MODEL OF MOTIONS
SAMA ALSHAIBI & MICHAEL FADEL
June 18–August 15, 2021
Friday, June 18, 5–7pm
ARTIST TALK: ALSHAIBI, FADEL & ANNE FARRELL
Saturday, June 19, 2–3pm
SCREENING: FUTURE FATES BY THE EYES OF TIME
Saturday, June 26, 2pm
(June 2021) “Model of Motions delivers an ominous message,” write award-winning artists Sama Alshaibi and Michael Fadel, “that in the age of globalization we are on a path towards annihilation.” Alshaibi and Fadel mount their multimedia installation Model of Motions at form & concept, opening June 18. An official satellite show of the CURRENTS New Media Festival 2021, the display features their collaborative piece Swell, a kinetic sculpture featuring a rocking wooden boat, gypsum sand and an anchor. This ever-shifting artwork is accompanied by a short video titled Footsteps. As a whole, the installation carries visitors to historic and futuristic contexts from the Middle East to Northern Africa, linking the displacement caused by the Silk Road to today’s refugee crises across the globe. An Opening Reception will be held on Friday, June 18, 5-7pm, and an artist talk featuring Alshaibi, Fadel and CURRENTS artist Anne Farrell will take place on Saturday, June 19 from 2-3 pm. Also in conjunction with CURRENTS, the debut screening of the feature-length film Future Fates by The Eyes of Time will take place on Saturday, June 26 at 2 pm.
Swell’s undulating motion, made possible through two mechanical elements (at the base of the boat and within the hull), slowly tips gypsum sand onto the floor of the gallery. This literal and metaphorical jetsam falls atop a snaked anchor with a long chain. Its coiled and sinuous path recalls intertwining times, places and people. It is covered and uncovered by shifting sand and natural airways as visitors surround and view the companion video, which features a protagonist fruitlessly charting course by rowboat in an arid desert. “We wanted to foreground the elasticity of time itself, and the cyclical nature of our social histories in relationship to ecological demise,” says Alshaibi, who notes the metaphorical mirror of the Silk Road in the project’s conceptual fabrication. “Both [Fadel and I] were born in Middle Eastern countries that we were uprooted from due to war, and whose contemporary environmental, social and political stability teeter on the edge of collapse. In our respective practices, we speak to the alienation of the physical and physic conditions of that experience through a spare yet emotive framework. It was a natural evolution for us to create a project that eludes to the historic movement of goods and peoples across physical and metaphorical place.”
In addition to Alshaibi and Fadel’s satellite show for CURRENTS 2021, form & concept will present two CURRENTS-adjacent projects as part of the gallery’s Summer Show 2021. Santa Fe-based artist Anne Farrell presents a 3D-printed diorama with a maquette of Tidy House, which mirrors her immersive Tidy House installation in the main CURRENTS display at Center for Contemporary Arts. The Eyes of Time, a Velarde-based creative collective, debuts a sculptural installation that connects to a larger experience in the Railyard Arts District, and debuts their feature-length film Future Fates.
Sama Alshaibi, born 1973 in Iraq, situates her own body as a site of performance in consideration of the social and gendered impacts of war and migration. Her work complicates the coding of the Arab female figure found in the visual history of photographs and moving images. In addition to showing in over 150 group and solo exhibitions across the globe, Alshaibi received the first prize Project Development Award from Center (Santa Fe, 2019), the 2018 Artist Grant from the Arizona Commission on The Arts and the 2017 Visual Arts Grant from the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (Beirut). She was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholar Fellowship in 2014-2015 as part of a year-long residency at the Palestine Museum in Ramallah, where she developed an education program while conducting independent research. In 2021, Alshaibi was named a Guggenheim Fellow in Photography.
Michael Fadel was born in Lebanon to a Lebanese father and American mother and now resides in New Haven, CT where he works in his studio. He taught as an adjunct instructor at the University of Arizona and at Southwest University of Visual Arts alongside his practice as an artist. Fadel earned a BFA from Winthrop University and a MFA from the University of Arizona—both in sculpture and received many distinctions, including the Centennial Award, the Edward Francis Dunn Scholarship, and is a Medici Scholar. Fadel’s technical skills have been employed in Dubai for Ayyam Gallery and the 55th Venice Biennale as fabricator for artist Sama Alshaibi.
ABOUT CURRENTS NEW MEDIA FESTIVAL 2021
The annual festival of new and experimental media returns to The Center for Contemporary Arts (CCA) 19 years after its inaugural debut in 2002. A portion of the Santa Fe-based festival will be exhibited at CCA’s Tank Garage Gallery spaces. 25 artworks, ranging from interactive installations to videos, multimedia performances, new media sculpture and virtual/augmented reality experiences will be on view June 18 through the 27th.
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