The exhibition, hosted by Art Jameel, featured 13 artists and collectives who explored material culture and the weaponization of heritage; the show presented sculpture, installation, video, photography and 3D renderings.

‘Phantom Limb’ interrogated our lived relationship to material heritage. Ranging across diverse media, the works displayed posed pressing questions around the writing of history, the weaponization of heritage and the construction of foundation myths.

From the circulation of artefacts to the destruction of architectural spaces, issues of material heritage are particularly charged in the Middle East, where layered realities of colonialization, war, and competing claims of cultural dominance form the backdrop to the research, preservation, trade and destruction of material heritage.

Whether through sculpture, installation, video, photography or 3D rendering, the objects and sites explored in this exhibition are never fully rendered, rather they were evoked, imagined, and referenced. The exhibition’s title ‘Phantom Limb’ refered to the painful condition when the body refuses to acknowledge the loss of its part, usually the result of violent injury or amputation.

The show featured works by Rand Abdul Jabbar, Ali Cherri, Decolonizing Architecture and Benji Boyadgian as well as works by Akram Zaatari, Jumana Manna, Pio Abad and Frances Wadsworth Jones, Kader Attia, Théo Mercier, Rayyane Tabet and Khalil Rabah. The exhibition also included Maps of Defiance, an extensive installation of visual materials, annotated maps, 3D models, and data analysis by research agency Forensic Architecture co-produced by Art Jameel and the V&A.

About Jameel Arts Centre

One of the first contemporary arts institutions in Dubai, Jameel Arts Centre presents curated solo and group exhibitions, drawn both from the Art Jameel Collection and through regional and international collaborations. The Centre is a 10,000-square metre, three-storey, multi-disciplinary space designed by UK-based practice Serie Architects. Located by the creek in Dubai’s Jaddaf Waterfront neighbourhood, the Centre’s galleries are complemented by the Jameel Library, an open-access research centre dedicated to artists and cultural movements in the Gulf states and beyond. The Centre also includes project and commissions spaces, a writer’s studio, a restaurant and shop.

Image Credit

Thumbnail: Pio Abad and Frances Wadsworth Jones The Collection of Jane Ryan & William Saunders 2019.Commissioned by Art Jameel Courtesy of the artists. Photo courtesy Christopher Rohrer .jpg

Header: Benji Boyadgian;Intimate terrain 1,2019. Photo credit Hareth Yousef

Gallery: Akram Zaatari;An Extraordinary Event, 2018.Courtesy of the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery. ArtJameelCollection

Forensic Architecture; Victoria and Albert Museum, 2018.UK pavilion London Design Biennale.JP.Copyright Peter KelleherG