Art Jameel, a non-profit organization that supports arts, education, and heritage in the Middle East, today announced the launch of the second Collection Focus, which is dedicated to a major work by Hazem El Mestikawy at Project Space Art Jameel, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai.
AlifBeh (2006-2009) is a sculptural installation that comprises 60 parts representing 30 Arabic letters based on the idea of negative and positive, suspended and placed on the floor. AlifBeh is accompanied by a set of drawings, in part a study for the installation. The exhibition is part of a series that features key works from the Jameel Art Collection, in advance of the opening of the Jameel Arts Centre Dubai in winter 2018.
Commenting on the exhibition, Antonia Carver, Art Jameel’s Director said: “We are delighted to host Hazem El Mestikawy in Dubai for the opening of this Collection Focus, featuring his major work, Alef Beh. All are welcome to come along and meet the artist at Project Space Art Jameel, Alserkal Avenue, on Monday, May 22, and visit the exhibition throughout its run. Hazem has a remarkable interest in form and material, transforming cardboard and recycled paper into intricate, geometric sculptural shapes. He has been an integral part of the Egyptian scene, and a strong influence on other artists, for many years.”
El Mestikawy cites both aesthetic and environmental reasons for his choice of material; as he has explained, “I love the construction, and I love the hollowness. I love that the work appears so solid and yet is very light and easy to pack and carry. I sometimes make huge exhibitions that come out of a very small box. I love the shock on curators’ faces when I open my bag and start pulling the pieces out.”
El Mestikawy’s work is based on the principle of duality and oscillates between the positive and the negative, lightness and heaviness, and light and shadow. With flawless precision and a geometric complexity, El Mestikawy carefully overlaps and arranges different sections or modules and ultimately locks or glues them together – like a puzzle – to create a homogeneous unity.
The first Collection Focus at Project Space Art Jameel was a five-channel video installation by Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme. This Collection Focus series features single works from the Jameel Art Collection. The Jameel Arts Centre Dubai — currently under construction in Jadaf, on the Dubai Creek – is set to open in the winter of 2018; its multifaceted program will in part feature curated exhibitions drawn from the Collection.
Project Space Art Jameel, a temporary space supported by Alserkal Avenue, features year-round programming, including exhibitions, research, and educational and collaborative initiatives. All events are free and open to all.
May 22, 5.30-7.30pm: Opening in the presence of the artist (all welcome)
May 23–July 22, 2017: Exhibition
Project Space Art Jameel, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai
Collection Focus 02