Poetic of Machines by Nasir Nasrallah
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The 421 gallery in Abu Dhabi is holding Poetic of Machines. It is a solo show by Emirati artist Nasir Nasrallah who has participated in the 421 Artistic Development Program 2023. The exhibition features his latest artworks commissioned by the gallery as part of the program. It will be on view until August 27, 2023.

In the displayed art pieces (publications, textiles, installations, and detailed drawings and paintings), Nasrallah delves into the relationship between humans and machines. He lets the viewers take a look at a world of mechanical creatures inspired by early Islamic inventions and experiments. The robotic figures depicted in his images are imbued with personalities, emotions, and a sense of humour. They are often presented in groups, which suggests a kind of community or society of machines. The exhibition explores how they communicate and interact with each other and examines the potential for life in the so-called non-living and vice versa.

Nasir Nasrallah, Poetic of Machines (installation view). Courtesy of 421. Photo: Augustine Paredes.

About the artist

Nasir Nasrallah (b. 1984, Sharjah) is an artist and curator based in the UAE. In 2006, he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Communication Engineering from Khalifa University, Sharjah. While studying there, he also took art courses at the Emirates Fine Arts Society. Currently, Nasir is Director of Education at Sharjah Art Foundation and Ambassador for the UAE Board on Books for Young People.

Nasrallah’s art practice involves painting, writing, journaling, planning, video installations, and interactive work. Although he also employs telecommunication systems (both old and new) in his experimental work, technology is not its crucial part. Nasrallah’s work focuses on human communication; it is a personal response to his environment and the people and places he comes across. Through his art, he aims to show the audience his inner life.

Nasir Nasrallah, one of the artworks displayed in Poetic of Machines. Courtesy of 421. Photo: Ismail Noor.

The artist likes to experiment with various materials and test new concepts and methodologies. He is particularly inspired by the physical items he collects (toys, buttons, paper, wood, etc.) and incorporates them in his art. It is well illustrated by Nasrallah’s series Objects from Austria (2011), a collection of books made of recycled paper which contain objects he picked up while being in Vienna.

Nasrallah has displayed his artworks in numerous exhibitions, which include Playing Spaces (Engage 101, Dubai, 2020); Marsam Al Sahel Group Show (Sharjah, UAE, 2019); Made in Tashkeel (Tashkeel, Dubai, 2018); Bel Arabi (Lebanese International University, Lebanon, 2017); In every page, a piece of me (a solo exhibition at Cuadro Gallery, Dubai, 2016); The 4th Emirati Expressions Conventions of Arts (Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi, 2015); Sharjah Biennial 11 (2013); Art Dubai 2013; Biennale Jogja XII (Indonesia, 2013/2014); Art Residency in Vienna experiments (a solo exhibition, Emirates Fine Art Society, Sharjah, 2011); Cairo Youth Biennial (Egypt, 2006); and others. Besides, since 2005, the artist has been participating in annual exhibitions of the Emirates Fine Arts Society, Sharjah, and in 2012, he was awarded the First Prize at the 30th annual exhibition.

Nasir Nasrallah, one of the artworks from the Objects from Austria collection.

Among the shows Nasrallah has curated are Future History (Galleria Mall Dubai, 2015); Questions, the 4th Sharjah Children’s Biennial, 2014/2015); Stories Yet to Be Told, the 32nd Annual Exhibition (Emirates Fine Arts Society, 2014); and several others.

To learn more about Poetic of Machines, please visit the show’s official web page.

You might also be interested in visiting Jameel Prize: Poetry to Politics.

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