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Curators of the National Pavilion UAE at the 2019 Venice Biennale, Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, have invited award-winning poet and filmmaker Nujoom Alghanem to represent the UAE with a major site-specific video installation commissioned for the Pavilion.
Nujoom Alghanem is a renowned poet and filmmaker who is considered a leading voice of her generation. With eight critically acclaimed volumes of poetry to date, she is highly regarded for her contributions to new forms of contemporary Arabic poetry. As an award-winning filmmaker, she has directed a number of features and documentaries that further the discourse around gender issues and societal norms. Her films include Nearby Sky ( 2014), Sounds of the Sea ( 2015), Honey, Rain and Dust (2016), and most recently, her feature documentary Sharp Tools (2017), a tribute to late Emirati artist Hassan Sharif.
"Nujoom Alghanem is a driving force behind some of the most innovative literary positions and bold cinematic practices of the UAE and the Gulf," said curators Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath. "Her evocative work is as profoundly concerned with expanding the formal components of her practice, mainly poetry and film, as it is with capturing the complexity of the human condition through telling remarkable stories about exceptional characters. We are confident that the site-specific commission with which she will be representing the UAE at the 2019 Venice Biennale will confront the international arts community with a truly unique, multidisciplinary artistic position."
Nujoom Alghanem said: "The forms and subjects of my practice have been shaped by my personal experience within the context of a rapidly-transforming society. The individual approach in which I have had to resolve the tension between tradition and modernity, has deeply impacted the content of my work as an artist, and is embedded in my writing and filmmaking. As a woman, I have found it fulfilling to focus on extraordinary female stories from our society or the Arab world that are worth being highlighted. I am excited to be working on this new commission in collaboration with the curators and the team of the National Pavilion UAE - La Biennale di Venezia."
Still de: Sharp Tools, 2017
"Nujoom Alghanem is a true embodiment of the cultural inventiveness of the UAE," said Khulood Al Atiyat, Manager of Arts, Culture and Heritage at the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, commissioner of the National Pavilion UAE. "It is very fitting that this year's curators have selected her to be the solo artist representing the UAE at the Venice Biennale. Her poignant poetry and cinematic imagery have such a vivid impact that will make for a truly memorable pavilion."
Still de: Sounds of the Sea, 2015
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