Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, visited the community arts centre Manarat Al Saadiyat for a private tour of its latest exhibition CONTACT HIGH: A Visual History of Hip-Hop, ahead of its official opening on 15 December 2020.
Showing outside of the United States for the first time, and brought to Abu Dhabi in partnership with the region’s leading cultural and lifestyle platform, Sole, CONTACT HIGH takes visitors through four decades of photographs, albums, magazine covers and memorabilia that document Hip-Hop culture.
The exhibition features over 150 images by 60+ photographers including Janette Beckman, Barron Claiborne, Jorge Peniche, Joe Conzo, Martha Cooper, Jamel Shabazz, Danny Clinch, Brian “B+” Cross, Eric Coleman, Estevan Oriol, Jack McKain and Ravie B. Photographs are displayed alongside the original contact sheets, providing an intimate look into the photographer’s journey during the shoot, as well as unrivalled insight into the personality of the subject in front of the camera, often capturing a nuanced or more humorous side of the Hip-Hop artist that is rarely seen by the public. The images portray some of Hip-Hop’s biggest names, such as Kanye West, Cardi B, Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Megan Thee Stallion, MF Doom, Nas, Snoop Dogg, Aaliyah, A$AP Rocky, Tyler the Creator, Queen Latifah, Salt-N-Pepa, and the legendary Notorious B.I.G.
The selection of Abu Dhabi as the exhibition’s first international stop reflects the importance of Hip-Hop culture to those living in the UAE and wider region, as well as the Arab world’s growing fan-base of the music and fashion associated with the movement.
CONTACT HIGH is curated by journalist Vikki Tobak, writer of the bestselling book of the same name.
The exhibition’s Creative Director is Hip-Hop visual artist and filmmaker Fab 5 Freddy, and its Producer is Joseph Patel.
CONTACT HIGH is on display at Manarat Al Saadiyat from 15 December 2020 to 31 May 2021. Tickets are priced at AED 30 and are available through Virgin Megastore Ticketing.