'Out of Kuwait' an exhibition currently showing at the Museum of Modern Art in Kuwait gathered twelve artists based in Kuwait with the main mission of reinterpreting the given theme of "Landscapes Expanded," all during a one month residency programme.
The exposition is meant to present the artists' take on everyday surroundings on political, social and physical landscapes of contemporary Kuwait. The exhibition's curator, artist Alia Farid Abdal, herself explored perspectives of public space and constructed landscapes in her work.
Landscapes Expanded was designated to candidates from all sorts of academic and creative backgrounds; this way, it would generate a trans-disciplinary agora for creativeness and thought.
Being children of the late 80s and early 90s, Nima Algooneh's I Don't Want To Talk About It installation was worthy of attention as it portrayed two children whose heads were replaced by old boxed television sets. He explains, "It is an attempt to reconcile the devastation of childhood memories in the age of live televised war and confront the anxiety of apocalyptic catastrophe."
Moreover, the most popular of all, as snaps of it made it to most social networks, was Abdulaziz Al Humaidhi's, Unravelling Without Moving, which involved plastic toy cars on Sadu textile. He employs the Sadu pattern and colors (black, red and white) with the cars to "illustrate the undeniable impact of the privately owned car on Kuwaiti society, but also to present the automobile and local car culture as a symbolic of larger social, economic, and political challenges faced by contemporary Kuwait as a nation and people."
He further explains in the joint commentary that "ironically, the car has now become an obstacle to movement and progress. Parked cars have hijacked public spaces and lack of proper infrastructure and planning has contributed to loss in productivity. The issue of traffic in Kuwait is no longer an issue limited only to transportation and movement – It is now clearly a rather severe issue of social implications and cultural analogy."
Other participating artists include Roa AlShaheen, Amani Adel Al Thuwaini, Aseel Al Yaqoub, Nima Algooneh, Zahra Al Mahdi, Muneera Al Sharhan, Lewis Chapman and Eman Musallem, Faisal Hamadah, Naser Al Wasmi, and Ceyda Oskay.
The ongoing exhibition was inspired by the British Council's famous 'Out of Britain' exhibit, and is in collaboration with Contemporary Art Platform and the National Council for Culture, Arts & Letters.
'Out of Kuwait' on the other hand, originally held until the 24th October at MoMA, has been extended until the 8th of November if you'd like to catch it. We highly suggest that you do!
– Text and photography by Yasmine Mehdi