Evaporating Suns Contemporary Myths from the Arabian Gulf
Maitha Abdalla, Group Show, Kulturstiftung Basel H. Geiger
12 May – 16 July 2023
Evaporating Suns is the first institutional exhibition in Switzerland to explore contemporary art from the Arabian Gulf.
The Kulturstiftung Basel H. Geiger | KBH.G brings together the work of some of the region’s most interesting multidisciplinary artists. Curated by Munira Al Sayegh, with Dirwaza Curatorial Lab, Abu Dhabi in collaboration with Austrian curator Verena Formanek, Evaporating Suns looks at the breadth of inherited myths from the Arabian Gulf, their preservation over generations and their purpose into the contemporary realm. The thirteen artists whose works are presented in the exhibition are Farah Al Qasimi, Mashael Alsaie, Alaa Edris, Bu Yousef, Abdullah AlOthman, Moza Al Matrooshi, Maitha Abdalla, Saif Mhaisen, Fatima Uzdenova, Asma Belhamar, Mays Albaik, Fatema Al Fardan, and Zuhoor Al Sayegh. All the works on show have been commissioned by KBH.G for this exhibition except the first feature-length film by Farah Al Qasimi and the photograph by Saif Mhaisen, which will be shown in Switzerland for the very first time.
The exhibition considers an approach of corresponding positions that highlights the spectrum between myth and fact. The spectrum is introduced via the stories that have been passed through oral histories between generations. The Arabian Sea defines the geographical boundaries of the Arabian Gulf and points to various cultural nuances that are shared across the peninsula. The title and the exhibition aim to introduce an unorthodox landscape, a new composition created through modification and fusion of the surrounding realities, highlighting the pull between myth and fact. Its manifestation has been presented in the exhibition through expressions of local natural and built environments, social arrangements and structures and perspective negotiations. Fact becomes the framework that dissolves and demystifies. Myth plays a formative role in understanding the law of time and the changes marked through its passing in relation to place.
Exhibited work by Maitha Abdalla, The Dancer’s Skin, Maitha has been commissioned by KBH.G.
Maitha Abdalla explores shifts and pivots of the idea of human conditioning through the culture of storytelling. The work presented consists of sculptures and a painting that depict both a foreground and a background. Abdalla sets a stage of opposition, in an attempt to highlight ideas of vastness in relation to rigidity, continuously questioning how the final sway of what is deemed normal comes to be, and how a majority arrives at the culmination.