The season’s flagship exhibition “Fahrelnissa and the Institutes: Towards a Sky” celebrates the abstract works of Jordanian modern and contemporary art pioneers, including internationally acclaimed artist Fahrelnissa Zeid, Wijdan, Hind Nasser and Ufemia. Rizk. By exploring the dynamic role of these avant-garde women in the context of contemporary Jordan, this exhibition illuminates a hitherto overlooked chapter in art history.
With their valuable contributions, these artists helped create a progressive and bold legacy of artistic practice and helped create the conceptual and educational frameworks that shaped the Jordanian art scene as we know it today. In the exhibition, each artist is presented separately in a separate booth, and the archive room displays the rich institutional history of these women artists. Fahrelnissa and the institutes are curated by Reem Fadda, director of the Cultural Fund, and assistant curators Noor Almehairbi and Zuhoor Alsayegh.
“Life is a circus” is a group exhibition in which the Culture Foundation revisits its first digital art exhibition, which it hosted in 1996 with the works of Emirati artist Jalal Luqman. In Life is a Circus, Luqman returns to the Cultural Foundation along with 22 UAE-based digital artists, all of whom have been commissioned to produce works specifically for the show.
The exhibition examines the development of digital art over the years through the theme of exploring the irony of modern life. It is also the foundation’s first NFT (non-fungible token) art exhibition, where visitors can purchase artworks online. Life is a Circus features artists such as Rafeea Alkhyeli, Hamdan Al Shamsi, Zainab Mohamed, Rafiaa Hussain, Rashid Al Mulla, Sarwa Abdul, Aisha Al Hashmi, Saggaf Al Hashmi, Liza Ramos, Reem Al Mazroei and more. It is curated by Sumayyah Al Suwaidi and assistant curator Aysha Al Aseeri.
The third and final showcase of the season is the children’s exhibition “Lullabies: A Journey Through Song”, curated by Reem Al Hashmi. Lullabies: A Journey Through Song presents a collection of lullabies from around the world, including the Middle East, Africa and Asia. It takes parents and guardians on a nostalgic journey through lullabies from childhood. The exhibition highlights the history, context and use of each piece through various forms of media such as video animations, interactive games and research areas.
Fadda said: “Our versatile new art exhibition at the Cultural Fund brings new perspectives to our audience. The flagship exhibition Fahrelnissa and the Institutes: Towards a Sky brings to Abu Dhabi the incredible works of contemporary avant-garde artists who have lived and worked in Jordan, including artist Fahrelnissa Zeid, who was an influential mentor. Meanwhile, Life is a Circus not only focuses on digital work as an art form, but also shines a light on emerging artists from the UAE. This is at the core of what we do as a cultural foundation – present to the public critically acclaimed work from the region and beyond, and we support local artists who are advancing in the art world.
The Cultural Fund also hosts a public program of talks, film screenings and events related to the three exhibitions.