HODA TAWAKOL: When the Dates Turn Red

Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde
Dubai, UAE
12 November 2018 – 3 January 2019

Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde is thrilled to present the first solo exhibition of Hamburg-based, Franco-Egyptian artist Hoda Tawakol in Dubai. For the exhibition When the Dates Turn Red the artist researched traditional ritual practices and imagery associated with pivotal transitional and transformative moments in a woman’s ‘cycle of life’. In her new body of work presented here, Tawakol attempts to deconstruct the symbols and archetypes that beset female agency.

Much as does the first part of an adage, the title of Tawakol’s exhibition When the Dates Turn Red appears to predict a general truth or precede the conclusion of a popular saying that has gained credibility through long use and broad dissemination. This vivid phrase could announce a moral rule or augur an imminent event. Viewers should not expect, however, a conclusion that reproduces the familiar Orientalist (generally male-authored) trope, common to both Western and Oriental cultures, where the figure of the palm tree becomes the female body that expresses a locus of collective desires and anxieties.

The exhibition is titled after Tawakol’s group of large-scale black and red fabric, representations of palm trees that appliquéd on hand-dyed textiles belonging to her ongoing series Palm Trees (2015- ). The exhibition revolves around the evocative potential of the (mis)representation of the palm tree and its fruit, the date. (Yasmina Reggad)

Hoda Tawakol. Jungle #1, 2018, Fabric, wadding, thread, metal and wood, 220 x 350 x 25 cm