Warehouse421, the home-grown arts and design center dedicated to showcasing and nurturing creative production across the region, in collaboration with Gulf Photo Plus (GPP), Dubai’s center for photography, announces “Past, Borrowed” exhibition, curated around the theme of Year of the 50 th and UAE National Day.
The exhibition will debut in Gulf Photo Plus (GPP) from 8 December 2021 until 15 January 2022, will feature archival images, photographs, text, and audio works that suspend a social history shared between migrant communities to the UAE and their role in rooting its contemporary visual culture through the works of various UAE-born and based artists including Ammar Al Attar, Bhoomika Ghaghada, and Saleh Al Tamimi. The project also announces an Open Call to the community to submit archival material of the UAE to be part of the exhibition from 30 November 2021 to 2 January 2022.
This is a very exciting exhibition as it does not only offer the community a glimpse into the history of the UAE as we celebrate the Year of the 50th, but it also allows those who found in the UAE home to be part of its narrative and to tell its story through their archives of photographs, texts, and objects. We are also in conversation with cultural institutions across the UAE to make the exhibition a traveling show in an opportunity to engage with people who came to this land, created their own families, and built a life for themselves. Those people have been an integral part of the UAE journey and have contributed to the writing of its historyFaisal Al Hassan, Head of Warehouse421
Between a history to be retold and the pointed revisionism of the works presented, this exhibition points to the ongoing production of a composite archive.
Self-taught photographer and mixed media artist Ammar Al Attar chronicles the social history of the UAE and its relations with its neighbors across the ocean, mainly India, Iran, and Pakistan in his work Reverse Moments. It uncovers the employment opportunities that became available in tandem with rapid development through the stories of the studio pioneers and their networks of friends, families and compatriots. The Emirati artist investigates the longest-standing studios, some set up in the late 1960s when the country was still part of the Trucial States, others in the early 1970s after the founding of the UAE.
Saleh Al Tamimi’s Only Time Could Tell is the product of three years of location research, recurring visits and permit approvals. Though this phase of the project was completed in 2015, Al Tamimi reflects on how he could continue to document the same locations, which have since then been developed even further.
UAE-born and raised cultural practitioner, researcher, and writer Bhoomika Ghaghada presents A moment, three stories using photographs of Dubai (1950-1980) from a family archive, snippets from academic texts, and orally-transmitted anecdotes within the family. The project is a starting attempt at filling and opening up spaces in the narrative of Dubai.
People have made lives here, fallen in love, created families, and cultivated long-life friendships. This is what we are excited to bring to the wider community and to give an opportunity for the people in this country to share how living here shaped their lives. While the exhibition brings together wonderful and talented artists who are lived in the UAE, it also gives a platform for people who are not necessarily full-time artists to tell their storiesMohamed Somji, Director of Gulf Photo Plus (GPP)
The Open Call Members of the community can submit their archival material to be included in the exhibition.