Known primarily for its displays of digital and abstract art, the Firetti Contemporary gallery at Dubai’s Alserkal Avenue is having its first all-female exhibition, titled Eyes Wide Shut. Curated by Celine Azem, Mara Firetti and Oceane Sailly, the show features 10 women artists of different generations and levels.
Hailing from the UAE, Iran, Armenia, Ukraine, Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Kuwait, they include Qamar Abdulmalik, Sawsan Al Bahar, Afra Al Suwaidi, Amani AlThuwaini, Khawla Almarzooqi, Negin Fallah, Annie Kurkdjian, Alymamah Rashed, Maria Shapranova and Amina Yahia.
Palestinian artist Abdulmalik, who lives in Saudi Arabia, also uses the fantastical to comment on politics. Through a stop-motion film and three collages, she depicts her alter-ego journeying via a lift to a world constructed from papier-mache: the Egyptian embassy in Riyadh, which handles identity papers for Palestinian refugees. Flush with images of passports, the artworks exaggerate the absurdity of an undocumented immigrant’s quotidian challenges.
Elsewhere, two large female-centric oils on canvas, Yahia’s Ya Aghla Ism Fi El Wogood and Te’rafy?, explore how women’s autonomy is dictated by state power and authority.
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