Jameel Arts Center lavishes a feast of programs on its cultural table

Taus Makhacheva’s composition titled A Space of Celebration.

Muhammad Yusuf, FeaturesWriter

A film programme, two major art exhibitions and a research commission exploring food in Dubai as a point of confluence, are some of the delights to be tasted at Jameel Arts Centre. The Artist’s Rooms hosts Samson Young (till May 7) featuring a new, site-specific installation, Reasonable Music – an interactive environment consisting of text as sound and as image. The Daoist text Daodejing is translated, and insights from computational analysis on the its features are filtered to generate sonic and visual objects – which are transformed, distorted, and take on new features as they run through a chain of events.

The show is accompanied by a monograph with an essay by Orianna Cacchione, Curator of Global Contemporary Art, Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago. It is published by Art Jameel and is available in the Art Jameel Shop. A film program (Mar. 23 – May 9) reflects on the ecological, social, and geo-political features of food and food systems. The movies are programmed in conjunction with the exhibition Staple: What’s on your plate? curated by Rahul Gudipudi and Danielle Burrows and currently also showing at Hayy Jameel, Jeddah. The exhibition was developed collaboratively by Art Jameel and Delfina Foundation. Fahd Burki: Daydreams (till Oct. 9) is the artist’s first survey exhibition, bringing together works spanning the last fifteen years of his practice.

Burki’s paintings, drawings and sculptures are inspired by a wide range of influences including architecture, nature and various strands of contemporary popular culture.


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A publication featuring essays by Murtaza Vali, Saira Ansari and Dawn Ross, accompanies the exhibition.

Taus Makhacheva: A Space of Celebration (till Aug. 14) is Makhacheva’s first retrospective exhibition in the Middle East. It brings together works created over the past thirteen years, including a new site-specific commission.

Her installations involve flawed gymnastics training arenas, Soviet-era circuses, wedding halls and suspended mountain ranges. Facts meld with everyday myths, troubling the notion of cultural authenticity, making way for the fantastical. In its latest iteration of Library Circles, Jameel Library presents food writer and filmmaker Salma Serry’s research (till Aug. 1), developed over the past few years, in which she explores regional menus as a site of confluence where history, knowledge, politics, economies, senses and semantics are revealed.

Serry includes printed menus, informal publications, interviews, personal photo archives, to construct and share overlooked archival material that piece together a regional narrative.

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In conjunction, Art Jameel also launches #dubaizaman, a collaborative project that asks participants to dig into their personal archives for the Kodak moments of birthdays, weddings, graduations and various celebrations, expressed through what is served on the table.

To take part, submit your images through tagging @jameelartscentre and using #dubaizaman on Instagram or email press@artjameel.org.

Each submission should include a caption, detailing dates, names and location, if possible (90 words minimum). Every month, for the run of the display, a selection will be made and shared via Jameel’s social media channels, while the remainder joins Serry’s archive.

The inaugural Park Projects at Jaddaf Waterfront Sculpture Park invites artists to produce works in the context of the Park. Since 2021, artist and pedagogue Nahla Tabbaa has been using the exterior spaces of Jameel Arts Center as sites of experimentation.

Shamsa is a series of time-based interventions using textile and organic material to observe the passage of time through the impact of the sun. Tabbaa’s commission also results in a limited-edition artist’s book, designed by Layan Attari, and available at the Art Jameel Shop. Hong Kong artist Trevor Yeung uses botanic ecology, horticulture and installation in Volcanic Universe (till May) to occupy the Jameel Arts Center outdoor parking lot.

Connected to the park’s recycled irrigation system through repurposed sprinklers, they address notions of artificiality. By popular demand, artist Hassan Khan’s large-scale, multi-lingual musical artwork remains at the Park for the third year (till May 22).

It features musical scores and spoken narrative, written in three movements and composed especially for a public park and involves a text written by the artist and presented in three languages: Arabic, Urdu and English.

Jameel Arts Centre’s Artist’s Garden commission awarded to Namrata Neog and Sunoj D’s Desert is a Forest explores the relationship between humans, animals and the flora and fauna within the UAE landscape.

The plant species grown in the Artist’s Garden are indigenous to the UAE and tell the story of their traditional uses as food and medicine. It is on view till September 4.

The Art Jameel Shop presents gift items, children’s books, ceramics, artisanal incense burners, money envelopes to collect (all the) Eid cash and cookbooks with inspiration for culinary creations, to spice up iftar and suhoor tables. The items are available in the shop and online, with worldwide delivery. Jameel’s newly-opened, locally-sourced, no-waste, seasonal-dining bakery and restaurant, Teible, introduces new dishes served throughout the Holy Month as part of its a la carte style, all day dining Bistronomy Menu. Inspired by regional classics, the dishes revisit heritage cuisine with a twist including the traditional quzi, the scrumptious moutabal and a delectable dessert made out of a variety of local dates paired with made-in-house buttermilk ice cream to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth. Teible’s Ramadan dishes are served daily (except Tuesdays, when it is closed). Teible also offers limited-edition pastry boxes, available to pre-order for Eid (Apr. 23 – 29).

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