16 September – 18 October 2014
Meem Gallery is pleased to present The Firm, Syrian artist Waseem Marzouki’s first solo exhibition at the gallery and in the United Arab Emirates. Displaying video art and a series of seventeen mixed media on paper and canvas works that take on the appearance of blueprints, Marzouki examines systems of power, be it political or cultural, that have played an integral role in the recent tensions, upheavals and bloodshed within the Arab world. This is manifested in the artist’s careful delineation of power plants, key elements in each composition, which are used to construct weapons and tanks for warfare. Here, each power plant represents individual units of power that form a collective group, or power system, that is integral to the destruction of innocent communities living within zones of combat. The series also reflects on the recent Arab Springs and the way in which these events made collaborative and individual systems of power more apparent. The technical approach to drawing Marzouki employs also reflects the dispassionate nature of military planning which encompasses a ‘network of inescapable supply chains and logistics.’ Within each composition, Marzouki incorporates other codes and references such as English and Arabic script (from an ancient book on the Beit al-Maal), tiger-skin patterns, diagrams and dimensions of weapons and wooden spades. In Untitled 10, the wooden spade is the central focus of the work, transforming into a globe of the world, shifting these networks of power from the region to the world at large.