More to discover at Art Dubai 2013

More to discover at Art Dubai 2013

DUBAI - Hürriyet Daily News
More to discover at Art Dubai 2013

The Turkish art galleries are presenting Turkish contemporary art from established artists at seventh Art Dubai, which is particpated by over 500 artists from around the world.

This year, in its seventh edition, Art Dubai hopes to be a “fair of discovery,” presenting visitors with 75 galleries from 30 countries and displaying works by over 500 artists. Starting on March 20, visitors to the fair in the United Arab Emirates’ largest city will have the opportunity to discover an impressive array of artworks and artists from the Middle East, South Asia, Europe and America over the next three days.

This year the fair is hosting five art galleries from Istanbul: Galerist, Rampa, Rodeo, Mana and Gallery Non. The Turkish art galleries are presenting Turkish contemporary art from established artists such as Kutluğ Ataman from Gallery Mana, Erdem Ergaz from Gallery Non, Haluk Akakçe from Galerist, Nilbar Güreş from Rampa and Banu Cennetoğlu from Rodeo. Art from the Middle East and particularly from West Africa will be the main focus of the fair. Visitors keen to discover a wide range of artists and works from the global art scene will be able to take their pick of the many continents whose art the fair is exhibiting.

“A fair needs to have a strong identity, as well as having quality and diversity,” the curator and director of the fair, Antonia Carver, said, speaking at a press meeting held for the fair.

Carver said over 500 artists are participating in Art Dubai, brought together by the selected exhibiting galleries and the fair’s extensive noncommercial programming. The estimated combined value of all the works of art on display is approximately $40 million.

“Art Dubai’s emergence as a major global art event is representative of Dubai’s growing status as an international art hub,” Carver added.


Banu Cennetoğlu, Rodeo and The Artists

Given that Art Dubai 2013 hosts more artists and galleries from the Arab world than any other arts event, the international community has started to look to Dubai as the gateway to the Middle East.

“We provide a window into a very fertile regional art scene, while spurring discussions on the inspirations, process and industry involved in the making of art. Our aim in combining exhibition, education and conversation is to build on the current momentum and create a sustainable model that gives participants and visitors a global platform and a local perspective,” she said.

This year the festival’s eye is turned toward West Africa, with a set of concept stands located in the fair’s main gallery halls curated by Lagos-based Bisi Silva. Her curatorial concept focuses on the rapidly evolving nature of cities in West Africa and the way in which these changes impact society. She teamed up with artists from five artistic centers across the region, to produce collaboratively exhibitions for Art Dubai: Centre for Contemporary Art (Lagos, Nigeria), Espace doual’art (Douala, Cameroon), Maison Carpe Diem (Ségou, Mali), Nubuke Foundation (Accra, Ghana) and Raw Material Company (Dakar, Senegal). Working together with the curator and the fair, these local spaces are presenting works by artists such as Soly Cisse (Senegal), Ablade Glover (Ghana), Abdoulaye Konaté (Mali), Boris Nzebo (Cameron), and Taiye Idahor (Nigeria).

Artists and works

This year Camille Zakharia’s series of works “Belonging” is one of the highlights of the fair. In this series, Bahrain-based Lebanese artist Zakharia aims to focus on the word and the meaning of “belonging.”

“I have worked with expats living in Bahrain and wanted them to share their ideas about belonging,” Zakharia told the Hürriyet Daily News, explaining the work. The result that the artist achieved was very interesting, as he discovered unconventional notions of identity and place. While some felt that they had not yet achieved a state of belonging, others believed that only under the spell of love could they achieve this state, said the artist.

The images in his works include pictures of expats in Bahrain combined with images of murals and leaves of Bahrain. The deeper meaning of the work is conveyed through the expats’ words, contained in the artworks.

“In fact the aim in the work is to focus on the natural texture that Bahrain has to it, because the expats are a part of the society and they contribute a lot to the culture of Bahrian,” added Zakharia.

Gabriel Orozco’s work titled “Roiseau,” which combines hybrids of bamboo branches and feathers, appears as a sculpture installation at Art Dubai. The floating bodies evoke an underwater or aerial world and their unbroken ballet forms a fluid and shimmering landscape. While the work may partially result from Orozco’s love of nature, it is also influenced by ideas about geography, chronology and consistency.

The works of the artists (even if they come from different backgrounds and cultures) might be a part of the general idea of the Art Dubai, which aims to open dimensions to discover more and also look into culture and geography while also functioning as “a fair that is reflexive and [doesn't] take itself too seriously,” Carver said about the fair.

Artists set to feature at Art Dubai 2013 include: Abdul Qader al-Rais, Etel Adnan, Kutluğ Ataman, Yto Barrada, Daniel Buren, Annabel Daou, Wim Delvoye, Meschac Gaba, Wade Guyton, Zarina Hashmi, Mona Hatoum, Iman Issa, Idris Khan, Yayoi Kusama, MadeIn Company, François Morellet, Nasir Nasrallah, Otobong Nkanga, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Seth Price, Ibrahim Quraishi, Walid Raad, Anri Sala, Taryn Simon, Rirkrit Tiravanija, James Turrell, Joana Vasconcelos, Danh Vo and Akram Zaatari, among many others.

Art Dubai works for Syria  

This year, the Art Dubai team is working with the World Food Organization. The aim of the fair team is to collect money for Syrian families that have been displaced from Syria. The money gathered from objects sold such as bags, notebooks and books will be donated to WFO for Syrian families to receive food. This is only a small project but it means a lot for the Dubai Art Team, said Carver.