29 Feb 2024 - 22 Apr 2024

Bottle Neck

Galleria Continua


GALLERIA CONTINUA | DUBAI is delighted to present Moataz Nasr’s highly anticipated solo exhibition Bottle Neck, featuring both iconic and new productions by the Egyptian artist. The exhibition will take place from 29 February to 22 April 2024 at the esteemed Burj Al Arab Jumeirah in Dubai.

Moataz Nasr’s works explore the intersection of tradition and globalization, questioning the impact of political and economic development within their context. His art seeks to encourage dialogue and overcome cultural and geographical boundaries by using artistic practice as a tool and language. Nasr’s work brings together different languages to explore the contradictions of globalization, past and present, East and West, and the impact of political and economic choices on people.

The exhibition title Bottle Neck is a metaphorical expression that signifies a restriction that slows things down, whether it’s real or virtual. Nasr uses this title to reflect on the overload of information, news, and events that we experience daily, which creates a significant blockage in our societies and ultimately affects our lives. The works on display aim to highlight this situation and its consequences, sparking a critical reflection on our current reality.

One of the exhibition’s centerpieces is a structure called Barzakh reminiscent of the first shelters that humans built to protect themselves. The work is made with wooden shovels that resemble those used to put bread in public ovens and the paddles of ancient and contemporary migrant boats. These elements represent the fundamental things we need as human beings poetically and metaphorically : bread, knowledge, and courage to provide ourselves with shelter. The title explores the theme of migration, a topic that has become increasingly relevant worldwide.

In Mac Gate, Nasr explores the Western world’s influence on the Middle East, specifically the impact of consumerism on traditional culture. Contradictions combines an unmistakable sign of the Western consumerist world, Coca-Cola, with the ancient and artisanal technique of carpet weaving. The result is a thought-provoking commentary on the cultural exchange between different societies.

Another work, Shattered Glass, is a bas-relief that unites the Maghreb states to the Middle East, emphasizing the shared history and similar culture based on the same religion. However, the relief is made of shattered glass, showing how everything is cracking and changing, revealing a reality that is not exactly that of a cohesive community with a common religion. The work encourages a reflection on the complexity of cultural and religious identities.

Even in the abstract work Untitled, Nasr reflects on conflicts, geopolitical changes, and borders through signs and colors, inspired by geography and history. The work invites the viewer to explore their own interpretation of the piece and the themes it evokes.

The exhibition’s final work, Scarab II, re-proposes the symbol of the scarab, which was synonymous with resurrection in ancient Egypt, drawn with matches, signifying that the country’s immobile traditionality can ignite at any moment. The work reflects Nasr’s 40 years of experience as an artist in the international art community, starting from his own context to open up to the world and spark a critical conversation.

Bottle Neck is a thought-provoking exhibition that invites the viewer to reflect on crucial issues such as migration, globalization, and cultural exchange. Nasr’s works encourage dialogue and critical reflection on the current state of our society, making it an unmissable event for art enthusiasts and critical thinkers alike.

Press release from GALLERIA CONTINUA

Image: Moataz Nasr. Installation view of Bottle Neck at GALLERIA CONTINUA, Dubai, 2014. Photography by Musthafa Aboobacker. Image courtesy of GALLERIA CONTINUA