Guggenheim Abu Dhabi: Do Art, Do It Now! to Explore Artworks in

15th May

Do Art, Do It Now!, an interactive evening of performances drawing on poetry, music, and theatre, will engage audiences with the themes explored in the current Guggenheim Abu Dhabi exhibition, The Creative Act: Performance, Process, Presence. The evening will bring together artists, curators, friends, and audience members to participate in playful, interactive, and unpredictable experiences inspired by the installation Another Happy Day (2016–17) by Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian, which was commissioned for The Creative Act.

In 1962, the international, multicultural association of artists known as Fluxus held the first of many multimedia festivals which emphasised ‘process’ and ‘action’ in real time. Inspired by the Fluxus festivals and the Another Happy Day (2016–17) installation, Do Art, Do It Now! blurs the boundary between art and life by presenting a series of performances that mirror the working methods of Ramin and Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian, bringing together a series of interconnected events.

Do Art, Do It Now! will take place in Manarat al Saadiyat on Thursday, May 18th, at 4pm through a series of ‘acts’ which reflect upon the themes and artworks in The Creative Act and challenge traditional concepts of art that involve the artist or the audience undertaking simple actions and performances.

Maisa Al Qassimi, Programmes Manager, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority said: “The Do Art, Do It Now! Programme celebrates creativity and the value of fun, humour, and participation, elevating the transcultural perspectives between defining aspects of contemporary art highlighted in The Creative Act exhibition. The events throughout the evening are designed to foster creativity, allow visitors to view and explore various mediums and discover different avenues of creativity to engage with, and provide them with invaluable and unpredictable experiences in visual art, theatre, fashion, poetry and music. We encourage everyone who is visiting to take part and truly explore the themes of performance, process and presence.”

The audience will be invited to select an historic event score and assume the role of the artist by enacting it as they see fit. There will also be readings from Yasmina Reza’s play Art (1994), a comedy that raises questions about modern art and emphasises that art is open to many different interpretations. Exhibition artists Ramin and Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian will also invite the audience to join them in the Living Room to surf YouTube videos, showcasing mainstream sources for images and ideas that have served as the sources of inspiration for their installation. The evening will also host an unconventional fashion show, featuring eccentric wearable art and designs by participants of the Process Runway workshops, as part of The Creative Act’s educational programme.

Rooftop Rhythm's spoken word artists, presented by NYU AD, will also invite the public to participate in their creative process as they develop an evolving performance piece in real time. The audience will propose words inspired by the themes and artworks in the exhibition, which will serve as raw material for original poems that will be recited. Finally, DJ Basil Al Hadi will spin alternative music that mixes experimental sound, event scores, and visuals to create an immersive experience that reflects the multidisciplinary nature of the art in the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi collection and exhibition.

A series of hands-on workshops inspired by works in The Creative Act will also be offered throughout the evening. These include: Gutai Art Lab, inspired by Gutai artists interested in experimental processes, non-traditional materials, performance, and playful interactions, including performative and participatory art production; Exquisite Corpse Game, inspired by a collaborative, chance-based parlour game played by surrealist artists and drawing from Rokni, Ramin, and Hesam’s collaborative process, inviting participants to draw a section of the body on paper then fold it to conceal their contribution and then inviting other players to draw their own section to reveal humorous and absurd compositions; and Arm Knitting, inspired by the Nargess Hashemi’s knitted environment The Breathing House (2016-17) in Another Happy Day (2016-17), inviting participants to use their arms and yarn to create wearable knitted body sculptures.

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