Abu Dhabi Art: The view of a 14 year old

Francesca Pasquali, Straws (2016). Multi-colored and transparent plastic drinking straws on wooden panel and metallic frame_51 x 118 x 8.6 in (diptych). Courtesy Francesca Pasquali and Leila Heller Gallery.
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To give another view of Abu Dhabi Art fair, The Art Blog asked Aleena Jan Khan, a pupil from Dubai, to list her top three artworks from her visit to the fair. Here Aleena writes:

When I visited Abu Dhabi Art with my school, I was mesmerised by the variety of artwork on display from galleries around the world. As a fourteen year old Art GCSE student, here are my favourite three works from the event:

Artist Francesca Pasquali used coloured drinking straws cut at different lengths on a wood base and metal frame to allude to a coral reef. The regular household item struck a chord of familiarity with me, but upon closer inspection I realised that although it appeared to be something natural, it simply couldn’t be so — regardless of how wild it came across. I couldn’t escape the fact that the straws were indeed plastic and unable to turn into any kind of organic growth. Straws was my third favourite.

Kader Attia’s Untitled wall installation seems to be in a state of either construction or deconstruction due to its demolished exterior. The limply dangling neon tubes’ lights drew my attention and were framed by the smashed-out oval in the front wall of the cube. Inside the cube there weren’t any lights but I could see the effect produced by the neon tubes shining through the unidentified materials. It was quite haunting, actually — broken up pieces of stained glass windows gave the feeling of being inside a church or a holy space, which left an impression of spirituality and serenity, but the fact that the words and images were fragmented gave off an eery and unsettling aura. This bold installation indicates that beauty can be found in the ruins and ranked second in my top three.

And finally, my favourite piece of art was Mont Analogue by Giovanni Ozzola, based on the French fantasy novel by René Daumal. The story is about something that is not there but exists, i.e. the mountain. “The door to the invisible must be visible”, wrote Daumal, and the finished product is the Ozzola’s search for the form of the mythical mountain — what he believes it to look like. The gold leaf on bumpy black slate gave the artwork another layer and I really loved looking at this work.

* Aleena Jan Khan is a high-school student based in Dubai aspiring for a career in journalism. Read more of Aleena's writing on www.expataleena.wordpress.com