Happy Eid Fitir | عيد فطر مبارك



Al Mahha Art wishes everyone a Happy Eid Fitir, may it be a blissful, peaceful & joyful celebration towards all.

Artwork details: Hamad AlSaab, Capturing The Moment (Connect to Disconnect to Connect Series) 2011, mix media and Swarovski on canvas, 130×170 cm. Courtesy of artist.

موقع المها للفنون يتمنى للجميع عيدَ فطر مباركاً وأن يعود عليكم بالسلام والسعادة والخير. عيد سعيد.

تفاصيل اللوحة: عمل فني للفنان الكويتي حمد الصعب بعنوان “التقاط اللحظة” ٢٠١١. مواد مختلفة وسواروڤيسكي على قماش، ١٣٠*١٧٠ سم.

A.i.R Dubai 2015: Open Call for UAE-based Artists

Joe Namy ' Sideways Kiss' A.I.R 2013. Digital Print on 2009 Range Rover LR2 rear windshield. Courtesy of The artist, Delfina Foundation, Dubai Culture, Tashkeel, Art Dubai
 Joe Namy ' Sideways Kiss' A.I.R 2013. Digital Print on 2009 Range Rover LR2 rear windshield. Courtesy of The artist, Delfina Foundation, Dubai Culture, Tashkeel, Art Dubai
Joe Namy ‘ Sideways Kiss’ A.I.R 2013. Digital Print on 2009 Range Rover LR2 rear windshield. Courtesy of The artist, Delfina Foundation, Dubai Culture, Tashkeel, Art Dubai


Art Dubai, the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), Delfina Foundation and Tashkeel have launched the fourth year of Artists-in-Residence (A.i.R) Dubai, with an Open Call inviting Emirati and locally-based artists to apply for a place on the three-month residency.

In an expansion of the programme for 2014-15, Dubai Culture—the Emirate’s dedicated Authority for culture, arts and heritage—is supporting a new Assistant Curator position, offering the opportunity for an upcoming Emirati curator to work alongside the established, international curator who will manage this dynamic initiative.

The six selected artists–four from the local community, including both UAE Nationals and residents, and two from the international community–will spend three months in-residence in Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, January-March 2015, working with the Projects Curator and Assistant Curator. Their residencies will culminate in the creation of site-specific works, as part of Art Dubai Projects, a not-for-profit series of new commissions exhibited at the annual fair (March 18-21, 2015). While the Open Call is for UAE Nationals and resident artists, the international artists-in-residence will be by nomination.

The residency partners—Art Dubai, the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), Delfina Foundation and Tashkeel—are in the process of appointing an experienced Projects Curator, following a nomination process. The Projects Curator will manage the Art Dubai Projects at the fair as well as develop the A.i.R outreach programme with the support of the Assistant Curator. Expanding the programme to include an Assistant Curator follows a recognition of the need to nurture curatorial practice in the UAE.

A.i.R Dubai 2015 features an expanded education and outreach programme, with talks and workshops taking place throughout the three-month residency, engaging local schools, universities and the arts community at large. The residency house will then develop into an Open Studios during Art Week 2015, which includes Art Dubai, Design Days Dubai and SIKKA, the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority’s artist-led contemporary art fair.

Applications are open until August 21, 2014. For more information about the programme and to download the application form, please visit http://www.tashkeel.org, or send your enquires to submission@tashkeel.org.

Ramadan Greetings from Al Mahha Art | مبارك عليكم الشهر

May AlSaad "Samri" 1999, Oil on Canvas. Courtesy of artist.
May AlSaad "Samri" 1999, Oil on Canvas. Courtesy of artist.
May AlSaad “Samri” 1999, Oil on Canvas. Courtesy of artist.


Al Mahha Art wishes you blessing time and peace in Ramadan. We will not publish articles during July and August except Mark Your Calendar, as we are in the process of an entire revamp! However, you can follow latest news, discover artists and get close up with interesting reads we carefully select daily through our social media which you can also interact and connect with us.

For those interested in Human and Women Rights issue, check our dedicated page to radio fiction series “Be 100 Ragl (Worth 100 Men)” about challenges facing women in demanding their right in Middle East. Click here for further details.

We wish you peaceful Ramadan and joyful summer vacation… See you on the beginning on Art Season!

