Opening Reception
Mon 14 Mar, 2011

5 - 10 pm



Al Serkal Avenue
Warehouse C-16
Al Qouz, Dubai


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satellite - James Clar’s a new studio space

Satellite, conceptual media artist James Clar’s a new studio space, opens from 14 March; in Al Serkal, Dubai

Satellite, a new studio space developed by American media artist James Clar together with Traffic, is set to open in Dubai’s Al Serkal art hub, on Monday, March 14th at 5pm, coinciding with the Al Serkal Art Dubai openings.

Clar, who is exclusively represented by Traffic, Dubai, produces work that is a fusion of technology, popular culture, and visual information. It explores the limitations of various communication mediums and its effect on the individual and society. Focusing on the visual arts, his work often controls and manipulates light - the common intersection of all visual mediums.
The move to a new studio will allow for larger scale experimentation and production. Satellite will also serve as an exhibition space for select works; sculptures, wall pieces, and art installations that take advantage of the space. It will have an open house feel, allowing the public to come inside and have a look at both finished works and the artistic process; a unique opportunity to engage with the artist before the works are known to the contemporary art world. Clar, who will curate and manage the programming of Satellite, plans to invite other artists passing through Dubai to use the space as a kind of satellite studio while away from home, encouraging experimentation in a new environment and collaboration between artists.

“A satellite is an artificial body placed in orbit around the earth to collect information, or to communicate. Being an American citizen who has moved from New York, to Tokyo and now Dubai, each time I feel that my new base becomes a kind of satellite location from where my work is influenced by the social, cultural, and political views respective to each of the countries. I’d like to invite other visiting contemporary artists to come in and use the space in the same way. Who knows, something wild and extraordinary may come out of this collaboration.”
While Clar’s early work dealt with analyzing how technology and media work, a move to the Middle East in 2007 has seen his focus shift to how technology and media affect. As an American living in Dubai, his art work has progressed towards deeper conceptual themes. These include nationalism, globalism, and popular culture in the age of mass information, and often analyzes the discrepancy in information between Western media and Middle Eastern media along with its effects on people.

The opening of Satellite aims to help nurture the burgeoning arts scene in the UAE. It encourages collaborative efforts between artists and organisations to build creative platforms, where new ideas and opportunities can materialize and be shared with the community on a regional and international level. It also fosters a support system for artists, who with the appropriate facilities will continue with their practice.

Among Clar’s works on display at the opening of the new 3,000 ft2 Satellite studio are the following:

  • United States of Arabia, a wall piece that re-configures US flags to represent American involvement in the region.
  • Terminator Terrorist / Terrorist Terminator, a lenticular lens print which challenges the viewer on the power of the media and fears.
  • Versace Singular Suit, a collaboration with designer Donatella Versace for Esquire magazine, which uses fluorescent tubes to create an explosion of light.
  • Ball & Chain, a sculptural commentary on energy usage which employs 24 car headlights and an industrial chain to highlight dependence on natural resources.
  • Dance Therapy, a 10min video installation of carefully edited break-dance footage where the heads of the dancers are stabalised and a hanging discoball is positioned on top causing the light from their heads to explode around the room as they dance.

Satellite, James Clar’s new studio space in Al Serkal, opens on Monday, March 14 at 5:00pm. Satellite will be open Sat – Thurs, 10-7pm, by appointment only.

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