'Collision' exhibition by Egyptian Moataz Nasr
Artist’s work provides a narrative about life in Egypt Discuss this article
- Picture 1 of 2
This isn’t the first time that softly spoken Egyptian artist Moataz Nasr has exhibited his work in Dubai. Yet having previously displayed only one or two pieces, his first solo show in the city, ‘Collision’, is an opportunity for art-goers to view his most comprehensive body of work.
‘With this exhibition I’m trying to introduce myself to people,’ he reveals. ‘I tried to make a story to explain my way of thinking. I’m leading the people, so they can see the different aspects of how I think and how I see art and how I deal with it.’
Spanning the past three years, the work incorporates video, installation and painting, and features traditional element of Egyptian culture. ‘Sometimes I search for my roots and reshow them in a more contemporary way,’ explains Nasr. ‘I wanted to upgrade them and take them from where they are.’
Transition is something the 50-year-old artist is certainly at ease with. Having in the past been invited to work on public site-specific artworks in various locations across Europe, he’s currently on residency in South Africa to create an outdoor piece for one of the country’s animal parks. ‘I believe that when art is shown in a gallery, it’s only talking to a certain level of people. When you take it outside into the public space, you’re talking to everyone. That’s how it should be, because otherwise the meaning slips away,’ says Nasr.
After spending plenty of time in South Africa for the project, it seems Nasr has also managed to find meaning in his current environment. ‘It’s amazingly beautiful here, because it’s so peaceful and I’m away from all this unrest that’s happening in the Middle East, although I’m still connected through the internet so I feel what’s going on there. It gives me a lot of ideas and I’m learning a lot. I can see now what happened here [in South Africa] – they had a big change 20 years ago, and I can see how things are going after 20 years. It tells us not to be in a rush and to wait, because things really take time.’
Though his English is unwavering, the artist says there’s only one way he feels comfortable getting his views across. ‘Art is a way of expressing myself and talking to the world, to the people. I’m not a very good writer, I’m not a very good speaker, but the language I believe I’m good at is arts.’ Here, he guides us through his own ‘language’ to explain some of his key pieces.
Exhibition: ‘Collision’ until January 10 at Lawrie Shabibi, Unit 21, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz (04 346 9906).
Artist: Moataz Nasr.
Price: From Dhs55,100.
Elshaab ‘The people’
‘These are similar to the statues they sell to tourists in Egypt. It’s just for the memory, a souvenir. I saw what was happening to the people during the revolution, everything that happened and all the people that died. Everyone I remember from these 18 days, they ended up just being like an object. It’s a pity, actually.’
‘This started with the concept of matchsticks. They represent one person, each match. Like matchsticks, we are fragile but we hold the power of fire inside of us. When we’re together we are stronger, and we’re creating this energy and this power.’
Time Out Dubai,
Our favourite features
The 50 best things to do in Dubai The emirate's best toilet, burger, elevator, proposal spot and more
Dubai's dining districts The battle of Dubai's best foodie neighbourhoods
Best nightclubs in Dubai The best nightclubs in Dubai revealed. Where do you like to party?
Were you there? The 40 biggest gigs of the year Take a look back at the most memorable UAE concerts from the 2013/14 season
Your essential guide to Dubai Marina Food, drink, play and live in Dubai Marina
Why you should visit Old Dubai Insider's guide to the traditional heart of the city
Dubai's best cafés revealed Top spots which offer books, board games, shisha and more
Dubai's best buffets Loosen the belt and pile up your plate at these all-you-can eat packages
The UAE’s best swim-up bars Refresh your body and your thirst at these poolside spots
86 Friday brunches to try Time for brunch? We run through the options - in price order
Dubai's must-visit mini malls Bigger doesn't always mean better...
How to... 24 must-have Dubai skills From lighting a barbecue to getting a driving licence
...and RELAX: 25 must-try spa treatments From ocean-view treatment rooms at the Burj Al Arab to faultless facials...
Must-see Dubai sights Nine iconic attractions no tourist or resident should miss
Dubai's best breakfasts Brilliant breakfast dishes from around the world available in Dubai