Past exhibitions: Abdulnasser Gharem (Spring 2013): THE STAMP (AMEN) -at the Biennale di Venezia

Abdulnasser GHAREM (b. 1973) Wood and rubberApprox. 120 cm x 130 cm x 120 cmAbdulnasser Gharem’s best works impact with a striking clarity and minimalism, and while originating from an intensely local context, catch on to universal realities. One of these is a work called Stamp, a metaphor for bureaucratic stalemate, one of the many roadblocks blocking the way towards change in Saudi Arabia. It consists of a giant wooden sculpture of a stamp reclining on the floor, and a seal with a text on a plastic disc on the floor. The seal reads ‘Have a bit of commitment, please’ and of course, ‘Amen’. This irony between the size of seal and the size of the ‘commitment’ required and the note of vague and indefinite deferral is common in diplomatic procedures in Saudi Arabia, and short of pulling one hair’s out, dealing with it using a tongue-in-cheek attitude is pretty much the only option that remains open to a thinking man. “In Saudi Arabia as in most developing countries, infrastructure-wise, a lot of things are completely state-of-the-art in the cosmetic manner of Dubai glossies, but the procedural complication of systems is still several decades behind. People should understand that their progress as nations is directly proportionate to the perfection and simplification of systems. The effectiveness of systems determines the fate of nations.” Naima Rashid
THE STAMP (AMEN) -at the Biennale di Venezia, 2011

Abdulnasser GHAREM (b. 1973)  

Wood and rubber 

Approx. 120 cm x 130 cm x 120 cm 

Abdulnasser Gharem’s best works impact with a striking clarity and minimalism, and while originating from an intensely local context, catch on to universal realities. One of these is a work called Stamp, a metaphor for bureaucratic stalemate, one of the many roadblocks blocking the way towards change in Saudi Arabia. It consists of a giant wooden sculpture of a stamp reclining on the floor, and a seal with a text on a plastic disc on the floor. The seal reads ‘Have a bit of commitment, please’ and of course, ‘Amen’. This irony between the size of seal and the size of the ‘commitment’ required and the note of vague and indefinite deferral is common in diplomatic procedures in Saudi Arabia, and short of pulling one hair’s out, dealing with it using a tongue-in-cheek attitude is pretty much the only option that remains open to a thinking man. “In Saudi Arabia as in most developing countries, infrastructure-wise, a lot of things are completely state-of-the-art in the cosmetic manner of Dubai glossies, but the procedural complication of systems is still several decades behind. People should understand that their progress as nations is directly proportionate to the perfection and simplification of systems. The effectiveness of systems determines the fate of nations.” Naima Rashid