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موقع المها للفنون يتمنى لكم رمضانا مباركا وكل عام وانتم بخير. سيتوقف الموقع عن نشر المقالات خلال شهري يوليو واغسطس (تموز وآب) لاننا في صدد تطوير الموقع! يمكنم خلال هذه الفترة متابعتنا لمعرفة اخر الاخبار الفنية والثقافية حول العالم والتعرف على فنانين واعمالهم بالاضافة الى الاطلاع 
على اهم التقارير في سوق الفن في الشرق الاوسط والعالم، التي نختارها جميعا بعناية وبشكل يومي عبر وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي

ولا تنسوا الاطلاع على صفحتنا المخصصة للبرنامج الاذاعي (بمية راجل) الذي سيعرض طيلة شهر يوليو حول دور المرأة في المجتمع والتحديات التي تواجهها عند مطالبتها بحقوقها. لمزيد من المعلومات اضغطوا هنا

اسرة موقع المها تتمنى لكم رمضانا كريما واجازة صيف ممتعة… نراكم في بداية الموسم الفني الثقافي القادم (العمل بعنوان “سامري” للفنانة الكويتية مي السعد 1999 الوان زيتية على قماش

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Sharjah Biennial 12 Title and Dates Announced

Sharjah Biennale
Sharjah Biennale
Sharjah Biennale

Sharjah Biennale 12, one of established and most celebrated biennales in the region since 1993, is due to launch March 5, 2015 until June 5, 2015 titled The past, the present, the possible in Arts Area, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, curated by Eungie Joo & Ryan Inouye as  associate curator.   announced today.

Sharjah Biennial 12 (SB12) began to take shape in a private conversation between artist Danh Vo and curator Eungie Joo in early 2013. Together they discussed the relevance of contemporary art and the potential of artistic positions to imagine something beyond current states of social and political confinement—and the need for artists to play active roles in imagining the possible.

While archeological research confirms the presence of humans in this region over 150,000 years ago, Sharjah—as a city, an emirate and a member of a relatively young federation—is still in the process of imagining itself through education, culture, religion, heritage and science. SB12 will invite more than fifty artists and cultural practitioners from approximately twenty-five countries to participate in this process by introducing their ideas of the possible through their art and work.

SB12 will be on view from March 5 – June 5, 2015, with opening events taking place March 5 – 8. A vital component of Sharjah Art Foundation’s annual programming, March Meeting 2015 will take place in mid-May, exact dates forthcoming. SB12 will also feature a monthly talks series in Sharjah beginning in September 2014.

Since 1993, Sharjah Biennial has commissioned, produced and presented large-scale public installations, performances and films, offering artists from the region and beyond an internationally recognised platform for exhibition and experimentation.

About Eungie Joo

Sharjah Biennale 12 Curator Eungie Joo. Photo Courtesy: acordacasa.com.br
Sharjah Biennale 12 Curator Eungie Joo. Photo Courtesy: acordacasa.com.br

Eungie Joo is Director of Art and Cultural Programs at Instituto Inhotim in Brumadinho, Brasil. Previously, she was Director and Curator of Education and Public Programs at the New Museum, New York (2007–2012) where she commissioned the yearlong seminar Night School by Anton Vidokle; edited Rethinking Contemporary Art and Multicultural Education (Routledge and New Museum, 2009); published the Art Spaces Directory (ArtAsiaPacific and New Museum, 2012); and curated The Ungovernables (2012). Joo presented Condensation: Haegue Yang at the Korean Pavilion in the 53rd Venice Biennale (2009). As founding Director and Curator of the Gallery at REDCAT, Los Angeles (2003–2007), she commissioned projects by Mark Bradford, Damián Ortega, Sora Kim, Taro Shinoda, SUPERFLEX, Kara Walker, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, and others.

About Sharjah Artndation

SAF brings a broad range of contemporary art and cultural programmes to Sharjah, the UAE, and the region. Since 2009, SAF has built on the history of cultural collaboration and exchange that began with the first Sharjah Biennial in 1993. Working with local and international partners, SAF creates opportunities for artists and artistic production through core initiatives that include the Sharjah Biennial, the annual March Meeting, residencies, production grants, commissions, exhibitions, research, publications, and a growing collection. SAF’s education and public programmes focus on building recognition of the central role art can play in the life of a community by promoting public learning and a participatory approach to art. For more information, go to:  Sharjah Art Foundation.

Being An Arab Is A Bless Or Less?!

ARA-B-LESS project by Riffy Ahmed & Sarah El Hamed
ARA-B-LESS project by Riffy Ahmed & Sarah El Hamed
ARA-B-LESS project by Riffy Ahmed & Sarah El Hamed


Being an Arab, whether in the Middle East or in born and raised in West, is a Bless or Less? A burden or pride? something to be ashamed of source of ‘happiness’? Well the word ‘happy’ doesn’t really fit into the context… Do you carry the same ‘Arab’ identity no matter where you go & live? Is it labeled as a source of endless judgments by others (westerns or Arabs in West or back home) And is it necessary to live outside your country for whatever reason, to be considered as a second or third citizen (in some cases, resident or stranger no matter how many years you spent in the hosting country) As one can be in his hometown, born and live there, yet struggle to find his / her own identity…

The question is What is Arab identity?!

