ABRAAJ GROUP ART PRIZE 2010



Established by The Abraaj Group, a leading private equity investor, to support contemporary artists of the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, The Abraaj Group Art Prize invested in and has given resources to artists to develop their practice by realising a unique project. The prize reflects Abraaj’s own investment philosophy, which is to take viable businesses with great potential, and create regional and global champions.





The Abraaj Capital Art Prize is unprecedented in encouraging collaboration between artists from the region and international curators. Working in a symbolic partnership, each artist-curator team submitted a proposal for a hitherto unrealised project. After much deliberation, made especially difficult by the high standard of applications, the selection committee chose the three winners of the Abraaj Capital Art Prize 2010. Since the announcement of the winners in Dubai in September 2009, Kader Attia with Curator Laurie Ann Farrell, Hala Elkoussy with Curator Jelle Bouwhuis and Marwan Sahmarani with Curator Mahita El Bacha Urieta, have been working assiduously to realise their projects.



EXHIBITION

Winning Artist’s




Marwan Sahmarani with Curator Mahita El Bacha Urieta


The Feat of the Damned is an installation integrating painting, drawing, ceramics and film inspired by Hell: Fall of the Condemned Ones, by Rubens, and The Last Judgement, Sistine Chapel, by Michelangelo. Sahmarani has created a three-dimensional space in which the themes of martyrdom and expiation are dealt with in a way the resembles the millennia-old techniques of fresco painting in combination with contemporary media. The result is a poignant and intimately humane artwork of universal resonance and powerful visual and emotional impact. It may seem somewhat removed from the current Arab context; however, the topics are deeply rooted in cultural traditions of the Middle East region.

Hala Elkoussy with Curator Jelle Bouwhuis


The large-scale Myths & Legends Room: The Mural is an unexpected take on the mural as a commemorative work of propaganda art, referencing wall paintings and dioramas that celebrate the political history of modern Egypt. Elkoussy’s work is inspired by Cairo as a prime example of a growing, dynamic, contemporary metropolis. She deals with modernisation as a loss of tradition as well as a challenge; to inscribe a sense of the past as contained in habits, traditions and urban legends with the current visual language of film and photography. The resulting installations are inspired by and critically comment on the speed of the dazzling urban alteration process.

Kader Attia with Curator Laurie Ann Farrell


History of a Myth: The Small Dome of the Rock is a miniature sculpture comprised of three golden brass bolts assembled with two silver nuts of different sizes. Filmed from a tight vantage point, the sculpture is projected onto a large white canvas, increasing it to many times its actual size. Once projected onto this monumental scale the very small assemblage evokes an architectural representation of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. This work creates a space for interpreting our contemporary global culture where pieces of information ebb and flow; where meaning is diluted and the true value of things can be lost.



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