The Magical Number 7 +/- Two: Asma Khoory, Salama Nasib and Sara Al Haddad

21 January - 15 February 2019

This January, Meem Gallery is delighted to present the work of three artists living and working within the UAE; Asma Khoory, Salama Nasib and Sara Al Haddad.


This three-artist exhibition considers the complexities of memory and takes its title from the landmark 1956 paper by George A. Miller, The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information, published in Psychological Review, discussing short-term memory and the storage of memories.


All three artists approach the concept of memory through their work; albeit in dramatically different ways and techniques.


For Asma Khoory, the creation of a large-scale canvas work Recollection, created from carefully dismantled and altered tea filter papers, acts like a map of time, with each square representing a passing moment. A patchwork landscape of greys, browns and off-white hues, enhanced by dust and tea, mimic false age and explores aspects of deception that can be found in memory. A smaller, sculptural work created using the same method, takes the form of a solemn figure resting on a pedestal, seemingly exhausted with the passing of time.


Shadow by Salama Nasib, is a self-conscious, personal series of work that focuses on autobiographical memories. Using photolithography and blind embossing, the artist creates intimate, detailed works depicting a sense of what is there, and what is not, and considers how memories alter and fade over time. The creation of the piece also informs the work itself, the type of printmaking and embossing used is thoughtful and meditative, giving the viewer time to consider the memories depicted while the works are created.


Sara Al Haddad confronts herself in the 2015 piece, as you try to forget me, presented at the UAE Pavilion in Venice, 2017. This ever-changing work takes on new meaning and shape depending on its location, created using grey/black thick yarn, crocheted into a weave loop that the artist first visulised in a dream. Like memories themselves, Al Haddad describes how the work itself is designed to develop and change over the passing of time.


Graduating in 2016, Sara Al Haddad received her MFA in sculpture from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), having been awarded the Fulbright foreign exchange scholarship. Al Haddad’s work was included in Rock, Paper, Scissors: Positions in Play at the 2017 UAE Pavilion, Venice Biennale, 2017.