Following the last issue of Selections, Frequently Asked Questions in Art, we continue our quest to analyse what surrounds us in the art world. However, this time, for our 21 Artists and a Biennial issue, we take you backstage to expose you to the world of research in the 21st century. Because the most important part of our work is research, we analyse both the material we receive and what we find, basing ourselves on today’s most common search tools: online search engines, online encyclopaedia, social media, carefully written press releases, email exchanges with the artist’s gallery and the artist him/herself. After laying down the information we’ve gathered onto our pages, we invite you to make your own analysis.
b. 1969, Dubai | Lives and works in Dubai
Portrait of Mohammed Kazem, 2012.
Photo by Sofia Dadourian.
Courtesy of the artist
A PIONEERING CONCEPTUAL ARTIST, MOHAMMED KAZEM USES OVERLOOKED REMNANTS OF THE EVERYDAY TO MEASURE AND NAVIGATE GLOBAL TRANSFORMATIONS.
2012 Master of Fine
Art, University of the
College of Art,
1991 Al Rayat Music
Emirates Fine Arts
He works primarily with video,
sound art, photography, found
objects and performance art.
After his early experiences with painting on the one hand and performance on the other hand, Kazem began working on the group “Scratches” in the early 1990s, during which many aspects of his artistic personality were already revealed: a play on matter that extends the work into three dimensions and the attempt to capture and visualize the intangible (sound, light and – on an existential and philosophical level – space and time) in one moment.
Kazem was a member of the Emirates
Fine Arts Society early in his career and
is acknowledged as one of the “Five,”
an informal group of Emirati artists –
including Hassan Sharif and Abdullah
Al Saadi – at the vanguard of conceptual
and interdisciplinary art practice.
The foundations of his work are informed by his training as a musician, and Kazem is deeply engaged with developing processes that can render transient phenomena, such as sound and light, in tangible terms. Often positioning himself within his work, Kazem responds to geographical location, materiality and the elements as a means to assert his subjectivity, particularly in relation to the rapid pace of modernisation in the Emirates since the country’s founding.
2019 Collecting Light, Cadoro-Zentrum ur
Kunst und Wissenschaft, Mainz, Germany
2018 A Prime Activity, Gallery Isabelle
van den Eynde, Dubai
Ways of Marking, Aicon Gallery, New York
2017 Receiving and Collecting, Gallery
Isabelle van den Eynde, Dubai
2014 Sound of Objects, Gallery
Isabelle van den Eynde, Dubai
2014 Memorising by Means of Observing,
Taymour Grahne, New York
2013 Raw Data, Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah
2013 Walking on Water, The National
Pavilion of the UAE at the 55th Venice Biennale
Directions, New York University, Abu Dhabi
2010 Directions, University of the Arts, Philadelphia
1994 Salwa Zeidan Gallery, Abu Dhabi
1992 Public Library in Hor Al Anz, Dubai
1987 Emirates Fine Arts Society, Sharjah
The Dubai-born artist Mohammed Kazem is one of the most important representatives of contemporary art – and not only in the United Arab Emirates, where he is considered a shooting star.
Ever since his sensational participation in the 55th Venice Biennale (UAE Pavilion, 2013), his name has become known throughout the world.
VENICE BIENNALE – Mohammed Kazem
LOCATION: Calle Dei Calegheri (San Marco) – Venice.
In 2019 Dorothea van der Koelen celebrates 40 years of activity since she opened her fir art gallery in Mainz at the age of 19.
The exhibition celebrates these goals, whose common thread is the shared enthusiasm for the pa successes (Was), the present ones (Is) with a look towards the future (Will).
The exhibition includes artworks from: Mohammed Kazem, Lore Bert, Daniel Buren, Turi Simeti, François Morellet, Arne Quinze, Günter Uecker, Joseph Kosuth, Heinz Gappmayr and Fabrizio Plessi.
A VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE APPEARED IN PRINT IN SELECTIONS, 21 ARTISTS AND A BIENNIAL #49, PAGES 98-103.