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Art Dubai 2016
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 19 - 03 - 2016

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Mariam Nihal
For those of you who missed this year's edition of Art Dubai, here is a recap of all that happened. Art Dubai's tenth edition reportedly featured 94 gallery exhibitions, showing a diverse selection of work in all media forms from the 1920s till contemporary works. The event hosted works of artists from more than 70 nationalities; and the Abraaj Group Art Prize exhibition, featuring works by Dina Danish, Mahmoud Khaled and Basir Mahmood plus the newly commissioned installation by Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme.
Art Dubai Projects were curated by Yasmina Reggad and debuted performances by Areej Kaoud, Jumairy and Doa Aly, plus curator- and artist-led tours of new site-specific commissions by Nile Sunset Annex, Sreshta Rit Premnath, Massinissa Selmani and Moza Almatrooshi.
Art Dubai, with the Global Art Forum, Design Days Dubai and SIKKA Art Fair, is a pillar event within Art Week and is part of the two-month-long Art Season, organized by Dubai Culture and Arts Authority. In total, the programme includes 345 events.
The tenth edition of the Global Art Forum explores the ways in which artists, writers, technologists, historians, musicians and thinkers have imagined – and are shaping – the future. Titled The Future Was, the Forum is conceived by Shumon Basar as Commissioner, with Amal Khalaf and Uzma Z. Rizvias Co-directors. The Forum took place in Dubai and London in January 2016, and continues at its home at Art Dubai, March 16-19, 2016.
Art Dubai's Global Art Forum is presented by the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) and supported by Dubai Design District (d3).
Does it feel as if the future was once ahead of us, far away, but now the future surrounds us in our present, on our screens, with each compulsive finger-swipe? What were the great dreams of what was to come? What will they be?
In customary fashion, the Global Art Forum will convene the most compelling minds from across and above planet Earth to tell untold histories and share speculative stories. The 21st century continues to measure new modernities - from Mumbai to Tehran to Dubai and beyond - with skyscrapers, satellites and space races, even as new futures are imagined, invented and rejected. Because the future is always unevenly distributed in its meaning, its memory and emotive draw. What else might the word "future" mean and why does it resist ever being fully understood?
The 2016 fair features 76 galleries from 36 countries, from the world's most influential galleries to dynamic young artspaces.
Likewise, the artists range from emerging and upcoming practitioners from lesser-known art capitals to household names. The works they present cover all artistic media—including painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, video, photography and performance. Art Dubai Contemporary features commercial galleries working in the primary market and established for at least two years.
Art Dubai Modern
Located in Mina A'Salam, Art Dubai Modern features solo and two-person gallery exhibitions by masters from Africa, the Middle East and South Asia and is the only programme of its kind in the world. The 2016 programme featured access to curator-led tours, which shed light on the rich storytelling and histories behind these unique works.
For the last two years, Delfina Foundation's Politics of Food programme has brought together leading artists, celebrity chefs and scientists to explore food as a medium for understanding complex histories and questioning current issues, from globalisation to waste. The notion of cooking and eating as performative acts has been an underlying aspect of the programme. For Art Dubai Projects, Delfina Foundation brought together several elements of its popular dinner performances with site-specific commissions and interventions by former resident artists Sunoj D, Larissa Sansour,Candice Lin, Nile Sunset Annex, the Centre for Genomic Gastronomy, Hind Mezaina, Manal al Dowayan, Taus Makhachevaand others.

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