When: Saturday 04 Mar, 2017 10:00 a.m. - Saturday 06 May, 2017 10:00 p.m.
Venue: Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Once Upon A Time: Hadiqat Al Umma, a solo exhibition by Iraqi Artist Sadik Kwaish Alfraji
Curated by: Laura Metzler and Dr. Alexandra MacGilp
4 March – 6 May, 2017
Iraqi artist Sadik Kwaish Alfraji presents a panoramic multi-media installation reviving his childhood experience of Baghdad’s Hadiqat Al Umma. This park, full of plants, fountains and playgrounds, was a sanctuary from the city’s exhaust fumes and the blazing sun. It was surrounded by music and photography shops, cinemas, theatres, restaurants, cafés and markets.
Although it has lost much of its beauty over the years, the park remains a vivid memory in the artist’s mind and he uses his own visual and emotional recollections to recreate its rhythm. His beautiful drawings, which reimagine people seen there, are brought to life in black and white animations across 9 projectors. This installation will stir memories and emotions, conjuring a park that was a landmark in Baghdad and in the memory of generations of Iraqis. Alfraji’s recreation of the collective experience of this park in the 1970s belongs to his larger exploration of the loss, fragmentation and lapses in time that underline exile.
The works have been commissioned by Barjeel Art Foundation, and the exhibition is generously supported by Ayyam Gallery.