Curated by Sara Raza, London based artist Mandy El Sayegh presents, A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose , her inaugural solo exhibition at Lawrie Shabibi from 23 February till 4 April 2024 . Lawrie Shabibi is a contemporary art gallery housed in Dubai’s Alserkal Avenue. The gallery supports the long term development of the careers of young international contemporary artists with a focus on those from the Middle East and North Africa. The gallery also organises art historical exhibitions working with an older generation of artists from the region. Liaising with curators, institutions,museums and collectors the gallery has successfully introduced international artists to the region whilst at the same time presenting Middle Eastern artists to the international contemporary art community. By holding a regular programme of exhibitions, screenings and talks, publishing catalogues and participating in international art fairs, Lawrie Shabibi has been a forerunner in the development of the contemporary art scene in Dubai.

A combination of painting, installation, video, sound, and performance, El Sayegh's innovative approach to visual storytelling embodies the rebellious spirit of punk's DIY visual culture. El Sayegh rebels against and liberates images and text from centralised commodification structures, exploring a fusion of various actions, creating an immersive audiovisual experience that weaves together ancestral, familial, and collective visual data from diverse sources such as ephemera, textiles, literature, newspapers, and printed materials.

El Sayegh transforms the gallery space by layering painted surfaces using sheets from international newspapers of varying colours. Stretched canvases and unfinished paintings, rich with intricate patterns,symbolic references, and collages, further populate the white walls. The exhibition borrows from ancient and modern poetry and the title of the show is borrowed from a line in Gertrude Stein’s Sacred Emily(1913), which reflects on the practices of daily life, through the repetition of words and the reclamation of language, actions, events, and objects.

As part of the project, sound artist Sami El Enany has been commissioned to craft a spatialised, multichannel sound work in response to the themes explored in El Sayegh’s art. This work, (Nafoura) meaning ‘fountain,’ references fountains dyed red during liberation movements, and seeks to situate the listener within a flowing, ever changing sonic geometry. El Enany has also composed a new score for a performance piece cocreated by El Sayegh and movement artist Chelsea Gordon. The performance draws from diverse prayer rituals, incorporating hypnotic rhythms and motions to evoke trance-like states.

A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose showcases Mandy El Sayegh's unique bricolage approach, connecting disparate visual cultural knowledge to create new meanings. The exhibition is an exploration of resistance, reclamation, and the intersection of visual and auditory narratives.

Mandy El Sayegh’s (b. 1985, British Malaysian, of Palestinian origin) highly process driven practice is rooted in an exploration of material and language. Executed in a wide range of media, including densely layered paintings, sculpture, installation, diagrams, and sound and video, El Sayegh’s work investigates the formation and breakdown of systems of order, be they bodily, linguistic, or political . Mandy El Sayegh lives and works in London, United Kingdom.

Sara Raza is an award winning curator and writer specialising in global art and visual cultures from apostcolonial and post-Soviet perspective. Sara holds a BA (hons) in English Literature and History of Art and an MA in 20th Century Art History and Theory, both from Goldsmiths College, University of London, and pursued studies towards her PhD at the Royal College of Art, London. She lives and works in New York City, where she teaches at the School of Visual Arts Masters Curatorial Practice and is a Red Burns Fellow at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program and teaches on the Program's Masters’ course. Raza has curated for international museums, biennials, and festivals.