Her Excellency Noura Al Kaabi, UAE Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, toured New York University Abu Dhabi’s (NYUAD) cultural venues on Sunday, April 29.
The tour began with a visit to The Arts Center at the NYU Abu Dhabi’s current interactive sound installation, Gardens Speak by live artist Tania El Khoury. On view until April 30, this performance contains the recorded oral histories of ten ordinary people who were buried in Syrian gardens. Each narrative has been carefully constructed with the friends and family members of the deceased to retell their stories as they themselves may have recounted it.
She then toured the University’s academic museum, the NYUAD Art Gallery, with the curators of the current exhibition, Permanent Temporariness: Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti. On view through June 9, this exhibition is the first institutional retrospective of the artist-architects Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti. Throughout their large-scale installations, the duo explores the state of “refugeeness,” a condition meant to be temporary, but that has become permanent for many populations. Permanent Temporariness is guest-curated by NYUAD faculty Salwa Mikdadi and NYUAD Art Gallery Curator Bana Kattan.
Also in attendance were Advisor to the UAE Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development Ruba Al Hassan; Head of Manarat Al Saadiyat Alia Khalid Al Qassimi; Manager of Arts, Culture and Heritage at the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation Khulood Al Atiyat; senior representative for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in Abu Dhabi Hanan Sayed Worrell; and Gardens Speak artist Tania El Khoury.
In attendance from NYUAD were the University’s Chief Curator Maya Allison; Art Gallery Curator Bana Kattan; Art Gallery Programs Curator Alaa Edris, NYUAD Associate Professor Practice of Art History Salwa Mikdadi; The Arts Center’s Executive Artistic Director Bill Bragin and The Arts Center’s Director of External Relations and Partnerships Mohannad Al Bakri.