Group show to bring work of Bangladeshi artists to Dubai

Curated by the artistic director of Samdani Art Foundation, Diana Campbell Betancourt, Fabric(ated) Fractures will also introduce new works from artists with a connection to Bangladesh

From left, Rajeeb Samdani, Vilma Jurkute, director of Alserkal Avenue, Nadia Samdani, Diana Campbell Betancourt, Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal. Courtesy Dan Weill
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Alserkal Avenue announced on Sunday that it will collaborate with the Samdani Art Foundation from Dhaka on Fabric(ated) Fractures, an exhibition set to open at Concrete, located at Alserkal Avenue, in Dubai in March. The group exhibition will feature works by Bangladeshi, South Asian and Southeast Asian artists, and will explore the theme of “sensitive spaces” – those that challenge ideas of nation, state and territory.

The exhibition, which will be on show from March 9 to March 23, will also provide a platform to amplify the voices of artists from those regions, and will build on the exhibition There Once was a Village Here, which was held at Dhaka Art Summit in February this year. Curated by the artistic director of Samdani Art Foundation, Diana Campbell Betancourt, Fabric(ated) Fractures will also introduce new works from artists with a connection to Bangladesh.

The organisers have described the collaboration as one that will help highlight the country, the artists related to it, and will serve as “a bridge to Dhaka Art Summit 2020, which shifts its focus to explore Bengal’s position at the crossroads of historical exchange between Africa and Asia.”

The art foundation, which was founded in 2011 and run by collectors Nadia and Rajeeb Samdani, supports the work of the country’s contemporary artists and architects. The couple also founded the biennial Dhaka Art Summit, a 10-day programme of exhibitions, talks and workshops that promotes the city’s art ­internationally and supports the local scene.

“We are delighted to be collaborating with Alserkal Avenue to bring further awareness of Bangladeshi and South Asian art and culture to Dubai – a place that is home to many people from our part of the world, and which serves as a connecting hub to the rest of the world. As we seek to form a new institution outside of Western paradigms – it is important for us to collaborate with our neighbours in the ­region and it is an honour for us to be partnering with Concrete as the venue for this exhibition,” say the couple.

“The contribution of the Samdani Art Foundation in creating a space for dialogue about the history and artistic practice in Bangladesh and South Asia is invaluable. This collaboration with the Samdani Art Foundation is a natural extension of Alserkal Avenue’s mandate to support regional talent and will strengthen our shared arts ecosystem,” says Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal, Alserkal Avenue founder in a statement.

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Fabric(ated) Fractures ­considers contexts that anthropologist Jason Cons describes as "sensitive spaces" in his 2016 book Sensitive Space: Fragmented Territory at the India-Bangladesh Border.

Though often razed, with their people forced to succumb to the state, subdue to its needs, and submit to the domination of majority forces, the social fabric of these spaces often remains intact even if its people are displaced and their dwellings levelled – a testament of human resilience. The artists and works featured in Fabric(ated) Fractures respond to the complexities of these spaces.

The artists in the exhibition bear witness to violence ­unfolding in their ­communities, and their work often acts as a register for this trauma, grounding the constricting present in a more porous past. Despite carrying the weight of this enormous pain, the deeply poetic practices of these artists are able to create spaces of empathy through which new modes of solidarity might be imagined.

Fabric(ated) Fractures will be on show from March 9 to 23, 2019 at Concrete, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz, Dubai