Nadia Kaabi-Linke at Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai

Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai

March 22, 2012

Black is the New White
19 March–4 May 2012

Unit 21, Alserkal Avenue
Alquoz, Dubai

T +9714 (0) 3469906

“While Arab societies undergo processes of technical, social and cultural modernisation, their traditions are getting stronger and stronger too.  How long can a collective withstand the increasing tensions between the present and the past?” Nadia Kaabi-Linke

Lawrie Shabibi is proud to present Black is the New White, a solo exhibition by Nadia Kaabi-Linke as part of Art Dubai Week. The exhibition will feature six new works from an artist who has rapidly become one of the most exciting names in contemporary Middle Eastern art.

In this exhibition, Kaabi-Linke takes as her initial premise the concept of the ‘trap’ and develops this in many complex layers throughout each of her pieces, observing ways in which society finds itself lured, ensnared or deceived. Taking as her sources of inspiration historic buildings in Tunis, dilapidated walls, desert bugs, traditional attire and shadow and light, Kaabi-Linke builds on this idea to expose the state of ambiguity and inner conflict that the modern Middle East finds itself caught in.

Challenging relevant issues prevalent across the Middle East today, Black is the New White is an observation of contemporary life in the Middle East: from the initial euphoria of the revolution in Tunis, to the traditional dress of Gulf region, from the misplaced creative energies of Arab youth to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and from the restricted freedoms of women to the visual imagery of advertisements—all of which in their own way have led to a form of entrapment.

Kaabi-Linke produces works from a variety of media and in Black is the New White she brings together a disparate display of objects, sculptures, and wall pieces. Her mastery of contradiction is evident in her choice of medium: on the one hand she produces a work made from delicate handmade glass and on the other hand she manipulates a lobster trap found in the fishing ports of the UAE. Known for her wall-imprints of historical and graffiti inscribed walls, Black is the New White will also feature two such works, one of which—Bara’a Yadawiya—is a six metre piece made up of fifteen different sized canvases.

Black is the New White is accompanied by a catalogue with an essay by independent writer and curator Sara Raza and a conversation between Kaabi-Linke and the fictional Joseph Van Helt.

About Nadia Kaabi-Linke
Kaabi-Linke describes her art as a form of investigative practice performing a ‘kind of archaeology on contemporary life”. She studied in the Academy of Fine Arts in Tunis, and later in Paris where she received a PhD at the Sorbonne University of Paris in 2008.  In 2011 she was one of the recipients of the Abraaj Capital Art Prize. She has participated in the 54th Venice Biennale (the first Pan-Arab Pavilion) in 2011, the 9th Sharjah Biennale in 2009 and the 25th Alexandria Biennale in 2009.  Her works form part of the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York (Prints and Illustrated Books), Abraaj Capital, Dubai, the Ministère de la Culture et de la Sauvegarde du Patrimoine, Tunis, and the Kamel Lazaar Foundation, Tunis.

About Lawrie Shabibi
Founded in March 2011, Lawrie Shabibi is a contemporary art gallery housed in a 3000 square foot warehouse in Dubai’s Al-Quoz industrial area.  The gallery’s mission is to promote the works of relevant, innovative contemporary artists primarily from the Arab world, Iran, North Africa, Turkey and South Asia, engaging the public with art that impacts a cultural and political discourse together with a powerful aesthetic.

The gallery represents Sama Alshaibi, Marwan Sahmarani, Selma Gürbüz, Yasam Sasmazer, Gazelle Samizay, Shahpour Pouyan, Nabil Nahas, Nadia Kaabi-Linke, Driss Ouadahi, and Asad Faulwell.