E-Issue 03 –– TYO Fall 2021
  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
E-03++ Fall/Winter 2021-22
AUH Woman as a Noun, and a Practice: “As We Gaze Upon Her” at Warehouse421
AAN The Labor of Art and the Art of Labor: Christopher Benton on His First Exhibition in Al Ain
IST “Once Upon a Time Inconceivable”: A Review and a Conversation
RUH Misk Art Institute’s Annual Flagship Exhibition Explores the Universality of Identity
RUH HH Prince Fahad Al Saud Discusses Saudi Arabia’s Artistic Renaissance
DXB
Engage101 Presents “Connected, Collected” at Sotheby’s Dubai

E-Issue 02
––
NYC Spring 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

E-02++ Spring/Summer 2021
DXB “After The Beep”: A Review and Some Reflections
OSA Rintaro Fuse Curates “Silent Category” at Creative Center Osaka
AUH “Total Landscaping”at Warehouse 421
TYO “Mimicry of Hollows” Opens at The 5th Floor
TYO Startbahn, Japan’s Leading Art Blockchain Company, Builds a New Art Infrastructure for the Digital Age
DXB There Is A You In The Cloud You Can’t Delete: A Review of “Age of You” at Jameel Arts Centre
BAH Mihrab: Mysticism, Devotion, and Geo-Identity
LDN Fulfilment Services Ltd. Questions Techno-Capitalism on Billboards in London
DXB Ana Escobar: Objects Revisited
TYO BIEN Opens Two Solo Exhibitions in Island Japan and Parcel
CTU/AUH/YYZ Sabrina Zhao: Between Abu Dhabi, Sichuan, and Toronto
RUH Noor Riyadh Shines Light on Saudi Arabia’s 2030 Art Strategy
DXB A Riot Towards Landscapes
DXB A ‘Menu Poem’ and All That Follows
DXB Alserkal Art Week Top Picks 
DXB Permeability and Regional Nodes: Sohrab Hura on Curating Growing Like a Tree at Ishara Art Foundation
AUH Re-viewing Contrasts: Hyphenated Spaces at Warehouse421
DXB There’s a Hurricane at the Foundry

E-Issue 01 –– AUH/DXB Summer 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

E-01++ Fall/Winter 2020-21
GRV MIA Anywhere Hosts First Virtual Exhibition of Female Chechen Artists    
DXB Sa Tahanan Collective Redefines Home for Filipino Artists
SHJ Sharjah Art Foundation Jets Ahead on the Flying Saucer
AUH SEAF Cohort 7 at Warehouse 421 
DXB 101 Strikes Again with Second Sale at Alserkal Avenue
DXB Spotlight on Dubai Design Week 2020
DXB Melehi’s Waves Complicate Waving Goodbye
DXB Kanye Says Listen to the Kids: Youth Takeover at Jameel Arts Centre
DAM Investigating the Catalogues of the National Museum of Damascus
AUH Ogamdo: Crossing a Cultural Highway between Korea and the UAE
TYO James Jarvis Presents Latest Collages at 3110NZ
DXB Do You See Me How I See You?
DXB Thaely Kicks Off Sustainable Sneakers
AUH BAIT 15 Welcomes New Member Zuhoor Al Sayegh
MIA a_part Gives Artists 36 Hours to React

UAE Tawahadna Introduces MENA Artists to a Global Community
LHR/CAI Alaa Hindia’s Jewelry Revives Egyptian Nostalgia
DXB Taaboogah Infuses Comedy Into Khaleeji Menswear
DXB Meet Tamila Kochkarova Behind ‘No Boys Allowed’
DXB Alserkal Arts Foundation Presents Mohamed Melehi
AUH/DXB 101 Pioneers Ethical and Curious Art Collecting
AUH Sarah Almehairi Initiates Conversations
DXB Augustine Paredes Taking Up Space
LHR/MCT Hanan Sultan Rhymes Frankincense with Minimalism
BEY GAD Map: Arts & Culture Relief for Beirut

E-Issues Info
––
    1. Mission
    2. Schedule

    3. Editorial Board
    4. Contributors
 
GAD Info ––
    1. About Global Art Daily
    2. Archive
§§ Year 2018
    NYC Shirin Neshat In Conversation with Sophie Arni and Ev Zverev
    PAR Hottest Spices: Michèle Lamy
    BER Slavs and Tatars: “Pulling a Thread to Undo The Sweater”
   AUH Abu Dhabi Is The New Calabasas

GAD Talk Series ––
    1. What is GAD? 2015 to Now

    2. Where is GAD? An Open Coversation on Migration as Art Practitioners

    3. When the Youth Takes Over: Reflecting on the 2020 Jameel Arts Centre Youth Takeover
   4. Young Curators in Tokyo: The Making of The 5th Floor
    5. How To Create Digital Networks in The Art World?

Open Call ––
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There’s a Hurricane at the Foundry


By Sarah Daher

Published on March 3rd, 2021

        For a short week beginning at the end of February and continuing through March 3rd, in the pristine and unassuming 5th gallery of Emaar’s newly minted Foundry, a hurricane can be found. It isn’t often that one encounters such a collision of forces in this perfectly varnished corner of Dubai. Engage101’s most recent sale themed to the term Placeless Place brings together a selection of brilliant new works by Sara Ahli and a public program brimming with the energy of three of the UAE’s most exciting emerging creative collectives.

