Dubai
19 / 03 / 12 – 16 / 05 / 12
"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 which opens 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.
 
Kaabi-Linke's artistic practice is woven around social, political, cultural and historical concepts, revealing hidden contradictions and coincidences often in subtle and sublime ways.  Working in a multitude of media to express her ideas, Kaabi-Linke is not afraid to merge beauty with violence, refinement with vulgarity, producing art that is evocative and paradoxical. Black is the New White is her first solo exhibition since she was awarded the Abraaj Capital Art Prize in 2011.
 
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.
 
As is typical of her practice, Kaabi-Linke produces works from a variety of media and in this exhibition she brings together a disparate display of objects, sculptures, and wall pieces. Her mastery of contradiction is evident in her choice of medium: one 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.
 
Kaabi-Linke describes her art as a form of investigative practice performing a 'kind of archaeology on contemporary life".  In Black is the New White we see Kaabi-Linke dissecting and challenging relevant issues prevalent across the Middle East today: from the 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 - all of which in their own way have led to a form of entrapment.
 
Black is the New White will be accompanied by a catalogue, which features an essay by independent writer and curator Sara Raza and a conversation between Nadia Kaabi Linke and the fictional Joseph Van Helt.
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