21 Mar

Emotional Baggage on Display

The Confused Arab at Sikka Art Fair

Written By Sofia Guellaty

Every year since 2010, around Art Season in Dubai, Sikka Art Fair launches a city-wide activation focusing on UAE and GCC based contemporary artists. The 10-day program launched on March 17th features installations, exhibitions and workshops in the most iconic and patrimonial areas of old Dubai. As part of this program, Sofiane Si Merabet’s AKA The Confused Arab unveiled his installation: Hawa City.

 

In the Al-Fahidi district, Merabet installed two rooms recreating the different steps of a traveler or migrant as a metaphor of Dubai being a crossway to different destinations and thus carrying in itself the hopes and challenges of people on the move. In the first room, visitors are invited to pick a pretend passport showing the segmentation of visa friendly passports and the rest. He also evokes the dual identities of people holding two nationalities evoking his own Algerian-French citizenships.

 

The second room includes travel accessories branded with his Hawa City logos as well as a scanner, and a praying carpet that represent: “loss of intimacy we are facing in this common process in airports, the mosque carpet is an invitation to a personal scan and to find or share any emotional baggage we might have” , according to the artist.

 

Sikka Art Fair

March 17th to 26th

Al Fahadi, Dubai