Modes and Methods

  • 6 May - 7 May, 2014
  • Google House

Methods of making in the field of art have traditionally been reflective of the era in which an artist was operating, and the tools/technology available for creative production within a given context. With advances in technology and the emergence of alternative fabrication methods and materials, the processes of art-making have begun to branch out and morph, catering to the individual visions of art producers. At present, art makers have the option of delving into a number of different media and processes at once, creating composite approaches that are distinctive of their individual practice and oeuvre. Methods and procedures involved in making artifacts, undivided from a piece’s subject matter, reveal the preoccupations and objectives of their maker.

With an exceptionally rapid economic development and technological advancements that the United Arab Emirates have experienced since the 1970s, methods of making in the realm of art have visibly transformed and swiftly expanded into territories such as photography, scanography, video and performance, among numerous other previously untapped areas. Changes and developments have also found their way into traditional modes of art-making, such as painting and sculpture, highlighting a growing interest in abstraction and conceptual thought over naturalistic representation.

Alongside urban and technological developments, a transformation in culture, environment and lifestyle was occurring as well, often turning the once familiar into barely recognizable. Reflecting on the swift changes, creating social commentaries and attempting to reconcile tradition with modernity became some of the prevalent themes concerning contemporary artists of the region. For some, the past became a subject of nostalgia, and memories turned into material for documentation and preservation. Others pursued an approach that called for observation and critical response to their current living conditions, considering modernity in the context of Emirati history.

Artists featured in this show all use starkly different methods of production, ranging from painting, print-making and digital collage, to the realms of working with found objects, mathematical systems and performance. Considering the distinctive approaches developed by this group of artists towards creating a piece of work, the procedures and methods involved in their making process become integral to the reading of their finished products.