THE STATE and Hit Me With Your War Tune

Traffic, Dubai

December 15, 2010

Traffic, a contemporary art space in Dubai, presents two explosive shows in its recently opened venue in the arts district of Al Quoz.

Gallery I
Works from The Farook Collection

The inaugural exhibition in Gallery I of Traffic is THE STATE, a dramatic new show featuring a plethora of contemporary artists from the region and the world. Inspired by the post-9/11 world we live in, THE STATE references both the political state as well as our current global condition. The show also sets the agenda for Traffic, pointing towards a focus on collective discourse as well as regional art patronage. Pieces by emerging artists such as Abbas Akhavan and Sara Rahbar, sit side-by-side with established names such as Allora & Calzadilla and Mona Hatoum. Their works explore diverse conceptual ideas and are presented in various media, but all come together to build a highly charged portrait of THE STATE. Curated by Rami Farook, Director of Traffic, THE STATE features 26 works by 16 artists from around the world.

Abbas Akhavan, Sama Alshaibi, Tarek Al-Ghoussein, Allora & Calzadilla, Al Braithwaite, James Clar, Shezad Dawood, Ayman Yossri Daydban, Fouad Elkoury, Mounir Fatmi, Daniel & Geo Fuchs, Ramin Haerizadeh, Mona Hatoum, Adam McEwen, Andrei Molodkin, Sara Rahbar.

Gallery II
Hit Me With Your War Tune
by Hesam Rahmanian

Hesam Rahmanian makes his debut at Traffic with Hit Me With Your War Tune, a collection of new paintings that act as a window into a society that, following last year’s events, has been discussed in much detail. His works add colour, both literally and figuratively, to the global understanding of a country that is caught in the midst of various conflicting ideas.

Hesam Rahmanian creates works that encourage social discourse. As an artist born in the US, but raised in and informed by Iran, his work often takes on the turbulent undercurrents at play in his native country. As a child, Rahmanian left the US for Tehran, where in 1991 he apprenticed with the master calligrapher Mohammed Ehsai. He gained a Diploma in Fine Art from the School of Visual Arts in 1999 and attended private lessons in drawing and composition from the artist Ahmad Amin Nazar, an experience that exposed him to the work of David Hockney, Egon Schiele and Francis Bacon. Soon after, he headed back to the United States to attain degrees in Applied Art and Graphic Design. With his earlier years spent immersed in drawing and painting in Iran, it was here that he began to explore the worlds of design.

Throughout his exploration of digital media, Rahmanian continued his enthusiastic relationship with paint and canvas. Following a move to Dubai in 2009, Rahmanian took over a studio space with his childhood friends, the noted Iranian artists Ramin and Rokni Haerizadeh. Through continuous artistic experimentation and a realisation of his role as an artist in contemporary society, he began to hone his creative voice. His works continued to question hard-line issues such as governmental control and political policy, but they now incorporated satire and wit. ‘Solitaire’—featured in a group show at Galerie Caprice Horn in Berlin—was a direct statement on the powers-at-be in Iran, but was fashioned into a sardonic parody using the imagery of a simple deck of playing cards. This dichotomy between the scathing and the irreverent is a major component of most of Rahmanian’s work.

THE STATE continues until Saturday, 22 January 2011.
Hit Me With Your War Tune continues until Thursday, December 30 2010.

Traffic is open Sunday – Thursday, 10 am – 7 pm. Saturdays, 2 pm – 6 pm.
For more information : info [​at​]