Chemistry of Feeling

Chemistry of Feeling

Chemistry of Feeling, our 2021 Community Exhibition celebrating analog photography is on view from Monday, 12 July at Gulf Photo Plus, Alserkal Avenue. This exhibition is the result of a global open call, which attracted nearly 800 submissions from over 50 countries across 5 continents. As the largest community exhibition to ever take place at GPP, 100 film photographs will be showcased, by nearly 80 photographers from around the world.


Drawing on the delicate connections between a tumultuous past year for human relationships and photography, this community exhibition locates moments of slowness, micro- and macro- revolution, introspection, and the folding priorities of the present, captured in film format. The resurgence of analog in the digital age is a response to the fascination with its tangibility as a medium, and its romanticized reputation as a relic of a more ‘certain’ past. Between its careful pace and unpredictability, film format creates room for connections between photographers and their craft, as well as the communities they create with.


With everything at a precarious standstill, the world, no longer anchored to the cog-and-wheel 24-hour cycle of work and commercial imperative, observed moments of quiet solitude interspersed with eruptions of global upheaval, whether mediated through screens, or experienced within the proximity of one’s own neighborhood. In the context of extraordinary cultural, social and political shifts, we contend with what it means to care for ourselves and each other, seeing this as a formative part of radical change. 


Throughout this folding of time into politics and politicized spaces, both domestic and public, film photographers made images in a contemplative spirit - feeling with great depth and moving in slowed pace - and perhaps unknowingly, resisting the burgeoning attention economy that drains us of seeing thoughtfully. With this ethos in mind, we carefully considered hundreds of promising entries from the open call, to exhibit a diverse selection of work that meditates on feeling. We invite viewers to engage with these varied personal stories, and in the process, meditate on what it is to feel, care, and see in a fraught contemporary landscape.


The photographers in this exhibition are Huda Abdulmughni, Jandri Angelo Aguilor, Maryam al-Khasawneh, Mohammed Alkouh, Nasser Alzayani, Razan Alzayani, Aqib Anwar, Zeashan Ashraf, Dima Assad, Alex Atack, Jed Bacason, Stefan Bendik, Sama Beydoun, Hasan Ibrahim Belal, Mariela Bobba, Zubiya Burney, Andrew Chris David, Kirsten Sands Decker, Aline Deschamps, Martha Diaz-Adam, Alexander Milan Durie, Aliah ElSewedy, Timothy Fadek, Manu Ferneini, Lamya Gargash, Gabriel Gauffre, Abdulrahman Haitham, Mohammed Hammad, Raz Hansrod, Abdullah Zeyn Hassan, Lena Hawash, Yasmina Hilal, Mykolas Juodele, Amina Kadous, Joanna Kahi, Lina Khalid, Jamila Ayman Khalifa, Nadine Khalife, Jana Khoury, M'hammed Kilito, Benjamin Kirby, Camilia Kobaissy, Niki Kohandel, Nadine Al Koudsi, Stefanie Kulisch, Kirsty Larmour, Nanni Licitra, Sherif Magdy, Aref Massalha, Ali Mohamed, Marwan Mowaffak, Michaela Nagyidaiová, Sara Naim, Tsele Nthane, Khalid Odeh, Tamara Saade, Celine Salibi, Camille Segura, Yassine Sellame, Kristina Sergeeva, Karim Shaaban, Sumeja Tulic, Mira Varg, and the wonderful children of Sirkhane Darkroom. 


Additionally, there are a number of exciting Arabic language talks to be announced following the opening of the exhibition, which the general Arabic-speaking public can join. Analog lovers can attend our Shooting & Developing workshop, where they can learn how to shoot and affordably develop black and white film, taking place on Friday, 30 July.


This exhibition is realized in partnership with The Darkroom Cairo, Darkroom Amman, and Sirkhane Darkroom, whose local analog communities will be taking part in Chemistry of Feeling.