Under Construction Part II: Deconstruction/Reconstruction: Farhad Ahrarnia | Mounir Fatmi | Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim | Nadia Kaabi-Linke I Yazan Khalili I Driss Ouadahi | Larissa Sansour

5 July - 22 September 2021
  • Under Construction Part II: Deconstruction/Reconstruction expands on the notion of the uncompleted project, the work in progress, presenting a series of evolving, paradoxical, overlapping paradigms, where histories are re-evaluated, cultural artefacts re-examined, and multiple futures are explored. Works by Farhad Ahrarnia (b. 1971, Iran), Mounir Fatmi (b. 1970, Morocco), Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim (b. 1962, UAE), Nadia Kaabi-Linke (b. 1978, Tunisia), Yazan Khalili (b. 1981, Syria), Driss Ouadahi (b. 1959, Morocco) and Larissa Sansour (b. 1973, East Jerusalem) are included.




    Mounir Fatmi’s Calligraphies of the Unknown (2019-2020) combine calligraphic shapes with other geometric figures inspired by the graphics that represent the fluctuations of the stock market. Often limited to the primary colours, the paintings remind of computer monitors, such as the ones showing stock exchange prices. Fatmi deconstructs the abstract and complex alphabet of the financial language, reflecting his belief that to understand the world, one must measure the pulse of both the financial markets and the flea markets.

  • Mounir Fatmi, Calligraphy of the unknown 13 (Diptych), 2019-2020
  • Farhad Ahrarnia, On the Road, the Silk Road, 2010-2011

    Farhad Ahrarnia

    On the Road, the Silk Road, 2010-2011

    Farhad Ahrarnia’s embroideries entitled On the Road, the Silk Road (2010-2011) capture the artist’s continued interest in the legacy of Greater Persia, while instigating the resurrection of the delicate ties that were severed during the Soviet period. Ahrarnia subtly offers suggestions for new and alternative routes, mapped through threading and stitching, yet his works acknowledge the reality of knowing that one can never really go back to a nostalgic epic past, but can only move forward.

  • Farhad Ahrarnia

    Farhad Ahrarnia, On the Road, the Silk Road 2, 2010-2011
  • Yazan Khalili, Apartheid Monochromes, 2017

    Yazan Khalili

    Apartheid Monochromes, 2017

    Apartheid Monochromes (2017) is a set of painted canvases that highlight the perversion of mandatory state-issued ID cards and their bearing on the everyday lives of Palestinians. Introduced by Israel in 1949 the ID cards are classified into different colours that depend on the identity of their holder – itself based on a complex set of rules around birthplace and/or residence. Hence the colour of an ID card very much determines the political, economic and social life of its holder; a low-tech means of dividing and monitoring enforced by the Israeli regime. The canvases reference Yves Klein’s monochromes and come in the various exact colours of the ID cards bringing into focus divisions of identity, race, borders and citizenship.

  • Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim, Tower 2 & 3, 2017

    Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim

    Tower 2 & 3, 2017

    Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim’s sculptures entitled Towers (2017), though industrial in outline, are made of delicate, recycled materials - papier maché, cardboard and dried leaves. Ibrahim's practice is inspired by the coasts, sierras and mountain lights of his home in Khor Fakkan, UAE, where his family has lived for generations. The tension between the diverse and ancient landscapes as well as advanced urbanization in the UAE is a theme he often explores in his practice through the use of natural materials and the pursuit of organic forms.

  • Installation view of 'Under Construction Part II: Deconstruction/Reconstruction', Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai, 2021
  • Larissa Sansour, Archeology in Absentia - [Coordinates to be confirmed], 2016

    Larissa Sansour

    Archeology in Absentia - [Coordinates to be confirmed], 2016

    Archaeology in Absentia is a sculptural series of fifteen bronze munition replicas modelled on a small Cold War Russian nuclear bomb. Engraved on a disc inside each capsule are the coordinates, longitude and latitude, to a deposit of hand-painted porcelain plates with folkloric patterns buried in Palestine. With the porcelain itself absent from the installation, the bomb shells and the references they hold represent the archaeological artefacts in absentia. The coordinates of each porcelain deposit are established during a real-life entombment performance taking place in Palestine. Carrying the iconic keffiyeh pattern, these plates are deposited for future archaeologists to excavate. Once unearthed, they are meant to interfere with current versions of history and in effect cause a historical intervention.

  • Larissa Sansour, Manger Square, 2012

    Larissa Sansour

    Manger Square, 2012

    Manger Square (2012) from Larissa Sansour’s photographic series Nation Estate accompanies her film of the same title, wherein she proposes a much-reduced Palestinian state as a skyscraper - each floor accommodating a Palestinian city or landscape.  The female lead, played by Sansour, travels upwards in an elevator from one city to the other passing by iconic symbols and landmarks that recreate both a sense of history and of displacement.

  • Installation view of 'Under Construction Part II: Deconstruction/Reconstruction', Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai, 2021
  • Driss Ouadahi, Inside Zenith, 2014

    Driss Ouadahi

    Inside Zenith, 2014

    Driss Ouadahi’s Inside Zenith (2014) is modelled on impressions from photographs taken during his travels, meshing them with images from his memory to create a collage of different buildings and spaces, constructing a new, fantastical urban structure each time. Inside Zenith is really an impossible place to inhabit - zenith refers to an imaginary point in the celestial sphere directly above a particular location, which one cannot get inside. Zenith also suggests success or power and is therefore a rather appropriate word to define Dubai, its exponential growth and seemingly limitless ambition.

  • Nadia Kaabi-Linke, Scorched Earth, 2018

    Nadia Kaabi-Linke

    Scorched Earth, 2018

    Scorched Earth (2018) by Nadia Kaabi-Linke, a floor sculpture made of stoneware slabs water cut using a computer-controlled procedure, traces the course of the soil and weed-filled cracks between cobblestones on the Neumarkt in Dresden. On this site corpses were gathered the day after the firestorms caused by two nights of raids by British and American bombers, devastating the city in February 1945, killing twenty thousand. The cracks in the ground - the result of the intense heat.

  • Installation view of 'Under Construction Part II: Deconstruction/Reconstruction', Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai, 2021
  • Yazan Khalili Cracks, Remind Me of Roadkills

    Yazan Khalili Cracks

    Remind Me of Roadkills

    Khalili’s set of photographs Cracks Remind me of Roadkills (2014) show random cracks that resemble the triangular map of Palestine, juxtaposed with details of short stories; the cracks as a break of the flow of time, like a minor history breaking the mainstream narratives.

  • Yazan Khalili, Cracks Remind Me of Roadkills, 2015
  • Farhad Ahrarnia, The Dig, 2018

    Farhad Ahrarnia

    The Dig, 2018

    Ahrarnia’s The Dig (2018), a silver-plated bronze shovel embossed with the Assyrian motif of an unmounted horseman, embodies the ghost of the artefact that adorns its surface, carrying the potential to be buried and itself rediscovered as an artefact in a future time.

  • Installation view of 'Under Construction Part II: Deconstruction/Reconstruction', Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai, 2021