19 June 2021

Vernacular Memories

Fadel Almuhairi is a multi-talented artist who uses the moving image, photography and words to weave stories. Born in 1979 in Abu Dhabi, Fadel’s dream began when he was 14-years-old in a small tent outside his childhood home, where he explored his passion for film with a group of friends. This is the seed that grew into Tent Pictures Productions, an independent film production company Fadel established in 2014. Currently he is working on Catsaway, an animation feature film that takes place in the late 90’s and tells the story of a group of street cats who are forced to leave their safe shelter in the fast-growing city of Abu Dhabi in a hair-raising, paw curling adventure to find a new home.

He brings the past into the present through a method of photographic overlay that reveals the dramatic shift in spatial transformation over time, and also connects us to the history of the place in the immediacy of a two-dimensional surface.

On one of his site visits researching locations for Catsaway, it occurred to Fadel to superimpose old photos of different locations in the city on modern day scenes of those locations. This became a habit of his, bringing the past into the present through a method of photographic overlay that reveals the dramatic shift in spatial transformation over time, and also connects us to the history of the place in the immediacy of a two-dimensional surface. As a process and body of work, it is both whimsical and documentational. What you see here is a sample of Fadel’s larger collection of superimposed photos capturing the historical and the contemporary space and place at once.

Fadel is also a writer. In 2015, he published his first novel ‘Kingdom of Peacocks’ which narrates a historical account of an Arabian pirate, Dayjur and his escapades during the Portuguese invasion of the Arabian Gulf in the early 1500’s.

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