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Samira Abbassy: A Night Sea Journey | Imran Channa: Badshahnama

16 March @ 6.00 pm - 9.00 pm


Two artists who find ways to rewrite our histories and recontextualise our present. Samira Abbassy is showing works that began as an attempt to imagine the plight of the Syrian refugees at sea. “As they progressed,” she says, “the paintings became less specific to these recent events on our news feed and more universal, timeless and mythical … Delving into ‘the Oceanic’ and being swallowed whole by it, describes both the subject of this show, as well as the psychological process by which the works emerge”.

Imran Channa’s Badshahnama series is based on Badshahnama (The Book of Kings), an illustrated history that functioned both as propaganda and as the ‘official’ visual history of the Mughal kings. Raising questions around the accuracy of pre-scripted history, it is a beautifully illustrated and richly informative work. Says Channa: “My approach to making this series deals with the idea of selecting and re-presenting fragments of the book in alternative contexts in order to open up new forms of engagement, relationships and meanings with the characters … The act of taking the images away from their original context, and reinserting them with alternative proportions and in different formations creates a link based on differences rather than similarities. My role becomes a builder and a demolisher at the same time to let some things go in order to get something back”.

To 24 April.

Above: Samira Abbassy, At Sea Diptych. Below: Imran Channa Badshahnama


16 March
6.00 pm - 9.00 pm
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XVA Gallery
Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood, Bur Dubai
Dubai,United Arab Emirates
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+971 4 353 5383