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421 presents winter 2023 program

January 15–March 21, 2023

421, Abu Dhabi's independent platform for developing creative practices, has announced its winter 2023 program: RE/COLLECT THIS.

The winter 2023 program responds to ideas presented in the exhibitions Mahshid Rafiei: Of Mythic Proportions and And The Mirrors Are Many, which open on February 5, and offers an opportunity for us to collectively reflect on the ways that eurocentric, hegemonic methods of remembering influence our collective self-perception, and ultimately, how we imagine and build our futures.

This seasonal program includes artist-led talks, workshops, and performances, as well as home-cooking sessions, cultural tours and excursions, outdoor creative markets, professional development courses, a three-day film program, and a three-day symposium, all of which offer fresh perspectives on how we can contribute to the formation of an alternative collective memory.

Mahshid Rafiei: Of Mythic Proportions
February 5–May 8, 2023 
Gallery 1 

Comprising Mythic Proportions, Mahshid Rafiei’s first solo show, is a large-scale installation of five freshly commissioned works. This installation, which takes up the whole area in Gallery 1, argues that illusion is a co-conspirator, guiding us through a world of loss. Of Mythic Proportions features sculptures and sound works in which aspects are purposefully buried to provide a false reading and to prompt us to contemplate how art might serve as a substitute for what is lacking.

The 421 Artistic Development Exhibition Program, in partnership with teaching partner The Institute of Emerging Art, produced this exhibition. Of Mythic Proportions is the program’s initial presentation for the 2023 season.

And The Mirrors Are Many 
February 5–May 8, 2023 
Gallery 2 

And The Mirrors Are Many looks into institutional reservoirs of memory—the museum, the memorial, and the archive—and asks why and how we remember. The exhibition addresses the relationship between remembrance and history by analyzing various current practices of remembering. It considers the aesthetics, tactics, provenance, and language used in the memory-making process. And The Mirrors Are Many encompasses a variety of genres, from sculpture, film, and installation to photography, printmaking, and textiles, and includes annotations strewn across the gallery spaces as well as new commissions.

Contributing artists in this exhibition are Maitha Abdalla, Rand Abdul Jabbar, Reem Al Menhali, Emii Alrai, Moza Almatrooshi, Nasser Alzayani, Hadeyeh Badri, Rohini Devasher, Vikram Divecha, Mirella Salamé, Sarah Smarrazzo, and Fatima Uzdenova.  

And The Mirrors Are Many is curated by Mona Al-Jadir and emerged from a year-long journey as part of the 421 Curatorial Development Exhibition Program in collaboration with The Bombay Institute for Critical Analysis and Research (BICAR) and with mentorship from curator Sabih Ahmed.  

A group show curated by Dania Al Tamimi will be presented at Art Dubai in March, as will an exhibition presenting the work of selected designers who submitted entries to the 4th edition of the 100/100 Best Arabic Posters design competition. The former will take place off-site at Art Dubai, while the latter will be displayed in an Abu Dhabi public location. More details about both exhibitions will be released soon.