The Art Scene is never interested in the endemic indigenous Emirati artist, apart from a few endeavors visual culture in Dubai is largely imported. Certain scenes are privileged at given moments and we cannot deny immigrant artists bring with them a much needed diversity to an otherwise bland landscape. A few grew up in the Emirates or in near by kingdoms, others escape lives in Iran and the rest are there to sustain their practices from its entrepot economy.
Curators, Collectors, Fairs and Institutions often follow economic successes and economic terms with their pursuits. The 'Global South' arises from a need of representation of burgeoning economies - in geo-political gatherings, forums of business and subsequently in culture. The stereotype and the exotic that arises from the boxing of nationalities and culture leads to a pervert distance one which Janek Simon calls the furthering of distances for the need of an exciting travelogue. The dishonesty that arises from the need of discovery and paths taken to achieve that are critiqued in this exhibition where artists come to represent nations other than theirs during Dubai's most busy art week - Art Dubai, where national representation is the most natural distinguisher.
During the period of the Biennale & the Art Fair, in view of visits by Curators, Collectors, Galleryists, and enthusiasts, we present a selection of works, that are representative of the artists practice but not representative of their nationalities and cultural contexts. The works refute the idea of a visual exotic, arising from the notion proposed by Janek Simon that exoticism furthers distances among people through exaggeration that only befits a travelogue. As participants of an arena that is global, members from Clark House propose their refusal of interests in identity, but rather nihilistically propose their practices not offering the very pleasure that distance allows, even though the works arise from questions of inequality, identities and representation.
- Curated by Sumesh Sharma, Ezhupunna, Central Kerala, 2015.