Project Space

Abbas Akhavan

Study for a Curtain

March 16 - April 18, 2015

Abbas Akhavan, Study for a Curtain, 2015, detail from installation at The Third Line

Abbas Akhavan

Study for a Curtain is a continuation of Abbas Akhavan's ongoing exploration of gardens and domesticated landscapes.

Abbas Akhavan’s practice ranges from site-specific ephemeral installations to drawing, video, sculpture and performance. The direction of his research has been deeply influenced by the specificity of the sites where he works: the architectures that house them, the economies that surround them, and the people that frequent them. The domestic sphere, as a forked space between hospitality and hostility, has been an ongoing area of research in Abbas' practice. Recent works have shifted focus, wandering onto spaces and species just outside the home – the garden, the backyard, and other domesticated landscapes.

Main Space: Ala Ebtekar - Nowheresville \ 'nä-kōja,-abäd \

Farah Al Qasimi

The World is Sinking

September 24 - November 8, 2014

Farah Al Qasimi, Meat Shop, Archival inkjet print, 69 x 86 cm

For the opening Project Space exhibition of the fall season, The Third Line will be presenting The World is Sinking by photographer and musician Farah Al Qasimi, a series of new photographs that traces locations in and around Dubai. Exploring surfaces and facades meant to represent idealistic aspirations, the images provide an idiosyncratic and humorous approach to the multi-dimensional, multi-cultural and increasingly hyper globalisation of the UAE in the last few decades. 

Farah’s art practice is based around photographing the unusual, and often overlooked, places where she finds herself positioned. For The World is Sinking, she takes a more introspective look at the Emirates, where she grew up. The artist is fascinated with the rapid change of local landscape in the name of growth and development, and finds that many rushed attempts end up in near comical results, at the same time creating a sense of alienation towards its own inhabitants. The sense of urgency, disembowelled by the lack of balance, repeatedly leads to changes that are unsustainable and often nonsensical.

The images are curious and amusing – almost like a private joke between herself and the viewer about the absurdity of the human condition – referring to hastily built buildings glimmering like an oasis in the midst of the barren desert landscape; or the pronounced presence of Westernization, brash as a giant McDonald’s sign on an empty desert highway. Other images include beauty salons, photography studios, advertisements, art murals, and other locales that are concerned with crafting aesthetics for their bodies or business, or as a general means of escape

Farah attempts to capture this strange landscape, reflecting the implications of change in a more personal language and deliberating how dreaming big has become second nature to the UAE and its inhabitants.

Lamya Gargash

Traces

April 30 – May 29, 2014

LG_Tangled_Chromogenic color print_60 x 60 cm

The Third Line is pleased to welcome back Lamya Gargash, who will be showing her new body of work in the gallery Project Space. Lamya’s recent photographs expand upon her interventions in internal and external living spaces, seeking human presence in otherwise empty compositions.

Lamya’s practice has been concerned with the extensive study of identity and perception, and often documenting forgotten spaces in public and private realms in Emirati society. Finding herself caught in the chaos of daily life and the demands of motherhood, as well as the loss of several deaths in the family in the last three years, Traces echoes her longing for silent, stationary moments. The images showcase the artist’s heightened sensitivity towards finding beauty in the mundane.

The exhibition consists of a selection of photographs taken at various points in time, celebrating the visibly banal. These are spaces that still show signs of someone having left a mark of their presence – in effect also highlighting their absence:  used plates after a family lunch, a stationery mickey mouse ride serenely staring off into nothingness, dirty drapes from Lamya’s now demolished house, and more.

As a photographer, Lamya finds that these poetic instances suggest moments of physical interaction of some sort and communicate our human-ness. They point towards the fragility of life, which strongly states the inevitability of mortality, and in the end the traces left behind are mere moments that will also fade with time.

 

 

Raja'a Khalid

Southeast to Armageddon

October 30 - December 5, 2013

RK_Southeast To Armageddon _2013_Archival Inkjet Print _112 W X 81 H Cm

The Third Line welcomes back Raja'a Khalid in the Project Space with her exhibit Southeast to Armageddon – a small selection of images from the Middle East chapter of her ongoing 'Minor Histories Archive’ project. With an intention to question the objectivity of certain public documents, this body of work focuses on how the discovery of Middle Eastern oil in the 1930s was depicted in popular Western press at the time, and the American perception of Gulf oil companies in the forties and fifties.

