About the visual campaign works for 2019
Life in a Bag is an ongoing project where the artist conducts impromptu luggage scans of handbags and documents their insides with one clean snapshot. The artist is careful not to manipulate the contents of the bag, as if attempting to preserve the integrity of her findings. The negatives of the images are then printed onto sheets of aluminum, once again referencing a security apparatus. The hand bag scans become portraits or indicators of the bag owner’s social status, their personality, their tastes etc… as the viewer looks for clues and indicators as to what sort of person they are looking at.
In the newest addition to this body of work, visitors to Abu Dhabi Art 2018 were randomly selected during the Fair opening hours and agreed to have the insides of their handbags captured. The portraits that emerge offer insights into the diverse audiences that attended Abu Dhabi Art in 2018.
“"Life in a Bag" is a continuous project, in which I document various bags, each of which carries a life. I think of them as portraits; culture, personality, social life, different tastes are all captured in a bag. Working with Abu Dhabi Art 2019 is a great opportunity that allows me to create new photographs which are closely related to art and culture. The new series documents visitors' bags from Abu Dhabi Art 2018, reflecting the diverse cultures and personalities brought together for the event. They all came for art. This in itself added a certain quality to my project. I am very grateful to Abu Dhabi Art for their support and consider it an honour that my artwork will serve as the advertising and artistic visual campaign for the upcoming Abu Dhabi Art 2019.”
Ebtisam Abdulaziz is a multidisciplinary artist & writer. Reflecting her Bachelor’s Degree in Science & Mathematics, Abdulaziz brings her unique perspective on mathematics and the structures of systems to bear on issues of identity and culture through installations, performance pieces and works on paper. Her works are evidence of a fascination with systemic ways to produce emotionally or intellectually meaningful forms of expression. Combining the scientific with the arbitrary, at times juxtaposing the two in order to force the viewer to question their assumptions about rules in the natural and formulaic world, Abdulaziz is methodical in her explorations. Her approach draws on the Gestalt theory and the recognition that understanding something is greater than perceiving the sum of all of its parts. Abdulaziz has exhibited as part of the Inaugural UAE and ADACH Pavilions at 53rd Venice Biennale, as well as at the 7th & 10th Sharjah Biennial; Languages of the Desert, the Kunst Museum, Bonn, Germany; Dubai Next, a collaboration between the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority and Vitra Design Museum, Basel 2008; Arab Express, a group exhibition at The Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; 25 years of Arab Creativity, The Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris; Inventing The World: The Artists as a Citizen, Benin Biennial 2012, Kora Centre, Benin. Abdulaziz is a member of the Emirates Fine Art Society and Tashkeel editorial team, was a participant in the 2007 Emirates Foundation Grant Program Art Panel. In 2013 she also participated in ‘The Beginning of thinking is Geometric’ at Maraya Art Center- Sharjah and has been shown at FotoFest Biennial, Art in Houston, Texas, Past Forward, contemporary art from the Emirates, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, CA, East Lansing, MI, Fort Worth, TX, Lexington, KY, Dallas, TX, Spokane, WA. Her work was recently shown at Cara Gallery, New York & at Rhizome, DC. US as well as at NYUAD and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. Ebtisam was voted one of 100 most powerful Arab women by Arabian Busines in 2013.