September 21 – October 20, 2011 / To begin the fall season, The Third Line invites guest curator Rami Farook to continue a conversation about the state of the world today. Comprising of works from The Third Line, Traffic and The Farook Collection and exhibiting at the two spaces, the show attempts to question and discuss the state of the contemporary environment through artistic representations depicting social behavior, ecology and psychology.

THE STATE: SOCIAL / ANTISOCIAL? is inspired by and, a continuation from, previous shows at Traffic also titled ‘the state’. This exhibition resumes a dialogue explored earlier in shows held at Traffic: THE STATE (2010), the inaugural exhibition, questioned the socio-political state post September 11; and THE STATE: UPPERS & DOWNERS (2011) ran a commentary on the global condition, from an economic perspective, with the city of Dubai as a focal point. This third installment of investigation combines works from the collection of The Third Line, Traffic and The Farook Collection, and is exhibited at both galleries to connect the conversations previously limited to one physical space.

Photo above: Huda Lutfi /  Red Shoes, 2010, Photo montage and painting on archival paper, 50x70cm. Courtesy of the Artist and The Third Line.
Abbas Akhavan / All the Islands, 2008, Pencil on paper, 45x165cm. Courtesy of the Artist and The Third Line.

This exhibition aims to move beyond mere presentation and aspires to act as a forum on socialization and the current state of people and behavior. It also complements the launch of its online counterpart With a focus on the various social aspects of the current “state” of today, the show puts a mirror up to the face of society for self-observation and self-reflection through the subjects of the works themselves, as well as the social, psychological and emotional impact on the viewers.

The works featured at both venues examine the social and human condition by posing questions about how society operates. Artists such as Arwa Abouon and Slavs and Tatars question belief in faith, tradition, and ritual; Fouad Elkoury, Hassan Hajjaj, Ahmed Mater, Hesam Rahmanian document the everyday in all its glory; Tracey Emin, Susan Hefuna, Damien Hirst, Huda Lutfi, Youssef Nabil and Akram Zaatari depict emotional expression, nostalgia, and memory; and James Clar, Abdulnasser Gharem and Aman Mojadidi address the aspect of the anti-social.

THE STATE: SOCIAL / ANTISOCIAL? takes the viewer on a journey of self discovery with the artworks at its starting point, contemplation as its road, and self revelation as its ultimate destination - defining society as individuals and as a collective.

SandT / Resist Resisting God, 2009, Mirror Mosaic, 150x100 cm, ed.of4. Courtesy of the Artist and The Third Line.

About Rami Farook

Born and raised in Dubai, UAE, where he currently lives and works, Farook has simultaneously embraced the role of curator and patron, and most recently an artist. After completing studies in Marketing & Management, psychology and Islamic Studies and at Boston University, he moved back to Dubai and established Traffic (2007), a social arts organisation to create, exhibit and exchange. A self-taught curator and artist, Farook works to raise the art he encompasses himself with by challenging conventional schools of thought and generating a manifestation that motivates a greater public awareness.

About The Third Line

The Third Line is an art gallery that represents contemporary Middle Eastern artists locally, regionally and internationally in Dubai, UAE. The gallery organises non-profit, alternative programs including Kutub, a bi-lingual Arab literature appreciation circle and documentary and feature film screenings. The Third Line’s publishing sector, Works on Paper, publishes books by associated artists from the region. Books published include Presence by Emirati photographer Lamya Gargash, and In Absentia by Palestinian-Kuwaiti Tarek Al-Ghoussein.

Represented artists include: Abbas Akhavan, Ala Ebtekar, Amir H. Fallah, Arwa Abouon, Babak Golkar, Ebtisam Abdulaziz, Farhad Moshiri, Fouad Elkoury, Golnaz Fathi, Hassan Hajjaj, Hayv Kahraman, Huda Lutfi, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, Lamya Gargash, Laleh Khorramian, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Pouran Jinchi, Rana Begum, Shezad Dawood, Shirin Aliabadi, Slavs and Tatars, Susan Hefuna, Tarek Al-Ghoussein and Youssef Nabil.

About Traffic

Created by Rami Farook in 2007 as a social arts organization, to create, exhibit and exchange, Traffic’s 10,000sqft space combines commercial shows with public programming. It serves as a platform for emerging and established artists, from the region and beyond, and is the permanent home of The Farook Collection, which spans over 300 works. Other aspects of Traffic include an educational program, a bookstore and a ping-pong table. Artists currently represented by Traffic include James Clar, Ayman Yossri aka Daydban, Abdulnasser Gharem, Ahmed Mater, Shaikha Al Mazrou, Aman Mojadidi, Hesam Rahmanian, Faisal Samra and UBIK.

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