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

Curators Interview May 14, 2024
AUH Embracing Change through an Open System: Maya Allison and Duygu Demir on “In Real Time” at NYUAD Art Gallery

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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We Could Call This an -Ism: ‘Desert Displacements’ at Lawrie Shabibi

By Daniel H. Rey
Published on February 8, 2024

        A known piece of wisdom paraphrases that nobody is a prophet in their own land. These words prove timely in Lawrie Shabibi’s latest show. Peruvian artist Ishmael Randall Weeks greets Dubai in a bold gallery solo titled ‘Desert Displacements,’ but, what exactly is being displaced? And in which desert are the artworks preaching?

Nested in a corner facing one of Alserkal Avenue’s entrances, Lawrie Shabibi is a fairly monumental site: a large sign, a two-storey warehouse, and a roster of artists making Venice moves, London sprints and among the Gulf’s hottest public art feats. Entering the gallery, I am greeted by a wall text whose handful of paragraphs beg the question, who wrote them? I am left hungry for first-person words from one of the six Latin American artists represented by a gallery in the Emirates.

1. Installation view, Ishmael Randall-Weeks, Desert Displacements, 11 Jan - 9 Feb 2024. Photo by Ismail Noor of Seeing Things. Courtesy of the artist and Lawrie Shabibi.

The wall text authorship query doesn’t last me long. In a world where the Tex-Mex sombrero has become a meme, I see a familiar Andean hat as part of a work levitating a few feet off the gallery’s floor. With the hat, a few birds sit on windowsills. In a walkthrough of the show, the artist mentions flying birds helping him strike a parallel between the symbolism of falcons in the Gulf and the Andes. Randall Weeks’ previous showings in Dubai have abstained from much representation of living species or humans even, but the birds in this solo chirp the clear message that flying animals, contemporary humans and artworks follow migratory patterns that traverse the sky.

Before we reach other parts of the show, Randall Weeks’ work makes me think about birdwatching having commonalities with galleries watching artists. This requires curiosity, subtlety, research, and… an eye. With this, experiencing the solo show of a Peruvian practitioner in Dubai feels huge. Representing a South American artist in a fellow underrepresented region is very telling of where Dubai’s place in the arts is headed: compressing the distances between “Global South” artists and their foreign audiences without a need for intermediaries north of Mexico or Morocco. The exhibitions’ multiple parts are a few exercises of acercamientos / rapprochements / التقارب  / approximations? to the Gulf, to the Levant, to Peru and, Dubai-ly enough, to the future.

Representing a South American artist in a fellow underrepresented region is very telling of where Dubai’s place in the arts is headed: compressing the distances between “Global South” artists and their foreign audiences without a need for intermediaries north of Mexico or Morocco.

2. IIshmael Randall Weeks, Retablo IV, 2023, Bronze, Grout 700, corrugated steel, notebooks and pencils, 200 x 120 x 5 cm. Photographed by Juan Pablo Murrugarra. Courtesy of the artist and Lawrie Shabibi.

The star of the show is a foldable work of brass frames and concrete fillings with insertions of pencils, crayons and school stationery. A Peruvian branded notebook with late 20th century psychedelic motifs reveals itself as one of three panels fold. The work, more than a playful trip down memory lane, is the artist’s timely regret of many children’s deprivation from education and learning opportunities amid the ongoing war in Gaza. The gesture is a skillful reflection on a crisis making ripples around the world, with Peru not being the exception.

3. Installation view, Ishmael Randall-Weeks, Desert Displacements, 11 Jan - 9 Feb 2024. Photo by Ismail Noor of Seeing Things. Courtesy of the artist and Lawrie Shabibi.

With an aching heart, how does one navigate the show further? On the opposite side of the room the metallic casting of an olive tree branch makes two appearances. The artist speaks of their longevity and importance throughout history. The room links this to the Mediterranean world and the subsequent arrival of the olive tree in the Americas by way of Spain. The olive tree branch is a bridge between Peru and the Arab World, and also a form of punctuating geographies throughout the show. In Randall Weeks’ words, “the exhibition space is where you put periods and commas.” So with this, what stories are paused, stopped or resumed in the exhibition? And, at this stage, what are the desert references in the show?

A levitating work with tiles and a futuristic arrangement in a curve seems to have the clues. The artist’s observations in Peru’s Samaca Valley led him to focus on geometries, particularly the curvature of desert dunes, and their possible reading as parabolas. Rather than serving a mathematical purpose, the parabola here seems to serve more of a conceptual reference: parabolic antennas, things having an effect in seemingly unrelated places, and, why not, the invisible evolutionary links between places, people, and knowledge.

