Slavs and Tatars in Abu Dhabi

The gal­lery space at the newly-​designed campus of New York Univer­sity Abu Dhabi hosts a ‘Mirrors for Princes’ exhibition by Slavs and Tatars – an effect of their few-month-long residency in UAE. Three separate environ­ments of the NYUAD Art Gal­lery are filled with a range of latest works by the col­lec­tive. First room has its floor and walls covered with fluffy pink carpet. Being sound­proofed like that the space is dominated by sound: a 5-channel and 5-language instal­lation based on frag­ments of a XI-​century Tur­kish advice literature for the well-​born young nobility and future rulers (a genre called ‘mirrors for princes’ during the Middle Ages). The next space creates a rather disco-​psychedelic aura, in which a col­lec­tion of extraor­dinary objects alluding to hybrid heart/tongue forms or com­blike shapes is displayed (another ‘mirrors for princes’ reference – the rituals and sym­bolics of daily rituals such as com­bing one’s hair are an impor­tant part of the genre). The show is crow­ned by a library arran­ged as a tea room offering not only Slavs and Tatars’ publications (the newest of which is entitled – of course – ‘Mir­rors For Prin­ces‘) but also a selec­tion of books hand-​picked by the col­lec­tive from the univer­sity library. 


Slavs and Tatars in Abu Dhabi

Slavs and Tatars, Mirrors For Princes


The NYUAD Art Gallery, Abu Dhabi