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Contemporary Arab Video Encounter (CAVE) Opens Its Doors At Maraya Art Centre

From downtown Paris to the streets of Palestine, nine exceptional artists ponder revolutions, migrations and factional histories through video design.

Behind a panel of dark curtains and mirrored walls, an extraordinary group of multimedia artists from across the Arab world have joined together to investigate the region’s foremost social movements of the past several decades within this month’s CAVE (Contemporary Arab Video Encounter) exhibition at the Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah.

The exhibition, which will run until December 11th, was inaugurated yesterday in the presence of Sheikh Khalid Bin Saqr Al Qassimi, Chairman of Directorate of Public Works; ; H.E. Marwan Jassim Al Sakral, CEO of Al Qasba Development Authority; Sheikh Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi, Founder of Barjeel Art Foundation; H.E. Abdulla Al Owais, General Manager of Department of Culture and Information in Sharjah; Hisham Al-Mazloum, Director of Arts Directorate of the Department of Culture and Information in Sharjah; Ms. Manal Attaya, Director General of Sharjah Museum Department.

Through intricate video sampling and daring social parodies, each of the nine participating artists is primed to bring their individual cultures to the flat screen. The works featured—some created over many years—involve a complex analysis of psychological and social aspects of the artist’s personal life-stories. Hailing from countries such as Egypt, Iraq and Palestine, the artists involved in CAVE have all spent extensive time travelling the region, many having also showcased their work in nouveau capitals such as Paris, New York and Barcelona.

Giuseppe Moscatello, Arts & Culture Organizer at Al Qasba and Curator of Maraya Art Centre said, “It is an honour to welcome so many outstanding artists from the region to participate in this collective exhibition. Maraya Art Centre is dedicated to supporting contemporary art in the Arab world, and we look forward to future collaborations of this kind.”

Aida Eltorie, curator of the CAVE exhibit, declares the theme of the exhibition to truly be the medium itself, with inspiration left to the artist’s own individual connection to the region’s dynamic social landscape. Eltorie has worked in many such exhibits as an independent cultural producer and director of grassroots organization FindingProjects.Org, and through a myriad of gallery & museum shows across the globe.

“I really wanted to create a support structure for the artistic community while offering the public a unique chance to realize new and unconventional video projects from across the Middle East,” says Eltorie. “As a regional collective, the pieces in CAVE embody modern society’s rules and regulations on the idea of a ‘homeland’; the dynamic nature of shelters which carry both physical and emotional attachments. Not only do these structures define who we are, they demonstrate the interconnectivity of all cultures the world over.”

Contributors to this year’s event include: Adel Abidin (Iraq), Kader Attia (Algiers), Mohammed Kazem (UAE), Mounir Fatmi (Algiers), Faisal Samra (Bahrain), Khaled Hafez (Egypt), Larissa Sansour (Palestine), Mounira Al Solh (Lebanon), and Abdul Nasser Gharem (KSA).

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