20 November 2023–20 December 2023
A Glimpse into the words of Salmah Almansoori
Part of Alserkal Art Week
In this introductory exhibition, you will encounter three series: Demolished, Who I Became, and Unfolding.
Starts 20 November 2023
Ends 20 December 2023
Venue Firetti Contemporary
We are grateful to welcome Emirati artist Salmah Almansoori to Firetti Contemporary. To commemorate this collaboration, we're presenting a highlight exhibition at the gallery, offering a glimpse of her work.
Salmah Almansoori is a multidisciplinary artist based in Abu Dhabi, born in Ghayathi in 2001. Her art explores the idea that places hold the key to understanding our identities, spanning installations, painting, sculpture, ceramics, photography, and video. In this introductory exhibition, you will encounter three series: Demolished, Who I Became, and Unfolding. Each revolves around key themes of home, memory, and identity, yet they utilize different mediums, including found objects, fabrics, and painting.
In her ongoing painting series Demolished, Almansoori creates a visual archive of the soon-to-be-demolished areas of Ghayathi. Characterized by expressive and gestural brushwork, the series aims to unveil the often-overlooked aspects of these transitory remnants of a city that was once her home. Each intricate detail exposes new questions and revelations regarding the lives of the people who once inhabited or worked in these structures, contemplating their movements within the space and the objects they left behind.
Who I Became delves deep into the profound relationship between Almansoori’s environment and her evolving identity. By examining documented images of her hometown and tapping into nostalgic memories, the project explores how the act of inhabiting a space molds and shapes who she ultimately becomes. It skillfully captures the essence of the past, shedding light on the patterns ingrained during her upbringing that serve as windows into her history, identity, and culture. The heart of the project lies in the process of transferring photographs onto tiles collected from spaces she's inhabited throughout her life, effectively imbuing these tiles with the weight of time and the associated memories. This exploration doesn't just focus on individual moments that have left their mark on the artist's identity but also encompasses the broader journey of growth and transformation that unfolds throughout her life. Part of this series includes
Doors, which explores the symbolism of open and closed doors in abandoned locations, with open doors signifying welcome and closed doors representing exclusion. This work presents a diptych and features Almansoori's use of silkscreen to print two distinct doors – one open and one closed – on found objects retrieved from the same abandoned site.
Unfolding represents a pivotal evolution in her artistic journey. Focusing on her hometown, Ghayathi, the series delves into the complex relationship with the sense of place. This project marks a new direction in her research, aimed at unraveling the essence of the site. Almansoori adeptly reconciles both the tangible and intangible aspects of these spaces. Through mixed media creations involving fabric, she contemplates the physicality of these locations, encompassing architectural structures and the division between private and public areas. The addition of color is guided by deeply ingrained memories, emotions, and experiences intricately tied to these places, even though they may remain unseen, unheard, or untouched. Within the intricate folds of the fabrics lies the concealed essence of her home's intimacy, identity, and history. We invite you to experience her captivating works.