Profusely introduced in the first issue of its kind, the special edition of Selections Magazine completely dedicated to the life and career of one artist and architect, Nadim Karam strikes again with a mind-bending exhibition at Anima Gallery, Qatar.
The opening on the 8th of October brought together Doha’s cream of the crop. Ghada Sholy, visionary founder and director of the space, who consistently heightens the standards of the local contemporary art scene, asked Karam to bring something new to her walls. Thankfully his research had already evolved since the last weather report. Entitled Memory Lapse, Karam chose to stand in the eye of the storm or rather midway between the self’s internal and external one. Unabashedly dedicated to his childlike qualities, he explores circular motifs, the immediacy of colour combined with natural mediums. His familial and architectural characters and his cosmically primitive creatures scattered in our mental image of Middle Eastern cityscapes have now been subjugated to a larger cryptic mass, a cyclone. It all seems beautifully accessible in the heart of the Qatari desert where the local society connects to its higher spirit through geometrically centric compositions.
However expressionistic, the work seems to be a direct study of the local climate. The desert landscape is mostly unknown to the majority of the world and Karam has gravitated towards it for its unique simplicity. It becomes more and more apparent that he does not seek to tame his immediate train of thought but rather seeks to entertain it’s substance in new bracketed configurations. It is as if no question is ever rhetorical and his practice is more like a playful science: what would thought look like if it were poured into a cube, how would thought react as vapor, how would it expand if it were suddenly released into open space? In this show, the artist experiments with movement again. How would thought react in a windstorm?
Knowing Nadim Karam’s penchants, he is bound to translate his curled and tangled 2 dimensional lines into its architectural or sculptural equivalent. In this case, the winds seem to have rallied the forces in circular formation. Perhaps, through this show, Karam is nurturing a new oblique strategy, the seed of his next large-than-life architectural endeavor.