SIKKA 2012

Sikka what, Sikka who? This week I had the opportunity to visit “Sikka” at Al Bastakiya during the Art Week of Dubai. Sikka was named after the alleyways in the neighborhood and showcased emerging Emirati talent from the UAE. Historic buildings throughout Al Bastakiya were home to small exhibitions, while participating artists stayed on-site to support educational activities for the public.

SIKKA was a journey of undiscovered art. Viewers journeyed through a physical route where artistic inspirations were showcased to challenge the routes of art and culture.

Within Al Bastakiya, SIKKA was marked with artificial turf to lead visitors through the labyrinth of small walkways towards the various exhibitions.

I loved the sense of discovery that came around every new corner and within each new space. What a cool experience!
As you might expect, here’s a few of my favorites:

UBIK – Unees Sau Chauraasi – A Dystopian Qawwali Party
Sound Installation

Unees Sau Chauraasi – A Dystopian Qawwali Party is a sound installation that fuses the music of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and an audio book narration of George Orwell’s 1984 in a traditional Qawwali setting. The piece explores the mystical and spiritual tendencies of Qawwali, drawing parallels with modern day ideologies of propaganda and state control as discussed by Orwell in his seminal work 1984.

Mohammed Hindash – Revelation
Installation – Acrylic on canvas, cotton pads

Revelation is an installation the re-enacts a bathroom setting, displaying a mirror over a sink, namely a framed canvas, portraying the face of a girl and her conflicted emotions as she stares into the mirror in disbelief after removing her makeup.

WTD Architecture & Design Magazine
Folded paper

WTD is an interactive architecture and design magazine. With its foundations based on the concept of “Read React Sketch, & Share” WTD calls attention to non-glossy architectural spaces in Dubai and the Middle East.

Khalid Al Banna
Fabric and paper collage

“Knight without a Horse” is a series of framed fabric and paper collages that address the degradation of morality as a result of blind ambition.

Khawla Darwish – The Language of the Hearts
Installation – ECG machine, gel, wires

The Language of the Hearts expands on the artist’s previous series titled “In Memory of the Departed Beloved Ones,” which stems from her own experience following the loss of her loved ones due to a cardiovascular disease. This interactive installation combines various readings of Electrocardiography examinations on viewers in a bid to raise awareness regarding heart disease.

Martin Pakvis
Peak Oil Mixed Media Installation

Peak Oil is a site-specific mixed media installation, comprising of various elements and symbols relating to the environment; namely its complex processes and the transformation of matter. The work can be seen as a translation of multiple observations – a spatial diary – providing the viewer with a physical manifestation of the artist’s thoughts.

Shamma Al Amri – Still
Installation – Dimensions variable

Still is an interactive installation that translated the dynamics of the pinhole camera into a literal physical manifestation by using a dark room to represent the inside of a camera, while an inverted image is created on it’s wall; urging viewers to step into the room and focus on the displayed image.

Mariam Abbas – A Tribute to Generosity
The artwork is made up entirely of hand drawn dots

The UAE is famed for it’s generosity, and the serving of Arabic Coffee is a symbol of generosity. The illustration depicts a sea of coffeepots, representing an overflow of openheartedness, and therefore, acknowledging it.