicting what Sandhini referred to as reading time on the body, on the skin and on hands. This work is encountered along with Soumya Sankar Bose’s ‘Where the Birds Never Sing’, that refers to reading time in the landscape, in the rivers and forests and how historical events tend to resurface around us. 

5. Ladhki Devi, Installation view of Agni Devi, Dasha Mata, Paani Naari and Savri Devi from the series Forms of the Devi (2020-21). Shown in Notations on Time at Ishara Art Foundation, 2023. Image courtesy of Ishara Art Foundation and the artist. Photo by Ismail Noor/Seeing Things.

M.M.: Which artworks or curatorial themes do you hope will resonate most with Dubai’s audiences visiting this exhibition?

S.P.: Given Dubai’s accelerated build-up over the past twenty years, and futurity always being implied in any venture in the UAE, I think that audiences will find themselves slowing down in this exhibition and enjoying the form in which the exhibition presents itself. We wanted to create clusters of artworks that would involve intimate conversations and deliberations as well as interesting sightlines across the exhibition space wherein certain themes start to echo across artworks, rebound and refract, creating a sense that there are multiple itineraries that one can embark on. 

Given Dubai’s accelerated build-up over the past twenty years, and futurity always being implied in any venture in the UAE, I think that audiences will find themselves slowing down in this exhibition.

S.A.: This exhibition was conceived keeping the context of the UAE in mind, where the public sphere comprises of local residents as well as a high traffic of people that travel here. It is one of those places where anyone you meet is intimately aware or least two time-zones if not more. Much like one knows of bi-lingual and tri-lingual people, I believe we have bi-temporal and tri-temporal people who are living in multiple time-zones as a way to preserve and nourish the itineraries that form their milieus and relationships. The exhibition’s emphasis on the different registers of experiencing time is therefore deeply connected to this context.

Much like one knows of bi-lingual and tri-lingual people, I believe we have bi-temporal and tri-temporal people who are living in multiple time-zones.

M.M.: In your own words, how do you think an artist’s current geographical location, versus hometown, affects and reflects on their works?

Mariah Lookman: I am not quite sure as to how I would answer your question. Affect and Reflect are classic terms in the arts and culture speak- perhaps overused too. It depends on the individual’s practice or interest. Too often we, as artists from the Global South, are framed or perceived in such a way that we are expected to speak from our experiences (mostly expected to be about one miserable thing or the other). We are also expected to perform the role of the native informant: the colonial experience and a post-colonial subject, our plight as an economic migrant, exile as in self or even as a refugee, as a woman, specifically about women’s rights in one’s so-called third world hometown. [It would be different if] for instance if the artist is based in say Berlin or any other city in the Global North. I think we need to be alert to this alterity of this gaze, framing, and the politics therein.

Too often we, as artists from the Global South, are framed or perceived in such a way that we are expected to speak from our experiences (mostly expected to be about one miserable thing or the other).

M.M.: Turning to some of artists featured in this exhibition, if you had to pick one benefit, or lesson, from this exhibition, what would it be?

Anoli Perera: It is a great show that has brought together some powerful works that presents multiple interpretations of time through their works. One gets to think more on about the conventional segmentation of time into past, present and future. I wonder if past and future are part of the present where present becomes a shared space.

Mariah Lookman: I was delighted to be invited to participate in the exhibition. The greatest personal benefit was to be able to visit the foundation and meet the team in Dubai and connecting with other artists- Sheba in particular and especially my conversations with Sabih and Himanshu.

Sheba Chhachhi: That it is possible to build a multi-layered, socially grounded nuanced reading of time through very diverse artworks and practices.

M.M.: To all, what is your definition of time?

S.P.: I don’t have a definition of time. Time has a dimensionality akin to space, it is sculptural.

Time is sculptural.

S.A.: Transformation.

Anoli Perera: To me, time is measured in moments that intercept so many fields of energy, that offer a larger spectrum of possibilities. It is certainly not linear.

Mariah Lookman: Time is a substance and goes by very quickly- it slips away like sand in the desert. It waits for no one. Therefore, every second and every moment is precious. To be conscious of this is what I try to do. It is multiple and it is singular, it is collective, just as it is solitary. It is linear as in the calendar but also cyclical as time is set on the movement of the stars and planets. Does it come back? No, just as no two days are ever the same.

6. Aziz Hazara, Installation view of Monument (2019). Shown in Notations on Time at Ishara Art Foundation, 2023. Image courtesy of Ishara Art Foundation and the artist. Photo by Ismail Noor/Seeing Things.

Time slips away like sand in the desert. It waits for no one.

Sheba Chhachhi: I understand time as being constructed of multiple, simultaneously co-existing temporalities. The image I have of time is like an archaeological dig, akin to drawings of a slice through the earth revealing multiple geological strata - the past, present, and future are all present in a single moment.

Harmehar Maini is an aspiring curator and art writer. She was born in Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir, however moved from her home town to study in a boarding school in fourth grade. After completing her bachelors from OP Jindal Global University, in Global Affairs, she shortly shifted to UAE to pursue arts and real estate. She has worked with Indian Art Fair, Art Dubai and Devi Art Foundation.  

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