UAE united arab emirates pavilion at venice biennale 2011
UAE  united arab emirates  pavilion at venice biennale 2011 UAE  united arab emirates  pavilion at venice biennale 2011
jul 09, 2011

UAE united arab emirates pavilion at venice biennale 2011

‘naked sweet potato’ by abdullah al saadi at united arab emirates pavilion image © designboom

representing his country at the venice art biennale 2011, multimedia artist abdullah al saadi presents his work ‘naked sweet potato’ at the united arab emirates pavilion. based in the coastal town of khorfakan, al saadi is interested taxonomy’s groupings of species, whether they are natural or invented. the sweet potato is the item of interest in this installation, subject to scientific documentation on rock engravings, paintings, sculptures, and miscellaneous other objects: over the course of a decade (2000 – 2010), the artist engaged in daily study of the vegetable and recorded his findings, in the form of drawings, jewelry, video, and more.

alternate installation views © seeing things photography, courtesy of UAE pavilion

sweet potato jewelry image © designboom

installation detail image © designboom

installation detail image © designboom

detail of rocks with sweet potato engravings image © designboom

sweet potato drawings image © designboom

sweet potato drawings image © designboom

sweet potato paintings image © designboom

an interview with artist abdullah al saadi (begins 1:55)
video © biennale channel

the united arab emirates’s inaugural pavilion was at the venice art biennale in 2009, making it the first of any gulf nation to participate. the title for this year’s pavilion is thus appropriately ‘second time around,’ and features ‘naked sweet potato’ by abdullah al saadi, as well as work from dubai-based artists reem al ghaith and lateefa bint maktoum.

photographs by UAE pavilion artist lateefa bint maktoum image © designboom

mixed-media installation by UAE pavilion artist reem al ghaith image © designboom

located in the artiglierie at the arsenale, this exhibition was commissioned by lamees hamdan and curated by vasif kortun. 
 the 54th international art exhibition in venice, italy, runs until november 27, 2011.

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