Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) has commissioned artists Hesam Rahmanian, Ramin Haerizadeh, and Rokni Haerizadeh to create an installation inspired by the core themes of The Creative Act: Performance • Process • Presence, the second exhibition of works from the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi collection, which opens 7 March 2017 at Manarat Al Saadiyat on Saadiyat Island. The exhibition will bring together artists of different generations from different places of the world who have emphasised performance, process, and human presence in their practice, offering a transcultural perspective on these defining aspects of contemporary art.
Hesam Rahmanian, Ramin Haerizadeh and Rokni Haerizadeh create immersive installations that incorporate various mediums-such as painting, performance, photography, sculpture, and video-and are realised in collaboration with other contributors including artists, curators, musicians, and friends. For The Creative Act exhibition, they have created a multi-room installation that will feature site-specific paintings, videos, and artworks by other artists including: Nargess Hashemi and Laleh Khorramian made for this exhibition and from the artists’ art collection. It will take visitors on a journey through distinctive yet interconnected episodes or acts that offer reflections on the nature of art and how we represent ourselves and the world in which we live through words, images, gestures, and movement.
Another Happy Day (2016–17) emphasises the resonance of the past in the present and the power of representation across time by charting a historical continuum from the 1930s to today. A dedicated gallery in the centre of the installation invites viewers to explore this expansive period through video recordings of plays by Samuel Beckett and Bertolt Brecht and a performance of John Cage's experimental music; low-cost objects by artists associated with the loose 1960s and 1970s network of artists known as Fluxus, who sought to blur the boundary between art and life and elicit viewer participation; and a library of books offering insight into the histories of the theatre and Performance art. Recent videos and "moving paintings" made collaboratively by the Haerizadehs and Rahmanian bring attention to such timeless and timely issues as human interdependence and the importance of solidarity in the face of adversity.
Valerie Hillings, Ph.D., Manager, Curatorial Affairs, Abu Dhabi Project, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, said: "This new project was commissioned in the spirit of the exhibition, which emphasises the act of creation. With a practice grounded in the principals of performance, process, and the artists presence, Hesam Rahmanian, Ramin Haerizadeh, and Rokni Haerizadeh were the perfect choice. Echoing the artworks that visitors will explore throughout the exhibition, this commission will highlight the simple gestures and body language of everyday life, and the strategies used to overcome barriers to communication through creative practices. It's been a remarkable experience to not only observe but also participate in the development of the installation, which is sure to be a work in progress up to and even beyond the opening, as it will inspire a multimedia public programme that will actively engage audience participation."
Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh, and Hesam Rahmanian added: "What is great about this collaboration is that you become one body with multiple, critical eyes-critique not in a sense of diminishing but in a sense of seeing it in another way."
In creating Another Happy Day, the artists were inspired by the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi collection chronology of the 1960s to the present, and by the selection of works presented in The Creative Act: Performance• Process• Presence, particularly the documentation of the late Hassan Sharif's performance pieces dating to the 1980s, which he realised in both London and Dubai.
The Creative Act: Performance • Process • Presence exhibition opens March 7 and runs until July 29. The exhibitionis curated by Valerie Hillings, Ph.D., Curator and Manager, Curatorial Affairs, Abu Dhabi Project; Sasha Kalter-Wasserman, Assistant Curator, Abu Dhabi Project; with Sarah Dwider, Curatorial Assistant, Abu Dhabi Project, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation; and Maisa Al Qassimi, Head of Programmes - Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, with Muneera Al Sayegh, Programmes Officer - Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority.