Last evening was the opening of MinD (Made in Dubai). Billed as an alternative art festival and timed to coordinate with the Art Dubai festival this week, MinD focuses on works of art by Dubai residents and the local art scene here.
Aviarium by Elizabeth Monoian and Robert Ferry
Our piece, Aviarium, consists of 12 obedient sugar birds dressed in cellophane watching a video and one similar little sugar bird who tried to get away. The video is a loop of a bird flying multiple times into a window with sound that mixes a David Attenborough commentary on the Lyre bird with the amplified sound of the smacking. The lyre bird is held up as the exemplary overachiever to which all sugar birds would aspire, the ends to which the means it is suggested might be the sisyphean degradation of one’s soul.
When we struggle individually to find meaning for our lives in this complex and interconnected world, we do so with the assumption that our actions are willful—that we have real choices to make between doing what is easy and what is just—in setting ourselves apart as successful and dernier cri, as model citizens and conservationists, as entrepreneurs and progressives. Much like the “Allegory of the Cave” from Plato’s Republic expanded the notion of reality to include metaphysical world, the Aviarium seeks to expand our notion of what is required of us in a contemporary society that has become enlightened to the evolutionary construction of our behaviors and emotions and the seemingly deterministic functions of our neural systems. Perhaps the light of the cave fire is comparable to the ‘light’ of our collective notions of normality that have helped to defined the concept of civilization for all of history.
Mass Produced by Toma Gabor
My Little Pony by Sarah Lahti
Flight by Rebecca Rendell
The Funeral Procession by Michael Bray
Darwin “Japat” Guevarra
Construction series by Hind Mezaina
Fathima Mohiuddin and Karen Dias
Beats by Liz Ramos-Prado
GesturoDubai: A Mer-chan Souvenir (live performance and video installation) by Wayne Osborne and Katy Chang
Pidgeon, Barry Anderson