Two artists, visual Riffat Ahmed & performer Sarah El Hamed collaborate together to begin a journey of identity identification in their project ARA-B-LESS. ARA-B-LESS is an active collaboration initiated by a conversation between the two artists; it is about the representation of their identity as seen by themselves and the Other, as ‘Arab’ born women and having lived in the West, it will launch June 5 with a performance titled ‘Prelude’ at Galerie TALMART, Paris.

They are on a mission to go beyond conventional conversation by documenting and visualising it in multiple mediums. The final product of this project is the realization of a short satirical film which will bring their conversation beyond their physical sphere by entering into a hyper real space i.e. film scenes, depicted frames and popular culture references in challenging their representation within them or lack of place which are in need of reconstruction to be more identifiable with their reality.

This collaboration is a journey for both artists and will evolve in various stages. The first has begun by them both engaging in research, documenting references as well as interacting with other connections (i.e. to engage with third perspective) to assist them in developing and directing the conversation in a scalable and organic manner.


Is it necessary to live outside your country for whatever reason, to be considered as a second or third citizen (in some cases, resident or stranger no matter how many years you spent in the hosting country) As one can be in his hometown, born and live there, yet struggle to find his / her own identity… The question is What is Arab identity?!


Developing on their findings and conversation, they will design a series of performative works presented via multiple mediums i.e. sound, performance, text, video, photo etc which will allow them to synthesize and explore this in/between space they exist in through deconstructing or reconstructing fantasy spaces to a reality (or vice versa).

The film ARA-B-LESS? will be a video essay yet blurring the boundary of fiction and reality in animating their conversation in a satirical and whimsical manner yet with the artists using their selves as vessels to explore the identity of “Arab” as illustrated through the stereotypes they have been or are still conveyed through film, art, literature, etc. In doing this, both artists look to reveal this multidimensional space “in-between” (In / Between Space, as they call it) by deconstructing images present in the collective consciousness and replaying frames by adjusting the parameters that ‘they subtract or add.

Both artists and the roles they play will be ever changing in this project as with the nature of conversation perspectives shift from the role of viewer, subject and the critic.


“Ara-b-less” is a neologism born of a pun on the term “arabness” (Arabism). Two designs hints behind the title “ara-b-less” the first being “ara-BLESS” suggesting that Arab identity is a blessing -to “bless” / blessing-, the second is “arab-LESS” of “less”. 

The question in this title is an exploration of the visual representations of Arab identity of the two artists who were born and have lived in Europe, raised by parents from Arab countries. They discuss their value and / or value lost through a visionary art project.


Prelude marks the launch of the ARA-B-LESS project in presenting the initiation of why this conversation began and the journey it is about to embark. It is a performance that will visualise and animate Riffy and Sarah’s conversation beyond conventional norms of simply chatting to visually highlight the notion of entering and leaving the frame of reality to a hyper real space they called the In/Between.

“Vacillating between “Ara-BLESS / Arab-LESS” value added or lost value, they discuss their understanding of identity in this In/between space as well as the meeting and colliding of words they use in realising their identity is not only in being but is perceived by the viewer.

They engage a conversation before this audience through different mediums: sound, image and role play to animate the duality of their roles as well as the confines and freedoms of where their imagination can take them. For more information: click here.

About the Artists

Riffat Ahmed is a visual artist and filmmaker based in London. He comes from a mixed heritage background of Arabic-Bahraini and Bangladesh and was born in Manchester yet travelled around the world from Singapore, Japan, Middle east, New York and Bangladesh before settling back in the UK.

Since graduating from Central Saint Martins school of art in BA (Hons) Fine Art (New Media) Riffat worked on various film projects to generate more production experience as a filmmaker. As well as range of roles and projects from directing music videos, art films, co-producing a feature film that was made entirely in a month, leading film workshops with Manifesta and the BFI, France & Algeria as well as edited video art works for Larissa Sansour, Oreet Ashery and Hassan Hajjaj. (source)

Sarah El Hamed is a French-Algerian Performance artist based in Paris, France. Her career began as a singer and theatre performer and has actively gone onto collaborate and build significant Euro-Maghrebi art network producing various cultural art projects in France, Algeria and U.K.

Her performances explore perceptions of reality, existentialist questions and spiritual quest through scenarios and characters she creates orchestrated in audience participatory setups blurring the boundaries of suspended reality. (source)