Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority Commissions Immersive and Interactive Installation for Upcoming Exhibition of Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Collection

Artwork by artists Hesam Rahmanian, Ramin Haerizadeh, and Rokni Haerizadeh will embody essence of
The Creative Act: Performance • Process • Presence

All India, 1st February 2017: Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) has commissioned artists Hesam Rahmanian, Ramin Haerizadeh, and Rokni Haerizadeh to create an installation inspired by the core themes of The Creative Act: Performance • Process • Presence, the second exhibition of works from the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi collection, which opens 7 March 2017 at Manarat Al Saadiyat on Saadiyat Island. The exhibition will bring together artists of different generations from different places of the world who have emphasised performance, process, and human presence in their practice, offering a transcultural perspective on these defining aspects of contemporary art.

Hesam Rahmanian (b. 1980, Knoxville, Tennessee; lives and works in Dubai), Ramin Haerizadeh (b. 1975, Tehran; lives and works in Dubai), and Rokni Haerizadeh (b. 1978, Tehran; lives and works in Dubai), create immersive installations that incorporate various mediums-such as painting, performance, photography, sculpture, and video-and are realised in collaboration with other contributors including artists, curators, musicians, and friends. For The Creative Act exhibition, they have created a multi-room installation that will feature site-specific paintings, videos, and artworks by other artists including: Nargess Hashemi and Laleh Khorramian made for this exhibition and from the artists’ art collection. It will take visitors on a journey through distinctive yet interconnected episodes or acts that offer reflections on the nature of art and how we represent ourselves and the world in which we live through words, images, gestures, and movement.

Another Happy Day (2016–17) emphasises the resonance of the past in the present and the power of representation across time by charting a historical continuum from the 1930s to today. A dedicated gallery in the centre of the installation invites viewers to explore this expansive period through video recordings of plays by Samuel Beckett and Bertolt Brecht and a performance of John Cage’s experimental music; low-cost objects by artists associated with the loose 1960s and 1970s network of artists known as Fluxus, who sought to blur the boundary between art and life and elicit viewer participation; and a library of books offering insight into the histories of the theatre and Performance art. Recent videos and “moving paintings” made collaboratively by the Haerizadehs and Rahmanian bring attention to such timeless and timely issues as human interdependence and the importance of solidarity in the face of adversity.

Valerie Hillings, Ph.D., Manager, Curatorial Affairs, Abu Dhabi Project, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, said: “This new project was commissioned in the spirit of the exhibition, which emphasises the act of creation. With a practice grounded in the principals of performance, process, and the artists presence, Hesam Rahmanian, Ramin Haerizadeh, and Rokni Haerizadeh were the perfect choice. Echoing the artworks that visitors will explore throughout the exhibition, this commission will highlight the simple gestures and body language of everyday life, and the strategies used to overcome barriers to communication through creative practices. It’s been a remarkable experience to not only observe but also participate in the development of the installation, which is sure to be a work in progress up to and even beyond the opening, as it will inspire a multimedia public programme that will actively engage audience participation.”

Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh, and Hesam Rahmanian added: “What is great about this collaboration is that you become one body with multiple, critical eyes-critique not in a sense of diminishing but in a sense of seeing it in another way.”

In creating Another Happy Day, the artists were inspired by the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi collection chronology of the 1960s to the present, and by the selection of works presented in The Creative Act: Performance• Process• Presence, particularly the documentation of the late Hassan Sharif’s performance pieces dating to the 1980s, which he realised in both London and Dubai.

The Creative Act: Performance • Process • Presence exhibition opens March 7 and runs until July 29. The exhibitionis curated by Valerie Hillings, Ph.D., Curator and Manager, Curatorial Affairs, Abu Dhabi Project; Sasha Kalter-Wasserman, Assistant Curator, Abu Dhabi Project; with Sarah Dwider, Curatorial Assistant, Abu Dhabi Project, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation; and Maisa Al Qassimi, Head of Programmes – Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, with Muneera Al Sayegh, Programmes Officer – Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority.

-ENDS-

ABOUT GUGGENHEIM ABU DHABI
Guggenheim Abu Dhabi will promote the understanding and appreciation of contemporary art, architecture, and other manifestations of modern and contemporary visual culture from an international perspective. A curatorial programme with a transcultural perspective on art and visual culture from the 1960s to the present will have a strong focus on art from West Asia, North Africa, and South Asia, exploring the specific identity derived from the cultural traditions of Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates. The future museum, and its growing collection, is owned by the Government of Abu Dhabi. Surrounded almost entirely by water, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi will have spectacular views of the Saadiyat Cultural District and the Arabian Gulf. Galleries, many unprecedented in scale, are distributed around the central atrium on four levels connected by glass bridges above. Open to the elements, the museum cones housing contemporary art commissions, recall the region’s ancient wind-towers, which both ventilate and shade the exterior courtyards in a fitting blend of Arabian tradition and modern design. The museum will also feature a 350-seat theatre, education workshops and classrooms, an onsite conservation lab, as well as a retail store, cafes, and a restaurant.

The museum will be a catalyst for scholarship in a variety of fields, chief among them the history of art from West Asia, North Africa, and South Asia in the 20th and 21st centuries. A dynamic programme of changing exhibitions will explore common themes and affinities among the work of artists across time and geography. An ambitious programme of commissions created for the collection and exceptional spaces of Guggenheim Abu Dhabi will reinforce the museum’s commitment to working with artists and the art of our time.

Guggenheim Abu Dhabi is being developed in collaboration with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation.

ABOUT THE SOLOMON R. GUGGENHEIM FOUNDATION
Founded in 1937, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of art, primarily of the modern and contemporary periods, through exhibitions, education programs, research initiatives, and publications. The Guggenheim network that began in the 1970s when the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, was joined by the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, has since expanded to include the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (opened 1997), and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi (currently in development). The Guggenheim Foundation continues to forge international collaborations that celebrate contemporary art, architecture, and design within and beyond the walls of the museum, including the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative and The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Chinese Art Initiative. More information about the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation can be found at guggenheim.org.

ABOUT ABU DHABI TOURISM & CULTURE AUTHORITY
Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority conserves and promotes the heritage and culture of Abu Dhabi emirate and leverages them in the development of a world-class, sustainable destination of distinction which enriches the lives of visitors and residents alike. The authority manages the emirate’s tourism sector and markets the destination internationally through a wide range of activities aimed at attracting visitors and investment. Its policies, plans and programmes relate to the preservation of heritage and culture, including protecting archaeological and historical sites and to developing museums, including the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. The authority supports intellectual and artistic activities and cultural events to nurture a rich cultural environment and honour the emirate’s heritage. A key authority role is to create synergy in the destination’s development through close co-ordination with its wide-ranging stakeholder base.

For more information please contact:
Anu Bhat
PR and Brand Executive
Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority
India
Tel: +91 11 23737348, +91 9643674469 | Fax: +91 11 23350270
Email: ABhat@tcaabudhabi.ae