Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah, will host an exhibition titled ‘Art Index 1.0' by photographer Ammar Al Attar, from 15 June to 29 August.
Curated by Dr. Alexandra MacGilp, the exhibition will feature a series of fifty portraits of artists and art world figures taken by photographer Ammar Al Attar. During this project, the artist travelled around the country to photograph artists, designers, curators, gallerists, collectors and writers in their studios and workplaces.
Al Attar's project traces the shifting ecosystem of the local art scene across geographic locations and generations. In both black and white and colour, Al Attar's analogue photographs offer a behind the scenes look at the professional networks and friendships that exist among artists and art workers.
He will also exhibit his contact sheets and notebooks to give viewers an insight into his work process during his travels on the winding journey from one subject to another. In our age of digital phone photography and Instagram mania, Al Attar is increasingly fascinated with older photographic technologies and the elements of time and chance that are involved in capturing an image.
Speaking about the exhibition, Giuseppe Moscatello, Director of Maraya Art Centre, said, "We are extremely proud to be presenting the first solo show of the emerging photographer Ammar Al Attar, who has exhibited at Maraya Art Centre since day one. He has recently shown his work at several of the most important galleries and art institutions in the region; he has shown at Maraya several times including in the Roaming Images project exhibition and Islamopolitan."
He stressed that hosting this exhibition comes in line with Maraya Art Centre's commitment to nurturing the emerging art and cultural scene in the Emirates, supporting and producing the work of talented artists such as Al Attar and showcasing it for the local public.
Al Attar is unusual in preferring analogue to digital photography, he commented, ‘I actually always shoot with analogue and film; rarely do I shoot digital in my practice. I'm more into the tangible. Analogue makes me slow down and work within limitations.' In his photography, Al Attar chronicles his surroundings and the contemporary landscape, going beyond mere documentation to engage with issues impacting on the social fabric of the UAE. Al Attar is currently working on a fascinating research-based project ‘Reverse Moments' in which he is building an archive of photography history in the UAE.
His images provide a visual history of this rapidly developing area, reflecting the cultural continuity that is rarely visible amid overwhelming change. Al Attar's work has been shown throughout the UAE, as well as in Greece at the Thessaloniki Museum in 2011. He was also selected for the 2013 Artists-in-Residence Dubai programme, a partnership between Art Dubai, Delfina Foundation, London, UK, the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, and Tashkeel, Dubai.