Public Showcase of HE Zaki Nusseibeh’s Private Collection to Soon be Unveiled

Hiba Kalache, Selective Memory, 2012.

This exhibition marks the second year in which students from NYUAD curate an exhibition from His Excellency Zaki Nusseibeh’s private collection

Press Release

The NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Art Gallery is proud to present its next Project Space exhibition: Go Back to Move Forward, which will welcome visitors on Wednesday, November 27, with an opening reception at 5:30pm. 

Open until December 14, this exhibition marks the second year in which students from NYUAD curate an exhibition from His Excellency Zaki Nusseibeh’s private collection. The students do so as part of their Curatorial Practice class led by Associate Professor Practice of Art History Salwa Mikdadi. This year, their curatorial selection process results in an exhibition that navigates the sociopolitical landscapes of the Arab world by bringing together a series of artworks, through which 14 artists reimagine reality via collective memory.

In interrogating the present and the past, these artists also envisage a future, using science fiction, symbolism, and metaphor, to construct a futuristic image. Juxtaposing history and hope, as well as personal experience and expectation, Go Back to Move Forward offers a point of entry into what is, too often, inaccessible. Rooted in the context of the Middle East, the exhibition also engages contemporary realities that transcend spatiotemporal boundaries. Crossing between the real and the surreal, these artists depict their feelings of loss, longing, and liberation in ways that invite viewers to reflect upon their own diverse lives and histories. 

Artists featured include Abdelkader Benchamma, Abdul Rahman Katanani, Ayman Baalbaki, Etel Adnan, Ghada Amer, Hiba Kalache, Idris Khan, Kader Attia, Larissa Sansour, Marwan Sahmarani, Nadine Kanso, Reza Farkhondeh, Shadia Alem, and Steve Sabella.

“Picasso once said that ‘Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.’ It makes me happy to see young people engaged in exploring and enjoying art, which should always be accessible to all. The NYUAD group of passionate curators and art historians do a great job and do us a favor in studying and expounding the artworks they select for their exhibitions. I am grateful for their dedication, and hope that they help all of us retain the artist that is in us no matter how old we grow.”

His Excellency Zaki Nusseibeh

The Project Space is operated by the staff of the NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery and housed within the campus’ Arts Center. It is the Art Gallery’s auxiliary venue dedicated to NYU Abu Dhabi’s community projects such as the annual Capstone Festival, semester-end exhibitions of student works, and faculty-curated exhibitions, as well as exhibitions by emerging artists from the UAE, providing a platform for experimentation and exploration.


About NYU Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and science campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly-selective liberal arts, engineering and science curriculum with a world center for advanced research and scholarship enabling its students to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from 115 nations and speak over 115 languages. Together, NYU's campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents.