Listening For Traces
Listening For Traces: Conflict, Sound & Memory 
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Rizq Art Initiative (RAi), a new art gallery in Abu Dhabi promoting art and artists from the Global South, presents Listening For Traces: Conflict, Sound & Memory, a group exhibition that delves into the enduring impact of conflict on people, places, language, and relationships. Organised in collaboration with CRiSAP (Creative Research into Sound Arts Practice in London, UK), it is curated by Dr Cathy Lane, a professor of sound art who co-directs CRiSAP. The show will be open to the public until the 20th of March, 2024.

Listening For Traces: Conflict, Sound & Memory (installation view). Rizq Art Initiative, Abu Dhabi, 2024.

The exhibition features 13 creatives from different countries. These are Abdullah Al Othman (b. 1985, Saudi Arabia), Asma Ghanem (b. 1991, Syria; based in Palestine), Alexia Webster (b. 1979, South Africa; lives in New York, USA), Christopher Marianetti (USA), Jananne Al Ani (b. 1966, Iraq; lives in London), Nour Sokhon (Lebanon), Shirin Neshat (b. 1957, Iran; based in New York), Uzma Falak (India), and Yara Mekawei (Egypt). Visitors can also look at works by four artists from the UK: Louise K Wilson, Martin John Callanan (b. 1982), Thomas Gardner, and Angus Carlyle. Additionally, the list of participants includes Open Group, a Ukrainian art collective.

Listening For Traces: Conflict, Sound & Memory (installation view). Rizq Art Initiative, Abu Dhabi, 2024.

The artists taking part in the exhibition examine the sounds of the past and how they reverberate through time and into the present day. In their works on view, they reflect the cyclical nature of conflict, the wounds of history, and the potent feedback loop that continues to influence today’s world.

For example, photographer and visual artist Shirin Neshat displays her Turbulent (1998), a sound and video installation addressing gender inequality in Iran. Sounds of War II (2023) by artist Jananne Al Ani explores the impact of military operations on the British landscape. Artist Louise K Wilson presents her Woomera/Nurrangar (2007), a multi-channel sound and video installation that transports viewers to remote Cold War sites in the South Australian desert. In his exhibited artwork Scored Out (2023), painter Thomas Gardner examines memory, trauma, and reconciliation while in his work Wars During My Lifetime, artist Martin John Callanan documents conflicts continuing from 1982 to the present day.

Jananne Al Ani, Sounds of War II (still), 2023. Film.

About Rizq Art Initiative

RAi is an independent organisation established by art historian and executive director Shafeena Yusuff Ali and curator and creative director Meena Vari. Its key aim is to encourage cultural exchange and provide support to emerging and established artists, curators, researchers, and other creatives from the Global South. RAi’s transdisciplinary approach incorporates visual arts, design, craft, technology, art practice, theory, and curatorial research. It hosts residencies, provides fellowships, organises various exhibitions and workshops, and holds symposiums and talks.

To get more information about Listening For Traces: Conflict, Sound & Memory, please visit the official web page of the exhibition.

You may also be interested in attending A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose, a solo show by Mandy El-Sayegh.