During Abu Dhabi Art, we will be staging an edition of Rasheed Araeen's installation 'Shamiyaana'.
The installation will be open, and serving free food, from Monday - Sunday: 12 - 2pm at the Cultural Foundation Al Hosn - Abu Dhabi.
"Shamiyaana is a sort of tent or marquee which is used for marriage ceremonies in the Indian subcontinent. I've the memory of marriages in my family in Karachi. A Shamiyaana would be erected in front of our house in which guests would be welcomed and food served to them. They were beautiful as they were decorated with colourful geometric designs. It is the memory of these bygone traditions which is the basis of my artwork now called Shamiyaana.
"When I was invited to participate in Documenta 14, in 2017, particularly in Athens, it gave me an opportunity to fulfill my ambition to produce an artwork which would allow people to be part of it, not as an audience but as its creative participants or partners. Athens at the time was going through a crisis, not only of an unemployment of its own people but it also had to receive immigrants and refugees particularly from the Middle East; and then to feed them. It was the time and occasion when there would also be tourists, as well as the audience from all over the world for the Documenta, in Athens. The artistic aim of Shamiyaana was therefore to bring all these people together; in fact, under one roof where they would meet, eat together and engage in conversations.
"Now in Abu Dhabi we will be restaging the Shamiyaana and inviting guests to share bread and be part of the Art Work."
Rasheed Araeen, London, 2021