N.P. Krishna Kumar is an Arab Weekly correspondent in Dubai.

  • Brilliant works of experimentation light up March Project 2017 in Sharjah, On: Sun, 15 Oct 2017

  • Strong demand at Cityscape seals UAE’s allure as real estate leader, On: Sun, 01 Oct 2017

  • Shaping narratives in region through Arabic design, typography, On: Sun, 17 Sep 2017

  • UAE’s Hatta offers nature, heritage and adventure, On: Sun, 17 Sep 2017

  • Dubai real estate market sets the pace for renewed growth in the GCC, On: Sun, 20 Aug 2017

  • Young Syrian refugees want end of war and ISIS, On: Sun, 20 Aug 2017

  • Gulf finance sector catching up with the fintech revolution, On: Sun, 13 Aug 2017

  • Sharjah Biennial’s off-site project focuses on Palestine , On: Sun, 06 Aug 2017

  • Ras al-Khaimah’s new facilities attract adventure tourists, On: Sun, 30 Jul 2017

  • Sharjah embarks on major ecotourism projects, On: Sun, 09 Jul 2017

  • ‘Collectivity’ explores the world of art in the UAE, On: Sun, 09 Jul 2017

  • GCC construction outlook to improve with oil prices recovery and implementation of reforms, On: Sun, 25 Jun 2017

  • Sharjah airport expansion opens wider travel and tourism prospects, On: Sun, 04 Jun 2017

  • Dar Al Masyaf:An Arabian getaway that offers sun, sea and seclusion, On: Sun, 14 May 2017

  • Connecting to history, people and culture dominates Gulf travel trends, On: Sun, 07 May 2017

  • Sandy Seeds to set pace for mindful ecological education in UAE, On: Sun, 30 Apr 2017

  • Environment takes centre stage at Sharjah Biennial, On: Sun, 30 Apr 2017

  • Design Days Dubai 2017 attracts record visitors, On: Sun, 09 Apr 2017

  • Hadiqat Al Umma, a powerful display of Iraq nostalgia, On: Sun, 26 Mar 2017

  • Dubai embraces the future with test debut of ‘Air taxi’, On: Sun, 05 Mar 2017

  • XVA Art Hotel Dubai’s best kept secret, On: Sun, 26 Feb 2017

  • Ammar Al Attar: Documenting Emirati life, On: Sun, 19 Feb 2017

  • Etihad Museum tells the history of UAE’s formation, On: Sun, 12 Feb 2017

  • Exploring themes of Islamic art and architecture at Sharjah festival, On: Sun, 22 Jan 2017

  • Cyber incidents are ‘business risk’ in the Gulf, On: Sun, 08 Jan 2017

  • Sharjah Biennial 13 promises to be unlike previous iterations, On: Sun, 11 Dec 2016

  • Exploring UAE themes of landscapes and identity, On: Sun, 27 Nov 2016

  • Dubai Design Week, a celebration of emerging talents, On: Sun, 13 Nov 2016

  • Sharjah International Book Fair sets a new trail in Arab culture, On: Sun, 30 Oct 2016

  • Arab couples more open to state-of-the-art fertility treatment, On: Sun, 30 Oct 2016

  • Sharjah retrospective remaps Surrealism history, On: Sun, 16 Oct 2016

  • Dubai Opera sounds high note in Middle East’s cultural scene, On: Sun, 11 Sep 2016

  • Sharjah exhibition tells stories of the 20th century, On: Sun, 28 Aug 2016

  • New Dubai museum points to Iron Age mysteries, On: Sun, 21 Aug 2016

  • Venice provides a new angle for architectural discourse on UAE, On: Sun, 14 Aug 2016

  • Sharjah: A family tourism destination, On: Sun, 24 Jul 2016

  • Marwan Shakarchi’s clouds light up public art in UAE, On: Sun, 19 Jun 2016

  • Al Ghurair Foundation launches scholars’ programme for talented Arab students in collaboration with MIT, On: Sun, 05 Jun 2016

  • Exploring geographical and cultural transitions in UAE , On: Sun, 05 Jun 2016

  • Brilliant works of experimentation light up March Project 2017 in Sharjah

    SAF’s March Project is an annual residency programme that lasts about ten months from selection to exhibition.

    Pushing boundaries. Visitors look at sculptures titled “Slightly Related Elements” by Al Anood al-Obaidly. (Sharjah Art Foundation)

    2017/10/15 Issue: 127 Page: 22

    Sharjah - The fourth March Project, an annual educational residency programme at the Sharjah Art Founda­tion (SAF), resulted in brilliant experimentation works by Arab artists in video, photography, sculpture and installations.

    The March Project 2017 hosted UAE artists Al Anood al-Obaidly and Nasir Nasrallah, Algeria’s Sofi­ane Zouggar and Mahmoud Safadi from Lebanon.

    “One of the goals of this educa­tional residency programme is to encourage opportunities, conversa­tions and collaborations between artists working in the UAE and the region,” said Reem Shadid, SAF’s deputy director and the project’s curator.

    “The final selection reflects a group of artists who are trying to expand and explore various themes, forms or aesthetics, there­by pushing their practice into new directions. On the whole, the pro­cess from selection to exhibition takes around ten months.”

    The artists were provided with the opportunity to research, real­ise and present site-specific works, backed by professional develop­ment courses, seminars, exhibi­tions and site visits. This year the mentors who worked with the art­ists included internationally re­nowned curators Clelia Cousson­net, Lara Khaldi and Sophie Arni.

