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On(line) Healing, curated by Marina Fokidis

Dear Visitor,

A year ago, we began working on the Performance Programme for Art Dubai 2020 and we had no idea – of course – what was coming our way. We came up with a programme that would look into healing as an act of togetherness and art; healing as a gesture of poetically restoring experiences, processes and memories which are part of our human existence, besides borders, power asymmetries and any other “temporal” conventions. Who could imagine that just before the opening we would be confronted with an unprecedented “temporal convention” such as the one we are living through now?

The programme would had evolved in two connected parts: the onsite (the venue of Art Dubai) and the online. The online section was intended and remains to be a curatorial experiment on how to enlarge the “corporeal” – within the realm of contemporary art performance – in ways that go beyond any kind of physical restrictions. During these extraordinary times, with the online being humanity’s window to the world, On(line) Healing takes a new dimension. Selected artists Angelo Plessas, Bahar Noorizadeh, Imaad MajeedTabita Rezaire and Tiago Sant’Ana and have been invited to engage their bodies and minds, as well as diverse communities and viewers in rethinking society. Taking into account the current constantly evolving readings of what healing means, the programme aims to give rise to unexpected relationships among diverse and heterogeneous knowledges and to establish a medicinal space for our collective therapy to exist.

With solidarity and love,

Marina Fokidis, Curator of the Art Dubai Performances Programme


Bahar Noorizadeh (1988, Tehran)

During Japan Tsunami, a Strange Creature Was Caught on Camera (2015)

Desktop-Lecture-Performance, 7 min 55 sec

During Japan Tsunami a Strange Creature was Caught on Camera is a desktop-lecture-performance inspired by the failed US hostage rescue operation at the Tabas desert in Iranpart of Iran-US diplomatic relations post 1978 Iranian Revolution- and the geopolitics of oil and the gas pipelines connecting the southern and northern regions of Iran. The computer screen is treated as a form of desert, where acts of excavation and inhumation of narratives could render possible. (The work includes quotation from A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, 1980 and Cyclonopedia: Complicity with Anonymous Materials, Reza Negarestani2008) 

Bahar Noorizadeh (1988, Tehran) is a filmmaker, writer, and visual artist. Her work has appeared in the Tate Modern Artists’ Cinema Program, Berlinale Forum Expanded, Transmediale Festival, Geneva Biennale of Moving Images, Beirut Art Center, among others. Noorizadeh’s current research examines the intersections of finance, Contemporary Art and emerging technology, building on the notion of “Weird Economies” to precipitate a cross-disciplinary approach to economic futurism and post-financialization imaginaries. She is pursuing this as a PhD candidate in Art Practice at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Imaad Majeed (1991, Colombo)

please share my self care(2020)

Video Performance, 4 min 24 sec

Does ironic distancing help us talk more openly about what is difficult? What can we learn from Gen-Z and their forms of healing? Perhaps it is not to learn but to unlearn what we think of as healing, in order to truly heal. In the process of creating this work, the artist immersed themselves in the world of TikTok, where, worldwide, youth express and work through their trauma in ways so particular to the online terrain and meme culture. Please share my self care is an exploration of meme and ritual, set against the escalating planetary trauma of COVID-19, as each iteration of the ritual responds to graver circumstances. 

Imaad Majeed is a poet and performance artist based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Their performance art has explored themes of identity, language, late stage capitalism, commodity fetishism, sacred space, xenophobia, ethnoreligious conflict and healing. They have participated in the Eternal Internet Brotherhood/Sisterhood, documenta 14, and the Theertha Performance Platform 2019.

Tiago Sant’ana (1990, Santo Antonio de Jesus)

Passar em Branco, (2018) 

Video, 8 min 6 sec

Passar em Branco is an attempt to identify a continuity of the colonial systems with respect to the relations of work and race in Brazil. Evolving around a friction between the ruins of an old sugar mill (where the performance is taking place) and contemporary life-tools (as the electric clothes iron) the work highlights the existence of a structure in which race and division of labor are in full association and mutual reinforcement. The whiteness has a strategic presence in the work in a position of contrast with the ruins, with the blackness embodied in the artist and also in a chromatic data of how many domestic appliances have a light color as an attempt to “neutralize” the manual work. 


Based in Salvador, (Brazil) Tiago Sant’Ana is a visual artist, curator and a PHD candidate in Culture and Society at the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA). His works emerge from and the identity representations and the emerging tensions around Afro Brazilian culture and population, taking on colonial dynamics in the country’s history and memory to provoke reflections on contemporary experiences. Since 2010, his works have been exhibited in solo shows and group exhibitions in different countries like Britain, Colombia, Germany, Portugal and the United States of America.  

Angelo Plessas (1974, Athens)

MissionToTheNoosphere.com, (2017)

Website based unique work

Collection Silvia Fiorucci Roman, Monaco 

MissionToTheNoosphere.com is a component of a broader project called The Noospheric Society which was started as part the public program of documenta 14. The project, as a whole, reflects on the spiritual sides of technology, merging concepts of the biosphere and cybersphere with the intention to touch issues on freedom of speech, social relations, environmental energies, healing, among others. The website here offers a “snapshot” of the usually opposing “energies” of technology and nature which can now coexist harmoniously. 

Angelo Plessas’ work highlights the ambiguous approach of spirituality with technology opening up themes of freedom of speech, social relations, and identity. Plessas’ activities range from performances to artist residencies; from self-publishing to interactive websites; from sculpture to live-stream events and educational projects. He participated in documenta 14 (Athens/Kassel) while other recent projects include an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and his participation in the upcoming 10th Gwangju Biennale. Plessas  is the founder of the artist-run space P.E.T. Projects in Athens. 

Tabita Rezaire (1989, Cayenne)

Deep Down Tidal, (2017)

HD video, 18 min 44 sec

Deep Down Tidalis a video essay in typical net.art style, weaving together cosmological, spiritual, political and technological narratives about water and its role in communication, then and now. The work excavates the power of water as a conductive interface for communication. From submarine cables to sunken cities, drowned bodies, hidden histories of navigations and sacred signal transmissions, the ocean is home to a complex set of communication networks. As modern information and communication technologies become omnipresent in our industrialized realities, we urgently need to understand the cultural, political and environmental forces that have shaped them. 

Tabita Rezaire is infinity incarnated into an agent of healing. Her cross-dimensional practices envision network sciences – organic, electronic and spiritual – as healing technologies to serve the shift towards heart consciousness. Navigating digital, corporeal and ancestral memory as sites of struggles, she digs into scientific imaginaries to tackle the pervasive matrix of coloniality and the protocols of energetic misalignments that affect the songs of our body-mind-spirits. Tabita is is part of the artist group NTU, half of the duo Malaxa, and the mother of the energy house SENEB. She has shown her work internationally – Serpentine London; MoMa NY; New Museum NY; Gropius Bau Berlin; MMOMA Moscow, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; HEK Basel; ICA London; V&A London; National Gallery Denmark; The Broad LA; MoCADA NY; Tate Modern London; Museum of Modern Art Paris.