A thoughtful examination of Emirati life, the shifting landscape and the relationship between its inhabitants and natural habitat is revealed in The Place of Perpetual Undulation, a Dubai photography exhibition of works by Reem Falaknaz, presented by Gulf Photo Plus (GPP) January 7-31.
Photographer Reem Falaknaz’s exploration of small Emirati villages began several years ago when, struck by the drastic developmental changes these villages and their surrounding landscapes faced, she decided to capture the shift through the lens of her camera.
Concentrated on the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, the exhibition showcases the life of the local people and the life of the surrounding mountains – a constant source of stone and raw construction material for an emirate with a rapidly developing and ravenously demanding infrastructure. As the artist explains: “Ras Al Khaimah, where the series is set, is a mountainous area that is being flattened to pave way for new resorts and hotels, or by quarry sites for providing the building materials for places like these resorts.”
The exhibition brings together 20 select images from Falkanaz’s ongoing documentation of Ras Al Khaimah, laying out a subtle yet distinct struggle between the fragility of the mountains, the persistence of human interference and the relentless drive for development.
a subtle, yet distinct struggle
Reem Falaknaz graduated from the visual communications department of the American University in Sharjah. In 2013, she participated in the Delfina Foundation residency and won a fellowship with the NYU Abu Dhabi “Forming Intersections and Dialogues” (FIND) research program with her proposal to document mountain life in the UAE, which resulted in The Place of Perpetual Undulation project.
In 2014, Reem received a grant launched by the Arab Fund for Art and Culture (AFAC) and the Prince Claus Fund (Amsterdam, Netherlands) in partnership with the Magnum Foundation (New York, USA). She currently works as a staff photographer for The National newspaper.
Gulf Photo Plus in Alserkal Avenue, Dubai, is the MENA region’s premier photography centre, dedicated to furthering the art and science of photography through education, exhibitions and events.
All photography by Reem Falaknaz
Exhibition runs Jan 7 – Jan 31, 2016.
Opening night Jan 7, 7pm. GPP Talk with Reem Falaknaz at 7.30 pm
Guided tour Jan 18, 7.30 pm