    “The artists were able to push the boundaries of their work in terms of scale and complexity and the public responded positively to the show,” Shadid said.

    Issues regarding production and consumption, the links between people and concepts of develop­ment and the artistic search for ex­perimentation with form were the overarching themes that brought the works together. Sharjah’s past and contemporary history and its growth are also reflected in the works.

    Obaidly is known for collages derived from everyday objects. In her installation “Slightly Related Elements,” the colourful and quirky forms and shapes that emerge from consumer materials, includ­ing paper, metal, sponges, plastic, plaster, paint, wood, fabric, rope, tape and cardboard, create a ten­sion between familiarity, unfamili­arity, playfulness and conceptual distance.

    Nasrallah, a widely exhibited art­ist whose work has been shown at Sharjah Biennial 11 (2013) and Cairo Biennial (2006), conceptualised an installation titled “The Communi­cation Room.” In the four works of the presentation, he explores the phenomenon of randomness, the connections between time and dis­tance and the subjective experienc­es of each individual as he or she forges societal connections.

    “Mailing System Rearrange­ment,” comprising 225 envelopes with sketches on the front, was mailed and rearranged into a mu­ral in the order that the envelopes were received, the artist submitting himself to a system not in his con­trol.

    “Never to be Opened” are two framed and sealed envelopes, one to be opened in the past and the other in the future.

    “Everyone is the Author Here” is a participatory work in which visi­tors contribute to the authorship of an ongoing story. Arabic and Eng­lish typewriters with paper loaded in them are provided.

    “06-5447575” is a red phone locked in a wooden box. The num­ber has been widely shared over social media and other communi­cation channels to the public. Visi­tors to the exhibition space may get random phone calls from others with whom they are free to carry on a conversation.

    Safadi, a Beirut-based multidisci­plinary artist and film-maker, fash­ioned “An Ecology” that includes “Where do I end and you begin?”, “Living byproduct” and “Of Flesh and Earth.”

    In the two-channel video instal­lation “Where do I end and you be­gin?”, earth is suspended through a scaffold where various grasses and plants grow to the light of two video panels depicting the unfold­ing activity across the two coasts of Sharjah.

    “Living byproduct” brings to viewers’ attention the existence of foliage that sprouts out of the edges of tiled floors, sustaining itself on the water condensation that is a byproduct of air conditioners in our cities.

    The clay sculpture series titled “Of Flesh and Earth” depict human limbs frozen in action while ma­nipulating earth and making green spaces flourish in cities.

    Zouggar’s multimedia installa­tion “Temporary flesh walls, sto­ries, permanent posters and one portrait” is about Izhar, the Pa­kistani keeper of the abandoned Khorfakkan Cinema in Sharjah. The viewer is drawn into an intense meditation on the dereliction of a theatre hall and the connection be­tween man and place.

    The work seems like an extension of last year’s March Project installa­tion by Emirati photographer Am­mar al-Attar, whose documentation of Khorfakkan Cinema took viewers deep into the subject of the chang­ing dimensions of urban entertain­ment and the need to document these institutions that are fading from memory.

    SAF said it will be refurbishing and refashioning the abandoned cinema into its network of art spac­es in the emirate.

    The exhibition is on view at SAF’s heritage houses in Al Murei­jah Square, Calligraphy Square and Arts Square through December 30.

    Editors' Picks

    The Arab Weekly Newspaper reaches Western & Arabic audience that are influential as well as being affluent.

    From Europe to the Middle East,and North America, The Arab Weekly talks to opinion formers and influential figures, providing insight and comment on national, international and regional news through the focus of Arabic countries and community.

    Published by Al Arab Publishing House

    Publisher and Group Executive Editor: Haitham El-Zobaidi, PhD

    Editor-in-Chief: Oussama Romdhani

    Managing Editor: Iman Zayat

    Deputy Managing Editor and Online Editor: Mamoon Alabbasi

    Senior Editor: John Hendel

    Chief Copy Editor: Richard Pretorius

    Copy Editor: Stephen Quillen

    Analysis Section Editor: Ed Blanche

    East/West Section Editor: Mark Habeeb

    Gulf Section Editor: Mohammed Alkhereiji

    Society and Travel Sections Editor: Samar Kadi

    Syria and Lebanon Sections Editor: Simon Speakman Cordall

    Contributing Editor: Rashmee Roshan Lall

    Senior Correspondents: Mahmud el-Shafey (London) & Lamine Ghanmi (Tunis)

    Regular Columnists

    Claude Salhani

    Yavuz Baydar


    Saad Guerraoui (Casablanca)

    Dunia El-Zobaidi (London)

    Roua Khlifi (Tunis)

    Thomas Seibert (Washington)

    Chief Designer: Marwen Hmedi


    Ibrahim Ben Bechir

    Hanen Jebali

    Published by Al Arab Publishing House

    Contact editor at:editor@thearabweekly.com

    Subscription & Advertising: Ads@alarab.co.uk

    Tel 020 3667 7249

    Mohamed Al Mufti

    Marketing & Advertising Manager

    Tel (Main) +44 20 6702 3999

    Direct: +44 20 8742 9262


    Al Arab Publishing House

    Kensington Centre

    177-179 Hammersmith Road

    London W6 8BS , UK

    Tel: (+44) 20 7602 3999

    Fax: (+44) 20 7602 8778

    Follow Us
    © The Arab Weekly, All rights reserved