vs. Him is the first solo exhibition in Dubai by Iraqi/Palestinian multi-media artist Sama Alshaibi. Working in video, photography and - for the first time- sculpture vs. Him investigates Middle Eastern masculinities in relationship to, and in contrast with, a female protagonist. Recently there have been rapid political changes in the region, but because of deeply ingrained practices, attitudes towards gender equality seem to take much longer to change.
Some of her material references ancient history, other imagery is clearly contemporary, whilst some is verging on futuristic, so that the contemporary and future collide, giving visual form to the topologies of Middle Eastern masculinities, both real and theoretical. Alshaibi's aim however is not to describe or judge the status quo, but is prescriptive as she stages performances featuring herself as the protagonist to portray the contemporary Middle Eastern male in his various roles, often with absurd humour, irony and 'genderalisations'.
Born of Palestinian-Iraqi parentage and exiled to the United States when young, Alshaibi's work reflects forced migrations and the in-between state of statelessness. Alshaibi is also interested in the threshold of two different existential planes, of disorientation, and spaces between spaces. Whether applied within a context of a political map or even the search for meaning, her practice is rooted in the anxieties of the human experience. Alshaibi lives and works in Tucson, Arizona, USA where she is an Assistant Professor of Photography and Video Art at the University of Arizona.
Alshaibi has exhibited in over 20 countries including Selma Feriani, London, Exit Art, NYC, Art Dubai, Dubai, Bastakiya Art Fair, Dubai, Empty Quarter, Dubai, Traffic, Dubai, Al Hoash, Jerusalem, DARB 1718, Cairo, The Bronx Museum, NYC and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver. Her time-based works (video art and films) have screened in numerous film festivals internationally, including Thessaloniki International Film Festival in Greece, CinemaEast Film Festival, NYC, DOKUFEST, Kosovo and MidEast Cut, Copenhagen/Denmark & Helsinki/Finland. Alshaibi is in prominent public collections such as Nadour, the Barjeel Collection, and the Rami Farook Collection.
Private Preview 19 September
7:30pm - 9:30pm