Hatty Pedder in Dubai

Hatty Pedder visits Art Week at the Mojo Gallery in Dubai

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What: Happening Now.
Where: Art Week at Mojo Gallery, Alserkal Avenue.
When: Monday March 18.

This time of year is the busiest period for Dubai’s art scene, and I kicked it off by heading over to Alserkal Avenue for Art Week. All the galleries were open and the place was heaving with a glamorous, arty crowd.

I made my way to Mojo Gallery, which was exhibiting three artists from Africa: Viyé Diba from Senegal, Mohamed Abouelnaga from Egypt and Sonya Rademeyer from South Africa. Before I had a chance to look round, a wonderfully flamboyant Tarek Zaher, founder and managing director of House of Folly, rushed up to say hi.

Tarek always looks amazing, and he didn’t disappoint: sporting thick-rimmed glasses and a massive Vivienne Westwood globe necklace, he embodied the spirit of a couture schoolboy. He gushed about the artwork and we dashed over to check out the action surrounding artist Sonya Rademeyer, who was standing still with her arms out and being written on by viewers as part of her interactive performance art. We decided we must have a go: I drew a heart with wings on Rademeyer’s hand. Her performance was filmed and screened on four plasma screens, and had the audience transfixed.

Rademeyer’s political installation, entitled ‘Litmus’, fascinated me. The elongated, tubular strips of text covered in cloth apparently reflected the core of the fabric of a society that is becoming ‘undone’. These strips of cloth represented bandages and were placed in bowls of red fluid, which was refilled daily as part of Rademeyer’s performance art, symbolising the conflict in Africa.

After absorbing the African political work and enjoying all the mediums and interpretations, I headed over to catch up with Kurt Blanckenburg and Mark Rogers, co-owners and curators of Mojo Gallery. I also spotted Jodie Cummings from Art House Dubai: we discussed how we loved the graphic appeal of Mohamed Abouelnaga’s photographic circular work and Viyé Diba’s distinctive use of transparent plastic. This intellectual political exhibition had stimulated lots of discussions and made me think. The work was only visually varied and inspiring but had huge depth.
For Hatty’s blog and more of her art, see www.hattypedder.com.

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