Sarah AbuAbdallah, Shortlisted Artist, Abraaj Group Art Prize 2017
Mornings of Hope, 2017, Video projection on circular panels, 5’
In Sarah AbuAbdallah’s ‘Mornings of Hope’, the domestic sphere becomes an actual sphere, or more accurately several floating bubbles with clearly defined edges separating themselves off from the infinite unknowable outside, an architecture of reverse holes. But really, in this literal act of globalisation there is no outside, but rather multiple insides, floating within a thick syrup of another expanse of unyielding inside. Intimate footage of cells, insects, fish, and family remind us that there is never one domesticity, but infinite domesticities existing in ambivalent competition and companionship.
There is always potential for the collision or dissolution of these artificially hermetically sealed worlds, the invisible strands of information and relationships holding everything together and keeping everything apart operating within their own logic, beyond the comprehension of their inhabitants. Equally, the perspective of the viewer is not privileged, the worlds inside infinitely richer than can be comprehended by the sterile external gaze of microscopic or telescopic surveillance. The smells and textures that are the real flesh and blood, milk and honey of domesticity remain sealed and defensive, their own fortress bubbles against the infinite expanse of the inside of the screen or deep space, a darkness which is as much everything as nothing.
The video casts a net into this sea of surplus absence, seeming to ask of its multiple globalisations: what can be found in the dark, what is solid enough to be grabbed and clung to, what methods of hope and survival are within arms reach?
Sarah Abu Abdallah lives and works in Qatif, Saudi Arabia. She studied art at Rhode Island School of Design earning a Masters in Digital Media, and in the College Of Art And Design at Sharjah University.
She is currently an artist and puzzle maker, working with video, installation, poetry and images. Sarah has exhibited work in the Sharjah Biennial 11, Fluidity in Kunstverein in Hamburg, Co-Workers in Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Do it Arabic, Prospectif Cinéma / Filter Bubble at the Centre Pompidou and Luma Foundation, Private Settings at the Warsaw Museum of Modern Art; Arab Contemporary at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, participated in the Serpentine Galleries Marathon, Rhizoma; a collateral event organised by Edge of Arabia at the 55th Venice Biennale, amongst others. She was the recipient of Sharjah Art Foundation’s Production Programme Grant (2016) in collaboration with Josh Bitelli for their project To Gaze at Ten Suns Shining.
Sarah also executed the 89plus project “Vessel Verses” with Abdullah Al Mutairi for Art Dubai 2016.