Running until the 9th of July, In its second edition, Malja’s Call Out II exhibition is an open-concept based event, in which artists can portray their art in all its forms, from music, paintings, and sculpting, to photography and writing.
Curated by visual artist Ramah Al Husseini, the exhibit presents a diverse perception of art, alongside the artists.
Around 25 artists, including myself, showcased their pieces in the second edition of the exhibit – with special musical performances by the infamous Majaz, and Ebba Al Khamees.
I think I’ve read the concept I developed about a handful amount of times, posted about the exhibit on social media endlessly, and edited my piece maybe once or twice? All prior to the launch, and after all that anticipation, on the 14th of May the exhibit took place at Malja Bahrain, at around 6 PM.
Being it my first time to showcase an art piece, ever, I wanted it to be a literal connotation of who, or what I am. Thus, I chose to feature a portrait titled “Upbringing” from my series “The Odyssey of My Birth”.
Mood board I created for the series compiling all the elements that inspired me involving Sylvia Plath, skin tone representing race, superstitious symbols, and arabic calligraphy.
A journey that embarked onto the pulling strings of what society saw audacious, and loathed. Combining elements of rebirth, identity, emotional outbreak, and the stereotypical approaches that society places on men, or in my artwork’s case, a growing child.
Intercourse; the main event of life – well, the start of it. After that comes formation, birth, upbringing, and finally, self-discovery. In each of these moments, in my life, I was always trying to figure out who I were, what I was , and the question of “Did I belong?”. Being born, and raised in an Arab community, I had a mentality state that was somewhat different; locally unacceptable. Feminism, masculinity, sexual orientation, and many more factors played a crucial part when I was conceptualizing images for this series.
Awhile explaining the concept of the piece, as well as the series, I honestly had no recognition of the array of crowd members, or acquaintances that I would encounter. Let me just say that it was quite a cosmopolitan array, one that I was quite enthralled about. I think that the sense of fulfillment, and reward, came from the feedback and the people I met, rather than having my piece amongst the exhibit.
My dumbfounded reaction to the comment…
Although one comment kind of set off the night for me, I’m willing to let it slide due to its irrelevant ideology, and misapprehension though… It’s not that I wasn’t open to critism, it’s just that It was completely illogical.
I look forward to the next edition of the Call Out exhibition, and hopefully I’ll be participating in it as well. If you haven’t been to Malja for the exhibit during its opening night, it’s still on, so make your way down there.
Photo Credits: Abdulla Minhas