The photographs in Southeast to Armageddon acquire a type of bizarre topical relevance with the artist’s retrospective investigation. They demand an ironic distance from the viewer to force him or her into asking how the term ‘Arabian’ functioned in the American mass consciousness, following the discovery of oil. The publications photographed here were for a very specific, western audience, and they are pedagogical to that end. Seen today, however, they make explicit that which has already been implicit in the relationship between the Middle East and the West, and raise questions about the highly problematic politics of representation at work in the original documents.

The answers, if these photographs can provide them, will be neither clear nor complete. In fact the artist anticipates for Southeast to Armageddon to be troublesome and somewhat jarring. With that she aims to dismantle any myths about the so-called ‘simplicity’ or ‘transparency’ of the photograph or the written word, reaffirming Walter Benjamin’s assertion that all cultural documents are inherently records of ‘barbarism.’

Nadia Ayari

The Fountain and The Fig

September 18 - October 24, 2013

NA_Fountain _2012_Oil -on -canvas _55.88-x -60.96-cm _650

The Third Line is pleased to introduce New York based artist Nadia Ayari, with her exhibition The Fountain and The Fig opening in the Project Space. Nadia works with densely painted surfaces, where stark contrasting colours form hyper-natural imagery, provide strong allegories of the sensual and the violent.

For this Project, Nadia’s predominant aesthetic concerns remain with rendering conceptual narratives, whereby the act of painting becomes an important tool in the dialogue. By using heavily conventionalized symbols such as the fig and the tree, she influences the imagery to acquire an element of myth-like storytelling. The densely painted surfaces take on a sculptural quality as Nadia works layer upon layer to construct the visual, subtly manipulating the thick paint to set along the grain of the folded leaf and the curve of the over-ripened fruit. 

The exhibit includes five abstracted flora-themed paintings that follow a singular strain. The visuals are dreamlike and surreal – blood red rain covers deep purple figs that spout out leafy tongues from their burning red crevices. As is suggestive in their titles Tongue, Splitting, Pouring, Spit and Fountain there is a violence and raw carnality that intermingle to create a macabre vision. Also part of the show are ink on paper drawings. These studies of a rose, a tree and a fig isolate emblematic elements that are present in the paintings – however, wholly opposite in their execution, they present a more whimsical side of the world the artist is depicting.

Amir H. Fallah

The Arrangement

June 19 - July 30, 2013

Circling The World To Return _2013_Acrylic , Collage And Pencil On Paper Mounted On Canvas _152.4 Cm Diamter

The Third Line is pleased to welcome back Amir H. Fallah, who will be exhibiting a selection of works in the Project Space, with a solo show to follow in December this year. In The Arrangement, Fallah works with mixed media and collage as his signature style, presenting works of floral arrangements appropriated from the Dutch/Flemish renaissance tradition of floral still-life painting.

For this project, Fallah studied the floral still life paintings of the Golden Age and used iconic visual vocabulary to merge them with contemporary painting techniques that are present within his practice. Each painting in the exhibition is based on a seminal floral still life by a Dutch/Flemish master and has been reinterpreted and rearranged in both its visual and physical form. 

The referenced artworks have been put through a methodical process of dissecting the imagery, element by element, first in digital form and then in the execution phase. Floral elements are lifted from their context and placed anew in compositions that continually change as they are worked upon. Fallah builds the work in layers, adding collaged printouts, reproduced images as well as painting directly below and above these layers. In doing so, the artist has been able to strip apart the process of classical still life painting and give each element a separate identity and importance in the new compositions, thus reimagining the historical images. Flowers that were once painstakingly painted in oil have been transformed into digital reproductions; leaves that wove in and out of the painting have been replaced by colored paper cut-outs in geometric shapes; Trompe l'oeil insects and creatures are now remade into abstractions; and colors that were once dark and sullen are bright and flamboyant.

Through a starkly different interpretation, this series of paintings not only questions the notion of appropriation throughout art history but also presents a fresh and electrifying take on one of the most iconic painting motifs throughout history – and in doing so, creates a new arrangement.

Sahand Hesamiyan

Sulook

January 22 – March 7, 2013

SH_Sulook _2012_Steel ,-UV-Colour -and -Black -Light _650-6

The Third Line is pleased to introduce Iranian sculptor Sahand Hesamiyan, the newest addition to the gallery’s represented artists. Sulook, the body of work in the gallery’s Project Space, presents ancient concepts of transcendence in an ultra-modern context. Highlighting the complex relationship between modernity and tradition through architecture, Sulook has its inspiration firmly rooted in the traditional architectural structure of the Orchin dome – a unique variation of domes found in the southern parts of Iran and Iraq. Despite its early origins, the Orchin dome demonstrates one of the key elements of modernist architecture: a seamless interdependence of aesthetics and functionality. Bridging science and piety, Hesamiyan references the construction of these domes with its intended spiritual philosophy of Unitarianism.