This isn’t the first of Engage101’s successes. An initiative headed by the enterprising duo Gaith Abdulla and Munira Al Sayegh, their third sale follows in the wake of two precedent-setting shows in 2020 where works by unrepresented locally based artists were exhibited and overwhelmingly sold. Their calendar of curated quarterly art sales marks an important shift in the attitude towards collecting art in the UAE, not only making commercial art more accessible to new and young collectors but also nurturing early and mid-career artists.

1. Sara Ahli, Balloon Stacks 4, 2021. Courtesy of Engage 101.  


2. Installation view. Engage 101 third sale, Placeless Place, February 2021, Foundry by Emaar. Courtesy of Engage 101.  



This isn’t the first of Engage101’s successes. 




In her first exhibition since the closing of the SEAF show at Warehouse421 in December, Ahli presents a progression of her practice that promises an exciting future full of experimentation. Speaking with the artist it is impossible to miss the vibrancy with which she describes her work: dreaming of materials, future repetitions of sculptures, and potential paths of artistic development.

Her balloon sculptures which first caught my eye when I saw them in Abu Dhabi a few months earlier reappear in Dubai in a new iterative form. The stacks of brightly coloured plaster bodies stand resolutely opposite equivalent stacks in neutral nude tones. If there had ever been a doubt that Ahli had the body in mind when producing her pileups of soft-but-hardened figures, Placeless Place puts these doubts to rest.

3. Sara Ahli, Balloon Stacks 6, 2021. Courtesy of Engage 101.  



If there had ever been a doubt that Ahli had the body in mind when producing her pileups of soft-but-hardened figures, Placeless Place puts these doubts to rest.




These works become even more layered and complex when put under duress. In her Clenched Figures series the glossy resin balloons are disfigured by a clamp. These dysmorphic objects of youthful nostalgia speak to the notion of the body as a site for conflicting impulses. One begins to imagine the ways in which Sara Ahli’s art interrupts the untarnished veneer of Downtown Dubai.

4. Sara Ahli, Clenched Figures 7, 2021. Courtesy of Engage 101.  



One begins to imagine the ways in which Sara Ahli’s art interrupts the untarnished veneer of Downtown Dubai.




New experiments in medium, borne of her brief two-week long residency with Engage101, calcify into installations of skin and bones. But when Ahli spills the body into the gallery, Ahli does it with grace; a waterfall of pigmented silicone rubber (Skin) lies elegantly against the white gallery wall and a slightly scoliotic row of plaster vertebrae (Collection of Bones: A Spine) sits atop an ankle-high plinth like an unperturbed archaeological relic.

5. Sara Ahli, Skin, 2021. Courtesy of Engage 101.  

6. Sara Ahli, Collection of Bones: A Spine, 2021. Courtesy of Engage 101.  

The sculptural form, traditionally inanimate, is animated many times over in Placeless Place. A video installation (Just For Your Eyes/Forced Gestures of Intent on Memory Foam) shows a morsel of memory foam uncoiling itself and recoiling itself in a perpetual loop. A photographic print (Under Pressure) documents a moment in Ahli’s creative process of destruction where a hammer has struck a plaster balloon body. The moment is still but the implied action feels fossilized at its moment of peak energy, an Emax per se.


7. Sara Ahli, Just For Your Eyes, 2021. Courtesy of Engage 101.  

8. Sara Ahli, Pressed Into Pressure, 2021. Courtesy of the artist.



The moment is still but the implied action feels fossilized at its moment of peak energy, an Emax per se.




But the show’s most exciting animation comes in the form of its threefold public program. Sa Tahanan Co. kicks off the series with an evening poetry performance of responsive texts. Platforming the voices of Pinoy artists, the freshly formed collective, occupies the space for an hour entering into a non-literal and, by consequence, intimate discourse with Ahli’s exhibition.

The two other programs work hand in glove to continue in the spirit of Engage101’s reconfiguring of arts appreciation in the UAE. An online critique session led by an abundance of Sara(h)’s opens up a conversation between the curators of Banat Collective, Sara bin Safwan and Sarah Alagroobi, and the artist herself, Sara Ahli. Bin Safwan and Alagroobi invite audience members to embrace a critical lens in their viewership encouraging a reflection on the wider experience of womanhood within the region.



The show’s most exciting animation comes in the form of its threefold public program.




The final program led by Postscript magazine, a locally-based online publication founded by talented co-editors Zoe Patterson and Vamika Sinha, invites participants to join a workshop on three forms of art writing: flash fiction/poetry, journalism, and automatic writing. Colliding the worlds of text and art the workshop pushes the boundaries of formal practice.

One almost forgets that all of this is brought together under the umbrella of a seven-day long show. This veritable windfall of contemporary work leaves the Foundry imminently, so, as any local would tell you of a weather event in the UAE, get out there and make the most of it right this moment.






Engage 101’s Placeless Place curated sale closes this March 3rd, 2021 at Foundry by Emaar (Downtown Dubai).
To purchase Sara Ahli’s individual works, visit Engage101’s website.
Follow Engage101 on Instagram.

Sarah Daher is a curator and researcher who graduated with a BA in Theater and Economics from New York University Abu Dhabi and is currently completing her Masters in Curating Contemporary Art at the Royal College of Art in London. She is based between the UAE and London. She cares about the role of art in building and preserving communities and shared identities.