A leading art expert will be focusing on the virtual world while engaging in debates around NFTs and blockchain technologies, when he curates, My Life in the Metaverse, a Gateway exhibition that will take place at Manarat Al Saadiyat.

Author, curator, broadcaster, and cultural historian Dr. Omar Kholeif's multi-disciplinary exhibition spans a variety of media like sculpture, painting, photography, installation, video, and NFTs, including a journey through a simulation, guided by Dr. Kholeif’s alter ego Dr. O.

Organised by Abu Dhabi Art, the fair will be on display from November 16, 2022 to January 22, 2023.

Dr. Kholeif is the Director of Collections and Senior Curator at Sharjah Art Foundation. He was previously a guest curator at Abu Dhabi Art’s gallery section for three years, from 2017-2019. He is returning to Abu Dhabi Art with an expansive exhibition that explores the history and aesthetics of digital culture.

“Clustering nearly two decades of my research and experience into My Life in the Metaverse that hopes to elucidate the possibilities of the free-wheeling techno world. This show is conceived as the first chapter in a series of projects that explore the prospects of our collective imagination," said Dr. Kholeif.

My Life in the Metaverse features works by internationally renowned artists, many of whom will be presenting new commissions, or artworks that have never been shown in the UAE before.

The artists include Sophia Al Maria, Cory Arcangel, Cream Projects, Simon Denny, Celia Hempton, Paul Heyer, Haroon Mirza, Farhad Moshiri, Trevor Paglen, Nam June Paik, Heather Phillipson, and Andy Warhol.

Among the array of artworks featured will be Trevor Paglen’s grand sculpture, The Standard Head (2020), which reconstructs CIA agent Woody Bledsoe’s 1960s equation for the typical human head. Nam June Paik’s TV Buddha (1974-2002), a Buddha statue watching an image of itself on a TV screen set in an infinite loop, exists alongside a selection of Polaroid photographs by Any Warhol, reflecting the birth of selfie culture aesthetics.

Paintings by Hempton explore the culture and form of surveillance, while multi-disciplinary art collective Cream Projects will present a new commission, Too Many Humans (2022-ongoing) has been reconceived by corporations as the metaverse. Simon Denny will be also presenting new NFT paintings.


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