The much anticipated 'Art Dubai' will run from March 21-24, 2018 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is here that over 500 international artists from modern and contemporary trajectories will be on view. This year the programming consists of multiple components including: commissions, residencies, performances, film and podcasts, education programs, the Global Art Forum and symposiums, among others. This edition of Art Dubai will focus on select artists from the South Asia region, Africa, the Middle East and more. In this article a a rundown on the events of this leading international art fair will be discussed, as well as some artists works to see this year.
The format of this year's Art Dubai programming aims to encourage audience engagement in multiple ways. This includes directly confonting the structure of the events, the works, and interaction with others. The focal emphasis of Art Dubai is towards providing support for the artists on view through proactive interest in their practices. It can be concluded that an aspect of the mission of Art Dubai is to value the relationship between the artists and the event, as the healthy interconnection between the two can lead to great potentials. What is consistent is that all the artists on view share a vast accumulation of vision, perspective and skills.
Amba Sayal-Bennett, “Tumnus” (2017). Courtesy of: Carbon 12
The Global Art Forum, one of Art Dubai’s programming components, is the 12th edition programmed by Shumon Basar, who is the Commissioner, as well as Noah Raford, who is the Chief Operating Officer & Futurist-in-Chief of the Dubai Future Foundation. The thematic of the forum this year is on power, paranoia and automation in regards to it’s potentials. The Art Dubai Modernist Symposium will take place in the Misk Lounge which will be focused on the historical influence of artists from the twentieth century. Artists work and lives from the Middle East, Africa and South Asia will be highlighted in these talks and presentations. Another commendable aspect of this years programming is the Art Dubai Fellowship. Since its inception in 2011, this program has had the participation of an impressive twenty-six fellows working as artists, curators, and most recently the artists who also identify as writers. The focus is on artists living and working in different locations work together in the fellowship program which consists of intensive workshops. The 2017-2018 program is curated by Tirdad Zolghadr.
Alicja Kwade, “Kuchenuhr” (2017). Courtesy of: The Artist and i8 Gallery
Works on view this year come from a wide range of international galleries, and from artists equally diverse. Here are some descriptions of artists who have works on view to keep a lookout for. As seen in the composition of Amba Sayal-Bennett’s “Tumnus” (2017) two intricate culminations of colors and shapes are positioned alongside one another. These are set on top of a tiny, gridded structure which is consistent throughout. Projection of the body onto the collections of shapes and colors is probable due to the organic lines, curving through and defying conformity within the the rigid, gridded structure.
Alicja Kwade’s “Kuchenuhr” (2017) communicates a tension through materiality and addresses the multiple levels of separation that can occur in any given situations. Through the utilization of the materials wood, ceramic and glass, it can be seen that the interrelationships between the items are to create a support system, which seems to be for the preservation of the ceramic vessel. The wood and the glass can be determined as details which help this. Thus, the focal point is the bowl. This evokes ideas of function which could be understood as how it relates to the body, timeline in regards to historical importance, skill set in regards to being able to determine the influence and technique behind the work, among others. Through the presentation of such a minimal image, the viewer is positioned to investigate for more, to look deeper, and to continue to look more closely.
Raed Yassin, “Manual for Disasters” (2017). Courtesy of: Kalfayan Galleries
“Manual for Disasters” (2017) is a recent work by artist Raed Yassin. The neon lettering is bold, and the message is evocative of a warning. The message is broken down into two seperate colors--yellow for “Manual for” and red for “Disasters.” The placement of the color and textual separation seems to address the notion that the planning for a disaster versus living through the actual phase of a disaster; the duality between the conception and the literal form of something.
Jules de Balincourt, “Valley Pool Party” (2016). Courtesy of: The Artist and Victoria Miro
In Jules de Balincourt’s “Valley Pool Party” (2016) a pleasant pool scene with surrealist elements is presented to the viewer. What is immediately pleasant about the scene is a sense of familiarity- whether from a movie, a magazine, or a real life experience of such a scene. Whether is it a physical or psychological memory that we have of such a place, it is reconfirmed in the image of this painting. This scene has equal potential to be real as it does to be falsified in terms of narrative. Are the viewers consuming an image that is rooted in reality or one from imagination? And does this distinction make a difference?
Shaker Hassan Al Said, “Untitled” (1985). Courtesy of: Agial Art Gallery
For more information including: programming dates, times, locations, as well as participating galleries, artists, symposium, film, and performance schedules please check the website provided. Further, for information on accessibility, please visit: https://www.artdubai.ae/
Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.
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