I finally made it, to see this photography exhibition just this week.
I always feel a bit insecure when visiting the GPP gallery like ‘Garth’ from Wayne’s World ‘ were not worthy, were not worthy!’. It can be a bit pretentious and fake. Well it is Dubai and people here generally act like they know more than what they do. But I really wanted to see these images on a wall so I sucked up my insecurities and went to GPP in Al Quoz.
Gulf Photo Plus in collaboration with Everyday Middle East presented a group exibihition featuring the work of photographers who are trying to redefine the visual representation of the MENA region through social media.
Everyday Middle East is an Instagram feed featuring the mobile phone images of 25 photographers working in the Middle East and North Africa. It was founded in March 2014 and has since accumulated 50,000 followers on instagram. It runs from January 12th – February 26th 2015 at GPP HQ in Al Quoz.
I picked two images which stood out for me, I had to quickly take an picture of them using my iphone. The first was ‘ Morocco’ by Mohamed Somji ( top picture on the image below). The image is primarily of two ladies in dress, crossing the road. It reminded me of the Trent Parke images that my Tutor has told me to research. Dreamlike, surreal with use of shadows and light. I have not been to Morocco but its definitely on my list of places to visit.
Another image caught my eye, because it displayed such a contrast between black and white. ‘Iran’ by Farid Teymari ( top picture on the image below) is very simple but effective. The image consists of a pattern of ladies heads who are wearing their black abayas, the contrast is someone wearing white in a sea of black heads. There are no faces, giving an abstract quality, so your eye has to move around the image to distinguish between the shapes. The lady( I am presuming it’s a lady because it is very unlikely its a man amongst all those women considering Iran’s policy with respect to women’s rights) wearing white creates a point of attention it is off-centre and on the left , the image is pleasing to read.
Was I inspired by the images I seen?
Yes and No, I think its all about the selection process. Some of the images I have seen here in the Middle East everyday on FB and Instagram, mundane things and some were unusual . If the object of the exhibition was to show the beauty in the mundane objects and happenings it was a good mix. But I just can’t get away from the reputation of GPP, so part of me was expecting every single image to be awe inspiring.
Here is the link to the gallery and explanation of Everyday Middle East projects