Reem Fadda Curates Lauded Pavilion at Venice Biennale

Directions 2005, 2005 (detail). Aluminum, chromogenic print, light, vinyl mounted on acrylic panel, 66 x 100 x 100 cm

Reem Fadda, Guggenheim Associate Curator of Middle Eastern Art, Abu Dhabi Project, recently organized the highly successful United Arab Emirates Pavilion at the 2013 Venice Biennale.

The pavilion, which features a solo presentation by Emirati artist Mohammed Kazem called Walking on Water, was highlighted by Art Newspaper and Financial Times journalist Georgina Adam as one of six pavilions to visit during the biennale.

Walking on Water presents Directions 2005/2013, a specially commissioned, immersive installation conceived in 2005 and realized for the UAE pavilion. Directions 2005/2013 is part of Kazem’s emblematic Directions series. As Fadda noted, the series “is a conceptual project that Mohammed Kazem has constantly revisited for over a decade to create various bodies of work. In this series, he is well known for utilizing Geographical Positioning System coordinates to suggest ‘documentation’ of his location.”

Reflecting on the aims of the pavilion, Fadda continued, “By engaging the work of Kazem we can witness the urban modernity of a specific place through the eyes of its individual artists. In pursuing this initiative we hope to demonstrate that the developments we see in the region today do not come from a void, but rather evolve from the contemporary thought and practice of artists and intellectuals like Kazem, whose work has consistently interrogated the relationship between the individual and his/her social, urban, and natural environments.”

The work is a full-scale and complete version of a project that Kazem first presented as a maquette at the 2003 Sharjah Biennial and then at the 2006 Singapore Biennial. It will be on view at second floor of the Sali d’Armi of the Arsenale in Venice until November 24, 2013.

Mohammed Kazem, Directions 2005–2013 (2005–2013). Color video installation with sound. Courtesy of National Pavilion of the UAE


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