Tawlat al Iftar (the Iftar Table) | Fatima Albudoor

2016
silkscreen on aluminum foil, wooden table, dimensions variable, commissioned by DUCTAC

Fatima Albudoor draws inspiration from the Iftar table in her installation for the Ramadanization exhibition. Fatima’s most poignant memories of Ramadan are playing with her sisters while waiting to break the fast with her family at her grandmother’s house in Jumeirah. Fatima and her sisters played with her grandmother’s Emiratiburqa, which forms the basis of Fatima’s pattern.

She has screenprinted the pattern on foil sheets which she has then covered the
iftar table with, similar to the way foil would often cover the food on the table as the family waited for it to be unveiled. This playful installation incorporates Fatima’s memories of Ramadan and key elements of iftar and Emirati life, while highlighting the role women play as role models. 

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Untitled | Amal Al Khaja

2016
installation with fishing line, wood, light, dimensions variable, commissioned by DUCTAC

For Amal Al Khaja, Ramadan comprises both physical and spiritual struggles and her installation captures this important duality. A key component of Ramadan is fasting, part of an overall striving to achieve purification which is both physical and spiritual. In fasting, believers detox the physical body to reach spiritual purity. When viewers enter the installation, they are confronted with a beautiful curtain, symbolizing earthly pleasures, separating them from the light on the other side, representing spiritual purity. As viewers try to reach the light, they become entangled in the curtain; thus they must choose either to avoid striving, or have the courage to attempt to break through the barrier.

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"'i don't want them to think badly of you' she said" | sara al haddad

2016
single-channel video, 56 seconds, commissioned by DUCTAC

Unfold, spread.
Side 1 // Iron
Flip, side 2 // Iron
Attach ends, fold.
Side 3 // Iron
Flip, side 4 // Iron
Attach ends, fold.
Side 5 // Iron
Flip, side 6 // Iron
Attach ends, fold.
Side 7 // iron
Flip side 8 // iron
Attach ends, fold.
Side 9 // iron
Flip side 10 // iron
Attach ends, fold.
Side 11 // iron
Flip, side 12 // iron
Put aside

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Left: But did you read? | Jumairy

2016
durational performance, Ramadan 1 - 28 or 29 or 30, 2016, commissioned by DUCTAC

Jumairy draws inspiration for this work from his curiosity about the ways personal identity is formed. While engaging with the question of whether one’s sense of self is shaped to a greater extent by genetics or experience, he explores the differences in human development arising from varying - and sometimes false - interpretations of Islam. Jumairy will carry out this investigation through a daily performance in which he reads and writes passages from the Quran. 

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Television of the Month | Khalid Mezaina

2016
single-channel stop motion video installation, 15 seconds commissioned by DUCTAC

Khalid Mezaina notes that the holy month of Ramadan is not only a time of discipline and reflection, but also, ironically, the month where excess is most apparent. In light of the importance of television in his household and especially given his family tradition of gathering in front of the television every evening post-iftar, Mezaina has created a video to be viewed in a living-room-like installation also of his construction. Through this work, he invites us to reflect upon the nature of the media we consume during Ramadan - in the form of television programmes and advertisements alike - and to consider which if any qualities of that material are integral to the holy month itself. 

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Reflections (series of 3) | Salama Nasib

2016
screen-print on archival paper, 54 (w) x 90 (h) cm each (without frame), commis- sioned by DUCTAC.

Salama Nasib draws inspiration from three essential rituals in her household during Ramadan: gathering and sharing food, devotion in praying and worshipping and giving charity wherever possible. Thus, her illustrations reinterpret traditional Islamic patterns and shapes in ways that echo these three practices. Salama portrays these rituals through simple line illustrations placed on prayer mats to emphasise the holy month. The remaining patterns are a playful attempt at modernising and simplifying traditional patterns on prayer mats. She also plays with the idea of entrances and entering spaces of worship by exploring the traditional doors of mosques. At the center of this illustration is the hands piece featured in last year’s Ramadanization. Her playful approach to color gives these images the appearance of stained glass. In this way, Salama takes traditional elements that are recognisable across the Muslim world and associated with Ramadan, but recomposes them in new arrangements and in fresh colours to encourage the viewer to see them with new eyes. 

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Bab Sharki Studio | Dina Saadi

2016
spray paint, walls, dimensions variable, commissioned by DUCTAC

Dina Saadi draws inspiration for this work from her love of Damascus’ street lamps which illuminated the streets outside her Bab Sharki studio. Dina spent many Ramadan evenings strolling through the narrow, twisting streets of Damascus’ old city under these colourful lanterns, enjoying the patterns and play of light on the cobblestone streets and stuccoed walls. Now for a Dubai audience, she reinterprets her old studio and these Ramadan memories in the workspace, creating a space where people can walk in and enjoy a solitary moment under the lights recreated with glow-in-the-dark paint. As visitors sit and smell the wafting jasmine and listening to the sounds of vendors selling tamr hindi, jallab and other Ramadan food, they will be transported in the moment to Dina’s Damascus during Ramadan. 

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Safety Manual | Safwan Subzwari

2016
pen, water colors, digital design, dimensions variable, commissioned by DUCTAC

As a child, Safwan Subzwari made a list of all the things he was not allowed to do during Ramadan. He did this so as to earn the most possible sawab during the month and to remain vigilant of all actions that might break a fast. This piece is a gift to his younger self and to many others like him who have lived

in constant paranoia of unwittingly breaking the fast and losing its benefits. An evolution of the list he had made in his early years, this work takes inspiration from the simple language of flight safety manuals as they communicate lifesaving instructions. For Subzwari, at that age, knowing how to properly fast felt as important as knowing how to operate an oxygen mask or a life vest in an emergency. 

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Mjadara | Walid Al Wawi

Mjadara, Walid Al Wawi
2016
video installation, 2 channels, 12 min, commissioned by DUCTAC

Rules of closed captioning:
1- Every sound cannot be closed captioned.
2- Captioners must decide which sounds are significant.
3- Captioners must rhetorically invent and negotiate the meaning of the text.
4- Captions are interpretations.

In dialogue with the Islamic context of Ramadan and the fragile migration of faith into cultural functionality and regional state law, Mjadara investigates contemporary Middle Eastern identities through the geopolitics of food- in place of the more typically sensationalistic depictions found in the international news media. This piece is comprised of two films synched by audio. In these films, an uneasy narrative is deployed via closed captioning as imagery from the scene in question remains concealed. In place of that visual content, the artist can be seen preparing a traditional Palestinian meal. 

About the artist.

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