Performance: The Rocks are Singing to the Sky
Dates: 17 - 21 November 2021
Curator: Rose Lejeune
Artists: Rand Abdul Jabbar, Mays Albaik, Louise Hervé & Clovis Maillet and Super Taus
Through the frame of storytelling and interpretation, Abu Dhabi Art 2021 performing arts programme created a series of journeys through histories, memories and fictions.
The artists used not only live performance, but also sound, sculpture and digital interfaces to create a series of narrative, abstract and poetic experiences within both the fair and the wider landscape of Abu Dhabi itself. Intervening in the urban landscape, they brought its language back into the fair while also transporting audiences into new spaces of reflection and interactions with contrasting space-times.
Riffing off performative experiences such as the tourist’s tour and museum interpretation, these works critically unpick the spaces of art’s display as a social constructs and explore how the audience can be performatively implicated within their work. Experiences of belonging and displacement, memory and language ask us to question how the very idea of a live experience is constituted to create new entries and exits into the collective and personal experiences of ourselves and others, real and imagined.
Rose Lejeune, curator of the fair’s public Performing Arts Programme in 2020, returned for the 2021 edition with a diverse line up of performances across different locations in the fair and Abu Dhabi.
Lejeune commissioned four artists including, Louise Hervé & Clovis Maillet, French artists and Founders of I.I.I.I who explored projections of the future and anthropological knowledge through the language of performance and film; Mays Albaik, Palestinian interdisciplinary visual artist interweaved poetry, socio-politics and geography; Rand Abdul Jabbar, Abu Dhabi-based Iraqi multi-disciplinary artist whose socially-engaged works intersect architecture and visual arts; and Super Taus, Moscow-based artists whose Dagestan cultural origins inform her installation and performance art practice. Each commissioned artist selected a site for a live performance in locations both in the fair and around Abu Dhabi with the aim of offering an abstract and poetic experience of different objects and landmarks around the city.