Malamih – Faces, Phantoms, Expressions

Curator's tour announcement.jpg
Screen Shot 2022-08-22 at 10.29.52 AM.png

“Malamih – Faces, Phantoms, Expressions” was an exhibition that consisted of a body of work that was showcased for the first time at Maraya Art Centre in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates in February 2020. It was curated by the Director of Maraya Art Center and 1971 – Design Space, Dr Nina Heydemann.

The exhibition spanned three gallery floors and invited viewers to interact with the artworks that were created on a variety of different materials including canvas, papers, burlap, denim, glass, ceramic, and other media. 

Malamih, which means facial features in Arabic, centers around the human face and its expression.

Here are some images from that exhibition.

The Cathedral of Faces

Title: Cathedral of Faces

Materials: Acrylic on canvas, burlap, jute, paper, wood, wooden frames in addition to ceramics

Year: 2015-2021

Dimensions: 1000 artworks in various sizes

RYN03717.jpg
SHJ09029.jpg
SHJ09021.jpg
Malamih 3 .jpg
SHJ09028.jpg

The reason behind calling this body of work “The Cathedral of Faces” is because it revolves around the faces in their collective form and their intense presence with all their feelings, emotions, feelings and unspoken words.

The word cathedral is originally derived from the Latin name Cathedra, meaning the seat. In the Roman era, it meant the great ceremonial building or merchandise space.

That is why I decided to call this work by this name, which accommodates the meaning of the large building and the meaning of the large merchandise exhibition and in the modern era it is a place to meet people in large numbers, especially during religious rituals.

In these cathedrals, people often come with their faces full of pain and sadness, and their expressions are dominated by supplication, and they often do not exchange conversations, but leave their expressions in these spaces. They nod to each other, they might exchange few words but rarely raise their heads.

In the space of faces that is represented by this particular artwork, these faces take on different dimensions, as they are present with their silence, but also with all their expressions as they stare at visitors from every direction and at the same time invite them to remove the barriers imposed by the reality of the situation today and interact with them, whether by breaking the barrier of empty frames hanged in front of the paintings or when they turn around and find themselves becoming part of the body of work through the installed mirrors placed on the opposite side of the space.

 

It’s worth mentioning also that approximately 50% of these faces made an appearance in my film project “Passage”, in which I participated in the UAE pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2019, where the faces surrounded the fictional character “Falak” and at the same time occupied the world of the writer, director and artist, where she appears surrounded by them in her studio.

When these faces were displayed at the Maraya Art Center in Sharjah in 2021, it was the first time that visitors could see them up close and in person. This was also the first time that these artworks were shown to the public.

SHJ09021.jpg

Abstract Reasoning

Materials: Acrylic and mixed media on Burlap and Canvas

Dimensions: Variable

Year: 2016-2020

RYN03691.jpg
SHJ09017.jpg

The Library

Materials: Burlap and acrylic on wood

Dimensions: Variable

Year: 2018-2020

SHJ09016.jpg
SHJ09015.jpg

Red and Black

Materials: Palm tree leaves, acrylic, and resin on canvas boards
Dimensions: 20X20 cm per piece
Year: 2019

 

SHJ08979.jpg

Emojis

Materials: Ceramic
Dimensions: Various Sizes
Year: 2019-2020

RYN03576.jpg
RYN03577.jpg
RYN03575.jpg
SHJ08955.jpg

Speaking to Clay I

Materials: Ceramic
Dimensions: Variable sizes
Year: 2018-2020

SHJ08969.jpg
RYN03597.jpg
RYN03604.jpg
RYN03593.jpg
RYN03600.jpg
RYN03596.jpg
RYN03606.jpg
RYN03579.jpg
Screen Shot 2022-08-30 at 5.23.02 PM.png

Speaking to Clay II

Materials: Ceramic
Dimensions: Variable sizes
Year: 2018-2020

SHJ08973.jpg

Speaking to Clay III

Materials: Ceramic
Dimensions: Variable sizes
Year: 2018-2020

RYN03638.jpg
SHJ08978.jpg
RYN03612.jpg
SHJ08977.jpg

Acrylic on Burlap

Materials: Acrylic on burlap
Dimensions: Various Sizes
Year: 2019 - 2020

SHJ08957.jpg
SHJ08956.jpg
SHJ08954.jpg

The Cemetery

Materials:  Ceramic, florescent colors, mixed media and florescent light
Dimensions: Variable Sizes
Year: 2019-2020

RYN03449.jpg
RYN03484.jpg
RYN03489.jpg
RYN03478.jpg
RYN03487.jpg
RYN03472.jpg

A video clip from the actual installation 

The Butcher Shop

Materials: Acrylic on Wooden Cutting Boards
Dimensions: Variabe
Year: 2019-2020

SHJ08968.jpg
SHJ08967.jpg
SHJ08965.jpg

The Cinema

Video Art
Year: 2019-2020

RYN03665.jpg
RYN03659.jpg
RYN03669.jpg
RYN03652.jpg
RYN03641.jpg

Uncoordinated Stiches

Materials: Mixed Media on Burlap
Dimensions: Variable
Year: 2019-2020

Edited Uncoordinated Stiches.jpg
RYN03584.jpg
RYN03581.jpg
RYN03587.jpg

Wooden Montage

Materials: Acrylic on Wood
Dimensions: Variable
Year: 2019-2020

SHJ08975.jpg