At the Edge of Land

At the Edge of Land

Looking at port cities, shifting sands and riverbanks, ‘At the Edge of Land’ delves into the intricate and often concealed relationships between landscapes and trade. The exhibition highlights unexpectedly interconnected geographies, resources and commodities, moving between land and sea to tell stories of conflict, erosion and extraction. It challenges ideas of emptiness and development, shedding light on the regions and people on the margins of trade routes. 

‘At the Edge of Land’ features works from the Art Jameel Collection together with loans and new commissions by international artists. The exhibition originated at Hayy Arts, Jeddah, and the selection of artists and artworks presented traces the trade routes on which both Dubai and Jeddah are located – the busy maritime path connecting East Asia and Europe via the Gulf, the Red Sea and the Suez Canal.

The exhibited artists share stories of crossing straits, canals and rivers. They depict houses clinging to eroded coastlines, sand extracted to create distant artificial islands, and seamen stranded in the desert. They look at ports and containers and listen to the sound of immense ships waiting to be dismantled. They reveal the ways in which economies are interconnected and draw parallels between the movement of goods and the movement of people. 

When portrayed within these landscapes, people often appear small, eclipsed by the sheer size of the structures surrounding them. But whether they are songworthy pirates, sailors striving for a better life, or inhabitants of an endangered river delta, people are unmistakably present. Artists evoke nostalgia for places they can’t return to, and for others that face an uncertain future. They document disappearing landscapes and give a voice to their communities, challenging the inevitability of loss.

With works by:
Abbas Akhavan, Rouzbeh Akhbari, Jananne Al-Ani, Tarek Al Ghoussein, Iosu Aramburu, Au Sow Yee, Chihoi, Bady Dalloul, Aref El Rayess, Daniele Genadry, Ho Rui An, Ranjit Kandalgaonkar, Lala Rukh, Hira Nabi, Fazal Rizvi, Sarker Protick, Sim Chi Yin, Joar Songcuya, You Khin, Zarina
Curated by Lucas Morin

The first version of this exhibition was presented at Hayy Arts, Jeddah, from November 16, 2023, through April 13, 2024.
The exhibition is accompanied by a film programme on view in Gallery 9 (2nd floor) from May 23 through August 18, 2024.
Consult the exhibition’s reading list and bibliography online and at the Jameel Library.



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Film programme – At the Edge of Land

May 23, 2024 - August 18, 2024

Gallery 9