Portrait Sessions, 2016

Acrylic on primed canvas paper, copy paper, frame, private studio
30 uncredited paintings (65cm x 50cm each), 3 documents (21cm x 29.7cm each)
Tashkeel, Dubai

How much standard professional time does AED 150 purchase from individuals working in the UAE, across professional and economic strata?

‘Portrait Sessions’ is a painting project, initiated on 26/07/2016 and completed on 13/10/2016. Vikram Divecha has invited a spectrum of self-identified “non-professional painters” to become “the artist” and to paint his portrait. The duration of each portrait session is determined by how much time AED 150 can buy according to each ‘artist’s’ professional rate. Divecha’s experience of paying workers AED 150* as daily wage for 9 hours of work, serves as the base unit of labour value for this venture he is conducting at Tashkeel. The collection of portraits are to be considered one work, entitled 'Portrait Sessions' and it will be exhibited at Tashkeel without attribution to the artists who signed a contract to work on this project with Divecha.

*AED 150 does not represent minimum wage — the daily wage of a worker in the UAE varies.

Portrait Sessions (2016) was a culmination of Tashkeel's year long Critical Practice Programme with mentor Debra Levine.

2018 © Vikram Divecha