The Venetian Panoramas

We took the panoramas out of the first post and have placed them all together here. You’ll have to scroll to the right to see many of them.

How many Elizabeth Monoians do you see in the photo above? Can the answer even be a finite number? Is she particles or a waves or both?

Acqua Alta

Opening Night

Traffic opened their new location on Um Suqeim Road last night with an exhibit that featured the works of Hesam Rahmanian, Hit Me With your war Tune. I wasn’t able to stay very long since I had to catch the last metro home, but it was a very good time, and a very successful night for the new venue.

The Rahmanian exhibit features some really visceral yet somewhat playful commentary on themes of oppression and politics. It will be up until December 30 along with other pieces from the Farook collection under that title of THE STATE, which will continue on until January 22.

Here are a few images from the opening and my walk home.

Happy Diwali!

We were on our way to the grocery store last night when we got pulled into the spirit of Diwali. There were lights on every balcony and fireworks going off all around. It was really magical. So we decided that instead of getting toilet paper and bread, we should walk to the Dubai Creek and make sure that we didn’t miss any of the festivities of the occasion.

We learned from talking to some lovely store owners in Bur Dubai that on Diwali, you are supposed to give gifts and hugs to your enemies. Very beautiful. We were the beneficiaries of some homemade treats that I will have dreams about for many nights. They were sort of reminiscent of peanut butter, had a fudge-like consistency, but comparison is impossible because they were unlike anything we had ever had before and I’m afraid that if I knew where to go to get a regular supply that I might end up living in a box somewhere guarding my stash.

I used to work as a cashier at the Giant in Harrisburg, PA when I was 15. Same exact logo.

Abu Dhabi Art Again

Another drive-by glimpse of Ferrari World. We really owe you an honest visit I guess.

Hope these wind towers are functional!

We returned to Abu Dhabi Art on Friday to catch up with our friend Huda Abifares, Founding Director of the Khatt Foundation. If you don’t know about the Khatt Foundation, you owe it to yourself to click on that link especially if you are interested in the aesthetics of the public realm and typography as art.

Some other interesting projects with workshops at the design center pavilion.

WIP Lounge.

Abu Dhabi Art

We had attended the Abu Dhabi Art opening last year under the incredible generosity of the jamjar gallery and I had forgotten my camera.

Abu Dhabi Art is one of those occasions where you really appreciate being here. It is a wonderfully organized event at the Emirates Palace in the glorious weather of Abu Dhabi November. Everyone is happy, inspired, and catered to with fancy hors d’œuvres and drinks that find you wherever you are.

So this year when we were again kindly bestowed invitations by the jamjar we vowed to make up for the photos we missed last year. So here they are. A most pleasant evening with contemporary art and friends.

Since we were only VIPs and not VVIPs or VVVIPs, we had to park in a side lot and catch a golf cart escort to the main entrance.

We were followed to the door by this SUV. Its passenger was a woman who we overheard while waiting in line for our cart. She was on her cellphone ranting about how last year she was able to valet to the door and that this was ridiculous and who did they think she was, putting her in a “buggy” of all things! The horror.

Mona Hatoum

Ahmed Askelany

Simeen Farhat

Love this photo!

A blurry w-shaped glimpse of Ferrari World on the way home.


Elizabeth was invited by the Nuqat Foundation to give a lecture under the conference theme of “Visual Pollution in the Arab World” at GUST University in Kuwait on Thursday. Her talk, mostly about Hot Spots and LAGI was really well received.

I flew up that night and we had an evening and a morning together in Kuwait before flying back together yesterday evening. So these photographs document those two walks around the center of Kuwait City. Unfortunately, half-way through our morning walk, the camera ran out of battery power (right as we came upon the modern art museum). So what you don’t see here is the museum, the fish market, and the beach walk. Sorry about that!


Muqtanayati: One Hundred Treasures is the latest exhibit at The JamJar gallery in Al Quoz. It runs 14 – 21 October 2010.

Our treasure: This water bottle with a hand-made harness for attaching to clothing was found at an active construction site in Al Barsha in the spring of 2009. It shows the creativity and resourcefulness of a labourer who needed access to hydration, but whose hands were busy with the work. It stands as a true artifact of contemporary culture and conditions in the UAE. 10.10.10 Sharjah

We took part in a event over the weekend.

On the way there, an interesting restaurant in Sharjah.

Dropping off our clean trash for use in the furniture-making competition!

Pay 3 dirhams and you can use this walk-in blow dryer after running around in the fountain.

To hold an event around here, even an “indy” one, you apparently have to have corporate sponsorship. To be fair, McDonald’s has been making some real changes lately like generating biomass energy from its waste and cutting packaging for its products. Still, they do purchase the soya that they feed their chickens from Cargill which, to this day, enables mass deforestation of Brazilian rain forests. And it really cannot be disputed that if we all stopped soliciting multinational fast food outlets, we would not only be far healthier but the CO2 emissions reductions would be enormous.

The winners of the furniture contest as decided by the jurors! These Sharjah based artists are actually really great. We’re going to be checking out their studio sometime soon.

Can you find us in the picture?

Some from along the way

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