December 2, 2018 - NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery - Zimoun
December 2, 2018

NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery

Studio Zimoun. 186 prepared dc-motors, cotton balls, cardboard boxes, 60 x 60 x 60 cm. Photo: Elise Fournier. Courtesy of Studio Zimoun.


February 26–June 1, 2019

Opening reception: February 26, 6pm

NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery
Saadiyat Island
Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates
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New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Art Gallery, the university’s academic museum-gallery, will present the work of acclaimed Swiss artist Zimoun. Curated by Maya Allison (Chief Curator, NYU Abu Dhabi), this landmark survey will mark the first time the artist has exhibited his work in the Gulf. It will coincide with the publication of the first monograph on his practice.

Open to the public from February 26–June 1, 2019, this exhibition will feature five immersive audio-visual installations, including a major new commission, an expansive room-sized installation that will be unveiled on the opening night.

Zimoun constructs extraordinary, immersive sensory experiences using lo-fi, analogue motors connected to various functional objects, like wooden sticks, cardboard boxes, and foil. All of the sound in his installations comes from the movement of these simple objects.

He creates chaos from underlying systems of order, exploring elements of biology, engineering, music, sound, and installation art. When a visitor walks into one of his minimalistic mechanized sculptures, they’re confronted with a unique and compelling visual soundscape, one that simultaneously evokes the urban experience while eliciting almost physical memories of natural sounds (rain, sandstorms, or wind). 

The exhibition will be accompanied by the first monograph on the artist, to be published by the NYUAD Art Gallery.

Zimoun says: "I explore simple systems which involve various complexities in sound and motion. Through primitive mechanical systems, I look to activate simple and raw materials which then start to develop a complex behaviour. The sounds my installations produce are generated immediately through the activation of the materials themselves. In fact, I like to refer to my work as 'Primitive Complexities.'"

Allison notes: “It is a great honor to bring such a unique and important artist to the UAE for the first time. This exhibition will find connections with many of NYUAD’s academic departments (Engineering, Interactive Media, Visual Arts, and Music), as well as the UAE audiences, particularly families and emerging artists. I’ve followed Zimoun’s work for almost a decade, as he’s shown at increasingly major venues on every continent, in major museums and experimental venues. In keeping with our larger mission, part of this project is to generate a deeper body of knowledge around his highly unusual audio-visual practice. We aim to do this in the form of a substantial book of commissioned essays to accompany the exhibition.”

Zimoun lives and works in Bern, Switzerland. His work has been presented internationally, highlights of which include the Museum of Contemporary Art MAC Santiago de Chile; Nam June Paik Art Museum Seoul; Kuandu Museum Taipei; Ringling Museum of Art Florida; Mumbai City Museum; National Art Museum Beijing; LAC Museum Lugano; Seoul Museum of Art; Museum MIS São Paulo; Kunsthalle Bern; Taipei Fine Arts Museum; Le Centquatre Paris; Museum of Contemporary Art Busan; Museum of Fine Arts MBAL; and Kunstmuseum Bern, among others.

About NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery
The NYUAD Art Gallery is an academic museum-gallery that presents work by internationally-established artists, curators, and scholars, to serve the intellectual and creative dialogue among the university and wider communities, via topics of regional relevance and international significance. The platform supports scholarly and experimental installations, artists’ projects, guest curators, and landmark exhibitions, with an emphasis on projects that engage the uniquely non-commercial, experimental, and scholarly role of a University.

About NYU Abu Dhabi
NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and science campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly-selective liberal arts, engineering and science curriculum with a world center for advanced research and scholarship enabling its students to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from 120 nations and speak over 120 languages. Together, NYU's campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents.


For press requests, please contact:
Maisoon Mubarak, Public Affairs and Communications Manager, NYU Abu Dhabi
maisoon.mubarak [​at​]
T 00 971 50 322 95 32 

NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery
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