Be Fekret Hastam

April 26th to May 19th 2024

XVA Gallery – Al Fahidi Neighbourhood, Dubai, UAE
Opening Reception: Saturday, April 27, 6-8 pm

Curatorial statement:

Naz Shahrokh’s latest solo exhibition at XVA Gallery further investigates conceptual works that range from upcycled sculptural objects to site-specific installation and embroidered works. Her artistic practice is closely aligned with her research, both of which reflect upon Metaphysics, Sustainability, Land Art, Site-specificity and cultural traditions.

Works in the exhibition include A Brief History of Time, an assemblage of digital photography and acrylic on approximately 200 silver maple leaves installed on the wall in a configuration referencing compositionally the flight of swifts during migration. This work offers miniature snapshots of the natural environment where the artist documented the fleeting landscapes in the last 16 years.

Spice Line includes 324 glass vial jars filled with spices and herbs installed on a shelf. The project is in direct reference to the Silk Road. It celebrates the richness of human culture, as the materials assembled from collected spices and herbs are inspired directly by the Emirates and neighbouring countries. As the artist describes “The Emirates has been a nomadic landscape for centuries as the Silk Road was as a journey from the east to the west, and many travelled through the region leaving behind or adding their material culture in the United Arab Emirates of which was assimilated to various forms and traditions”.

We Are One are embroidered face masks that reference Byron Kim’s study of skin tones and the experience the planet witnessed with COVID-19 shared experience. Dream with Care is a collection of 111 ties assembled with fishing line. This work is dedicated to the artist’s late mother and carries a political reflection of our current time in the region and the role of patriarchy while questioning colonialism.

Map Tree (we’re all connected) is an interactive, collaborative work within one of XVA’s central courtyards on a tree. This project includes approximately 11,000 collected maps in recycled plastic envelopes, where the public has added their own voice and written or drawn their reflections. This project was initiated at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C., in 2022 with its final installation at the Al Fahidi District. As the artist describes, “The maps in this current project have been collected, and each is reminiscent of a specific moment and place for the past 30 years. This project was inspired by Yoko Ono’s Wish Tree and Joseph Beuys’ 7000 Oaks. Congruent conceptually, my project investigates further the notion and conversation of the collective consciousness, and our place today within time, as I believe we are all interconnected”.

For more information:

About XVA Gallery

XVA Gallery established in 2003, is one of the leading galleries in the Middle East that specializes in contemporary art from the Arab world, Iran and the Subcontinent. Exhibitions
focus on works by the region’s foremost artists as well as those emerging onto the scene. The gallery’s artists express their different cultural identities and perspectives while challenging the
viewer to drop prejudices and borders. XVA Gallery exhibits both locally and internationally; collaborating with galleries and participating in international art fairs.

XVA Gallery and XVA Art Hotel are located in Dubai’s heritage district, now called Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood. XVA founded and organized the Bastakiya Art Fair from 2007- 2010 as
part of its commitment to raising the profile of contemporary art practice in Dubai. For three years XVA was located in DIFC and has now expanded its premises in Al Fahidi.