Curated by Chief Curator at NYU Abu Dhabi and Executive Director of the NYUAD Art Gallery Maya Allison, this landmark survey marks the first time the artist has exhibited his work in the Gulf.
This exhibition features five immersive audio-visual installations, including a major new commission, an expansive room-sized installation. The other four are site-specific adaptations of Zimoun’s previous installations, and each of the works will be unique to the Gallery. Zimoun constructs extraordinary, immersive, sensory experiences. Each work has at its core a basic unit of every-day objects – for example, a motor, a cotton ball, and a cardboard box – which the artist installs in large quantities until it fills the available space in the Gallery.
NYUAD Art Gallery has commissioned a major new work, 510 Prepared DC-Motors, 2142 m Rope, Wooden Sticks 20 cm, a single, large installation that will fill the entire central space of the Gallery, 20 meters deep. Around it will be installed five site-specific installations, each of which represents a substantial evolution from past works:
First, 12 Ventilators, 21 m² Polyethylene Foil develops the concept of a similar work, shown at the STRP Biennial in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. This new work will be installed across several of the Gallery’s windows. The installation uses motors, wood, rope, metal, a controlling system, and a large plastic sheet that appears to dance to a soothing mechanical sound.
Next, 37 Prepared DC-Motors, 85 m Rope, Steel Washers Ø 40 mm, is a wall piece using a simple mechanical system that causes a curtain of string and washers to dance. Third, 192 Prepared DC-Motors, Wooden Sticks 2.4 m, is a wall-hanging of motorised wooden sticks installed in a long corridor in the Gallery. This is an iteration of a work previously shown at the Contemporary Art Museum, MAC Santiago de Chile. Fourth, 269 Prepared DC-Motors, Cotton Balls, Cardboard Boxes 60x60x60 cm soars 10 meters up into the Gallery’s double-height atrium area, a circular tower of cardboard boxes in which cotton balls clatter against the boxes to create a deep rumble. This tower is among Zimoun’s signature works, and has been adapted to multiple venues since 2013, including the Museum of Fine Arts in Rennes (France), STRP Biennial (Eindhoven, Netherlands), among others. Finally, after the main new commission, there will be another evolution of his curtain installation, in which small sticks dance a percussion in very small boxes, 31 Prepared DC-Motors, 31 m Rope, Wooden Sticks 19 cm, Cardboard Boxes 10x10x10 cm.
For the installation of the work, the artist and his studio team have been in residence for two weeks, during which he has connected with both the NYUAD community, and with the UAE more generally.
The NYUAD Art Gallery has also commissioned the first book-length publication on Zimoun, edited by the artist and Allison, with five essays from international scholars, to be released during the Abu Dhabi Book Fair in April.