Maha Saab

Semblance

December 05, 2012 - January 16, 2013

MS_S.D.S Prop For Science _2010_Sewn Paper , Paint , Hardware _121.92 X 91.44 X 20.32 Cm _650

For the first time in the Middle East, Maha Saab will be presenting her work in The Third Line’s Project Space. Semblance uses a post-minimalist approach to translate writings and recordings of natural phenomena and ancient Greek concepts of color through form and mixed materials.

Saab’s works include sculptural drawings of paper, steel and paint that pose as reflective semi-abstractions probing the space between the drawn and the solidified; the written and the heard; the evident and the unknown. Rendered beautifully and technically proficient, Saab’s drawings tap into a myriad of cultural forms whilst adopting a formal approach. Post-minimal in their qualities and aesthetics, her sculptures are closely related to her drawings and often question the existence between flatness and volume. Works shown are a continuation of a series the artist began in 2010 made of cut and sewn paper that drew away from the conventions of the square and built in perceptions of materiality and language. Included in this show are pieces such as S.D.S Prop for Science, a reference to a contemporary play on 20th century solar science; Street of Jewelers, a phrase from an Oscar Wilde short story; and Trackers, a partially lost story written by Sophocles. Additionally, a metallic sculpture based on a series of “spill” paintings, by minimalist painter Morris Louis, called Forest XYZ will be on display.

Arwa Abouon

Learning by Heart

October 24, 2012 - November 29, 2012

AA_I'm -Sorry ---I-Forgive -You -(Sorry -Baba )_2012_-Diptych _101.6-x -76

The Third Line is proud to welcome back Arwa Abouon, with a new body of work that explores the artist’s own private journey in matters of spirituality, personal dynamics and human nature’s quest towards understanding faith.

As a thematic continuation from her previous work, this photographic series draws from the artist’s personal experiences and self-reflection, attempting to articulate such abstract and elusive notions as human emotion and in particular one’s relationship with faith. Through her photography, Abouon’s on-going spiritual investigation takes her audience into the systematic process in which the artist draws her conclusions about self, piety and her role within society. The artist reveals through her work that the most effective way of learning involves repetition, particularly through trial and error, ultimately leading us to our truest and highest potential.

Borrowing from historical Islamic adornment, traditions and idioms, the artist playfully highlights her introspective pilgrimage with the use of digitally enhanced photography. The subject of her series further underpins her personal approach to this study, capturing a fleeting moment of shared emotion of her greatest inspiration: her parents. Balancing playful humor, re-appropriation and respectful homage, Abouon’s work is visually intricate and subtle yet remains, as ever, powerful in its delivery.

Aya Atoui and Manal Elias

A House For A Home

September 12 - October 18, 2012

PS - A Heart For A Home

Stemming from a personal exploration to further understand the impact of Dubai’s shape-shifting landscape on one’s personal identity, Atoui and Elias present a series of haunting images that evoke a loss of self in a place where perpetual change and visual disruptions in the urban landscape are the norm. Atoui and Elias further state that living “in a city with a demographic comprising mostly of ‘expats’- a city in a constant state of flux that reinvents and reinterprets itself on a daily basis - is to have no stable sense of one’s identity.” 

The artists used unfinished homes as the backdrop for their projections – relics of the economic crash that evoke a feeling of abandonment post real estate boom. The projections are then documented using long-exposure staged photographs.  Similar to these projections, being an expat in Dubai is to never really belong, but nevertheless adapt. Once projected, these portraits defragment and take on the shape of the building’s façade, before disappearing with no visual trace.

Izdeyar Setna

Disconnected

November 10, 2011 - January 12, 2012

PS - Disconnected

The city of Karachi has experienced a passage of unfortunate events in its recent history. With its streets becoming a virtual war zone and political parties locked in a pitched battle for turf, Izdeyar Setna has observed these moments and through these true-git, real life images presents an exhibition of raw emotion masked in his unique visual representation.

Disconnected presents images of individuals whose names, age, occupation and goal in life are unknown to the viewer, yet they share a perceived narrative, one of emotion and tragedy. The photographs capture an inner despair which still manages to permeate through the negatives and into reality.