The exhibition space is where you put periods and commas.

- Ishmael Randall Weeks

‘Desert Displacements’ inhabits a riveting tension: a broad wall-text edging Orientalist undertones versus a detailed articulation of the European influences in the artist’s work. The detailed sculptural gestures of the show clash occasionally with the vague treatment of the geographies they refer to. “Arabian” and “Pre-Columbian” feel too broad for a show with such specific imagery and underlying research connecting the Arab World and the Americas. What counterweights the geographical scrumbles of the wall text are the artist’s thoughtful placement of his work in dialogue with art and architecture histories, these—for better or worse—European. Randall Weeks’ traces influences in his works in the show back to Bauhaus, Russian Constructivism, and his engagement with the work of Spanish-born architect Félix Candela. To his credit, there is something refreshing about artists locating their work in wider art historical genealogies.

Architectural elements increase the size and volume of the show, both in the main hall and its appendix room. Folding structures, panels and mini cabinets add storage, privacy, movement and depth to the show’s material investigations. Randall Weeks’ architectural references in his works make this a show of sliding, concealing, undigging, rotating and revealing, a show of possibilities. The books-in-concrete-blocks that have made him world famous, a series of 100 pieces titled Codigos, are partly present in the gallery and speak to the artist's empirical archaeological samplings of the built environment in his home base of Lima. At the back of the room, a grid of concrete and glass panels that can be rotated echo the artist’s conviction that “play and exploration are very important in art."

4. Installation view, Ishmael Randall-Weeks, Desert Displacements, 11 Jan - 9 Feb 2024. Photo by Ismail Noor of Seeing Things. Courtesy of the artist and Lawrie Shabibi.

5. Installation view, Ishmael Randall-Weeks, Desert Displacements, 11 Jan - 9 Feb 2024. Photo by Ismail Noor of Seeing Things. Courtesy of the artist and Lawrie Shabibi.

Structurally and thematically, Desert Displacements is a tangible commentary on the adaptability that current life needs —as well as its limitations, abandoned histories, ruminations and material nostalgias. Ishmael Randall Weeks is pursuing what we could conclude by terming “tangiblism:” transforming speculations about relegated pasts and once distant places into the material consciousness of existing in more than one place. With roots in Lima and presented in Dubai, Desert Displacements professes that we are closer than we imagine, and that our physical existence—as unpredictable as sand dunes—functions with more commonalities than we presume.

‘Desert Displacements’ is on view at Lawrie Shabibi Gallery, Dubai until 9 February 2024.

Daniel H. Rey researches, programs and curates between soils and Wi-Fis. His work is concerned with communities in the “Global South”: how they cross-pollinate, communicate, host, and experience hostility. Today, Daniel coordinates public programs at Art Jameel. In parallel, he has launched Almacén المخزن Armazém, a multimedia research project archiving and exhibiting creative practices tied to Latin America and the Arab world. Daniel feels at home in Asunción, Oslo, Dubai, and possibly Mars.

Ishmael Randall-Weeks (b. 1976)’s practice encompasses installations, sculpture and video to works on paper. In these works, issues of urbanization, transformation, regeneration, escape, collapse and nomadic existence have been predominant. While the work in the drawing studio serves as a means for a more intimate exploration of these issues, the foundation of his larger scale work lies in the alteration of found and recycled materials and environmental debris, often on site (including such source materials as aged books and printed matter, empty tins, old tires, bicycles, boat parts and building construction fragments) that are often altered to create sculptural objects and architectural spaces. These works take the visual form of functional objects while stripping them of their productivity to address notions of labor and utility, forcing an examination of our understanding of culturally specific forms while simultaneously exploiting and adapting their particular codes and associations.

Lawrie Shabibi was founded in 2010 and opened its doors in early 2011 in Alserkal Avenue, located within the light industrial warehouse district of Al Quoz in Dubai.  The gallery’s initial focus was on the practices of emerging contemporary artists from the Middle East and North Africa (the “Global South”), and in the last five years it has introduced artists from other regions and generations, yet with the same focus on the “underrepresented”. A major focus remains the support of artists from the diaspora who create work in all media to explore issues such as identity, memory, history and socio-political issues specific to the diasporic experience.  Another part of the programme is to organise art historical exhibitions, working with an older generation of artists. Of note are the historic shows presented for the Moroccan pioneer Mohamed Melehi (1936-2020) and most recently Iraqi/French Mehdi Moutashar (b.1943).