‘The Tale of 1001 Gazes’ by Samina Virani at the Sharjah Art Museum

Samina Virani unveils her exhibition, ‘The Tale of 1001 Gazes,’ at Sharjah Art Museum centred around the theme ‘Manifestations.’ Invited by the Sharjah Islamic Arts Festival, Virani presents a labyrinth of mirrors installation and a poetic soundscape with visual projections inspired by her introspective desert explorations.

‘The Tale of 1001 Gazes’ by Samina Virani at the Sharjah Art Museum installation view.

“The Labyrinth of Mirrors” comprises six two-way plexiglass mirrored panels (1.8m × 2.4m), incorporating principles of Islamic geometry and the Sufi Sema’s geometric configuration. Viewers, barefoot in the sand, engage in a reflective experience, sandblasted with symbols, hanging from the sky, and illuminated from above. Each panel features a speaker emitting the artist’s voice reciting original poems, creating a soundscape that envelops the narrative of 1001 gazes.

The exhibition stems from Virani’s seven-year personal research exploration of “remembering” (the zhikr), originating from periods of solitude in the desert. It encompasses 40 precise encounters, where the artist’s inner journey and connection to totality resonate in a geometric code. The result is formations of Polydecahedron crystals, representing the 7th layer of the Fibonacci sequence, generating 1001 points of light that symbolise interconnectedness.

The “Chandelier of Reflective Poetry” features 40 silver plexiglass mirrored panels (15cm × 15cm), engraved with handwritten poetry inspired by each encounter. Virani spent approximately three minutes on each spontaneous poetic text, exploring the temporality of the moment, etching them as a reminder of the everlasting transmission of brief moments.

Virani’s work delves into the exploration of remembering, resonating in the eye of the other, and the fine-tuning of “seeing” and “being seen.” Influenced by Arabi, Jorge Luis Borges, Michel Foucault, Lewis Carroll, Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi, and Inayat Khan, the exhibition intertwines visual and poetic elements, creating an experience of interconnectedness and soulful transmissions.

‘The Tale of 1001 Gazes’ by Samina Virani at the Sharjah Art Museum installation view

About Samina Virani

Samina is a conceptual artist and performative researcher who navigates her deconstructed realm, termed “wonderland,” as a laboratory for dismantling the labyrinths that surround us. In her quest to unveil glimpses of a mystical inner world, she employs performative research practices to explore the concepts of “seen” and “being seen,” delving into the invisible realms and contemplating the eternal looking glass of the “secret gaze.” Describing her work as a magical inquisition, she seeks shams, Rumi, Alice, and the white rabbit. Samina is the founder of the international program “The Rabbit Hole” and the originator of “the Rabbit Hole method,” an approach to performative research focused on “remembering.” Her artistic exploration unfolds across Paris, London, and New York, within the rabbit hole.

Location: Sharjah Art Museum, UAE

Dates: 13 December 2023

Caption featured image: ‘The Tale of 1001 Gazes’ by Samina Virani at the Sharjah Art Museum installation view.

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

selections-arts-logo

SELECTIONS is a platform for the arts, focusing on the Arab World.

Selections editorial presents a quarterly print magazine and weekly online publication with high quality content on all subjects related to Art and Culture. Full of world-leading artworks, exquisite brand imagery, original creative illustrations and insightful written articles.
Selections Viewing Rooms presents carefully curated online art shows aiming not only to shed light on contemporary art executed by living artists, but also for viewers to buy contemporary fine art, prints & multiples, photography, street art and collectibles.
Discover the previous and current shows here.
Cultural Narratives foundation is an extensive collection that is travelling the world by leading established and emerging talents aiming to reflect the culture of the region in their works.

RANDOM READS

‘Let’s Dance!’ by Zoulikha Bouadbellah at Lilia Ben Salah Gallery

Born in 1977 in Moscow, Zoulikha Bouabdellah is a multimedia artist renowned for her work that challenges societal norms, particularly concerning gender representations. ‘Let’s Dance!’ presents a collection of new paintings characterised by vibrant colours, bold lines, and fragmented depictions…

‘Gauze’ by Hazem Harb at Tabari Artspace

Tabari Artspace joyfully announces the solo exhibition “Gauze” by Palestinian visual artist Hazem Harb, curated by Munira Al Sayegh. This exhibition is a significant milestone for the gallery, celebrating its 20th anniversary as a trailblazer in promoting Middle Eastern and…

‘The Bell, The Bell’ by Luey Graves and ‘The Sunset Cycle’ by Adam de Boer by Taymour Grahne Projects

Taymour Grahne Projects presents two solo shows at Cromwell Place on January 16: “The Bell, The Bell,” by London-based artist Luey Graves and “The Sunset Cycle,” by painter Adam de Boer. In her exhibition Graves presents a collection of small,…

‘Uprising Sceneries & Works on Paper’ by Chaouki Chamoun at Mark Hachem Gallery Beirut

Chaouki Chamoun’s solo exhibition titled ‘Uprising Sceneries & Works on Paper’ at Mark Hachem Gallery, Beirut, takes place from February 22 to March 9, 2024. The show presents an exploration of colour and form through the display of 42 acrylic…

‘Unveiling the Shadows of the Past: The Hidden Icon of Photography in Africa’ by J. K. Bruce-Vanderpuije at Efie Gallery Dubai

Efie Gallery announces its representation of the estate of the late Ghanaian photographer J. K. Bruce-Vanderpuije, a pivotal yet under-recognised figure in 20th-century African photography. Ahead of the solo exhibition which is taking place at Efie Gallery Dubai from 12…

The Custodian: Artistic Visionaries: Alfred Tarazi

Rima Nasser: Could you share the story of your artistic journey and your connection with Basel Dalloul and the Dalloul Art Foundation? How have they influenced your creative path as an artist? Alfred Tarazi: At the heart of my practice…

february 2024

24oct(oct 24)09:0017feb(feb 17)09:00Growing Kopi, Drinking Qahwa; Stories of Coffee in Qatar and Indonesia

26oct(oct 26)09:0005mar(mar 5)09:00'MEHDI MOUTASHAR: INTROSPECTION AS RESISTANCE'

10nov09:0010mar09:00Armenia Contemplating the sacred