Ayad Sinawi

Knowhere

April 27 - June 16, 2011

PS - Knowhere

In the Projects Space, Ayad Sinawi presents Knowhere, a series of paintings that explore the notions of a Western pictorial and technical tradition from the prism of cultural displacement and nostalgic wanderlust. Sinawi blends picturesque landscapes with textual fragments or abstract motifs as references to anecdotal memories and spatial associations.

Ayad Sinawi, was born in Baghdad, Iraq, and grew up in the United Kingdom and Canada. He holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts from York University in Toronto, Canada, and a Masters of Fine Arts from CUNY Hunter College in New York City. Sinawi has exhibited throughout Canada and the United States since 1985 including McMaster Museum of Art, Hamilton and White Columns in New York. He currently lives and works in New York City.

Rhea Akram

Breathing walls

March 13 - April 14, 2011

PS - Breathing Walls

The Third Line’s Project Spaceenters its second year with an exhibition of photographs by Rhea Karam. The series presents images that tell a visual story around fragility, recognition and destruction of a country’s history.

Rhea Karam’s photographs of walls around Lebanon, pose questions about the social strife both in relation to occupants of a city and in establishing a dialogue between suppressed voices and opinions. The photographs stand as an archive illuminating a story of progress and the ongoing contention in the world today.

John Jurayj

Untitled Lebanon (Fragments)

December 08, 2010 - January 06, 2011

JJ_Installation Shot 1

The Third Line’s Project Spaceends its first year with a solo exhibition of paintings and works on paper by John Jurayj. Each piece visually explores the beauty and destruction inspired from the ongoing Lebanese conflict within a vibrant frame of colour, line and form.

Untitled Lebanon (Fragments) aptlydescribes both literally and aesthetically the dislocation and the instability of Lebanon’s past and current political turmoil in Jurayj’s first solo show at The Third Line and the UAE.

Arezu Karoobi

That Obscure Object

October 27 - December 01, 2010

AK_Untitled (18)_2010_Gelatin Silver Print On Fiber Paper _18x 24cm _Ed .of 8_650

The third exhibition at The Third Line’s Projects spacereveals the intimate relationship between the artist and herself, consciousness and unconsciousness. Playing with delicate imagery and a sense of voyeurism, she urges the viewer to look beyond the silhouette to uncover her personal experiences.

Arezu’s series of photographs are not about the body. They present an outlet to the viewer, an entry point to her world. The images are not self-portraits but contextualised layers hidden within the black and white image. There is a story in each image, but one that she will not tell yet urges the viewer to search for - that itself is the purpose of the ‘obscurity’, otherwise it would simply be a photograph.

Inspired by the 1977 French movie entitled “That Obscure Object of Desire” from director Luis Bunuel, through this series, Arezu exposes herself to an audiences eyes, their interpretation and criticism. Her work is less about the body and more about the experience of the soul within the body. She accepts these views and encourages the viewer to also accept hers, for this is yet another experience of her life, and she is ready to capture it.

Loreta Bilinskaite-Monie

Madafati

September 23 - October 21, 2010

Madafati -Installation View

The second exhibition at The Third Line’s Projects space centres on the idea of ‘home’ and ‘belonging’. Loreta Bilinskaite-Monie presents a selection of embroidered works which tells the story of her life in the UAE and how it inspires her.

Having moved to Dubai in 2003, Loreta has since then developed a connection with the Emirates and the fast diversity it offers. Coming from a country with an historical involvement with textile and tapestry, she has incorporated those roots with the stories and familiarities she has picked up during her years in the Middle East. As a result she has created a pop inspired series after working closely with local craftsmen and embroiderers.

This selection of canvasses, intricately detailed with a variety of colored beads, sequins and thread, reflects her interpretation of the local Emirati culture. Together with these pieces, she has created a video documenting the interaction between her and the craftsmen she worked closely with.

Mona Ayyash, Rajaa Khalid, Sara Naim

Dubai Episode

May 06 - June 10, 2010

Dubai Episodes _Project Space (3)

The Third Line introduces a new initiative to its programming with the introduction of a Projects Space. This new viewing section is in addition to the existing main space of the gallery, is for its first year, dedicated to exhibiting works by upcoming and locally based artists. Projects – named so based on the principal usage and reason for the area, will hold separate exhibitions and smallerindividual artist based ventures on the upper level of the gallery. Projects at The Third Line is scheduled to open in May 2010, coinciding with Abbas Akhavan’s first solo exhibition, Islands held in the main gallery space.

The inaugural exhibition at Projects at The Third Line is a group photography show, Dubai Episode. Personal insights of the changing city is seen through the eyes of three female photographers: 10, who have lived or are currently residing in Dubai, each project portraying a unique interpretation of what they see.