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Saudi Gazette, Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Gallery


ELD under the

patronage of HH

Sheikh Moham-

med bin Rashid

Al Maktoum, Vice

President and

Prime Minister

of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and

under the new leadership of Fair Di-

rector Myrna Ayad and International

Director Pablo del Val, the eleventh

edition of Art Dubai will be the most

international to date, welcoming new

galleries and representative countries

to the fair for the first time, alongside

ambitious new elements to the pro-


Highlights of the fair’s grow-

ing offering include Art Dubai’s inau-

gural Modern Symposium, initiated

to celebrate the cultural impact of

20th century masters from the Middle

East, Africa and South Asia; a visual,

sensory and gastronomic experience

for visitors realised by Beirut-based

artist collective Atfal Ahdath at ‘The

Room’; and a series of commissioned

performances that will take place dur-

ing the fair.

“Over the years and through its

programming, Art Dubai has become

one of the world’s most dynamic art

fairs.” said Myrna Ayad, Fair Director

of Art Dubai. “Through its year-round

activities, educational initiatives and

artistic commissions, Art Dubai rede-

fines what an art fair can be and I am

delighted that this year with new ini-

tiatives such as the Modern Sympo-

sium and our largest performance art

program to date, we will be able to

offer further insights into the regional

art scene with an increased program to

engage our visitors outside the gallery


Art Dubai 2017 will feature

93 galleries from 43countries, continu-

ing its mandate to offer unrivalled ac-

cess to art from across the globe, and

reinforcing its position as the world’s

most globally diverse art fair and the

preeminent platform for the regional

art scene.

“We are offering visitors a new

experience in the gallery halls, with

more tightly curated presentations this

year”, said Art Dubai’s International

Director Pablo del Val. “The exhibi-

tions will be split between solo or

two-artist exhibitions, allowing a more

focused contemplation, and multi-

artist shows, enabling an overview of

different works. In addition, we are

showing new galleries and countries

for the first time, with a particularly

strong contingent of Iranian galleries

as well as our highest-ever number of

galleries from Latin America.”

Art Dubai is held in partnership

with The Abraaj Group. The fair

is sponsored by Julius Baer, Meraas

and Piaget. Madinat Jumeirah is home

to the event. The Dubai Culture &

Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) is a

strategic partner of Art Dubai and sup-

ports the fair’s year-round education


Art Dubai 2017 Program

Modern Symposium

For its eleventh edition and to

complement the fair’s Modern hall,

Art Dubai will introduce the inaugu-

ral Modern Symposium, which, with

the support of Alserkal Avenue, will

take place ‪on Friday 17 March at Art

Dubai Modern and ‪on Saturday 18

March at Alserkal Avenue. Compris-

ing a series of talks and presentations

focused on the life, work and cul-

tural impact of 20th century Modern

masters from the Middle East, South

Asia and Africa. Renowned curators,

scholars and patrons will lead the ses-

sions that will delve into the styles,

influences and practices of artists

whose work contributes to the history

of art produced between the 1940s and


Art Dubai Projects: “The

Room: Cooking Liberty”

Hosted in Art Dubai’s ‘The

Room’, Cooking Liberty is a visual

and gastronomic experience presented

by Beirut-based art collective Atfal

Ahdath, whose founding members

are Vartan Avakian, Hatem Imam and

Raed Yassin. Taking cues from Salva-

dor Dali’s cookbook, Les Diners de

Gala, and through exaggeration and

repetition, Atfal Ahdath invites guests

to experience their new, live visceral

installation by day. By night, the col-

lective will welcome guests with ed-

ible dreams in an immersive setting

reminiscent of a grandiose banquet,

a truly sensorial experience that flirts

with familiarity and expectation.

 Art Dubai Projects: “Ghariba/Stranger”

Art Dubai has commissioned Mo-

roccan-born, Brooklyn-based artist

Meriem Bennani, who will create an

interactive bar installation, borrowing

from playful strategies and designs

that beauty salons, massage parlors or

entertainment parks use to encourage

social interaction amongst strangers.

Titled Ghariba/Stranger, Bennani’s in-

stallation will include viewing stations

for videos showing video portraits of

Moroccan women.

The Abraaj Group Art Prize

Each year, Art Dubai unveils the

Abraaj Group Art Prize, the region’s

most important art prize. The 2017

prize is curated by Omar Berrada and

the winner, London-based 

Bangladeshi artist Rana Be-

gum, will unveil her commissioned

work alongside an exhibition of works

by shortlisted artists Doa Aly, Sarah

Abu Abdallah and Raha Raissnia.

Art Dubai Commissions

Focusing exclusively on perfor-

mance art in 2017, the program will

include a series of five specially com-

missioned performances, curated by

guest curator Yasmina Reggad,

and presented by international art-

ists, Manuel Pelmuş, Lana Fahmi,

Eglė Budvytytė, Iván Argote and Pau-

line Bastard.

In addition to the Commissions

program, Yasmina Reggad and Lana

Fahmi will perform a dance piece, cre-

ated in homage to recently deceased

Emirati artist Hassan Sharif, based on

his diagrams, instructions and perfor-

mance archive.

Global Art Forum

The fair’s critically acclaimed

Global Art Forum is the largest talks

program in the Middle East and Asia,

and is recognised as a leading interna-

tional platform for engaging cultural

debate. Featuring around 50 speakers

from around the world, the forum re-

turns in 2017 under the theme Trading

Places, with a focus on the trade of

goods and ideas that shape – and re-

shape – the world. Conceived by Shu-

mon Basar as Commissioner, with An-

tonia Carver and Oscar Guardiola-

Rivera as Co-Directors, the Global Art

Forum will take place at the fair on

March 15-17. Art Dubai partners with

the Dubai Culture and Arts Author-

ity and Dubai Design District (d3) to

present the Global Art Forum.

Sheikha Manal Little Artists Program

Held under the patronage of Her

Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mo-

hammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the

Sheikha Manal Little Artists Program,

now in its fifth edition, is held in part-

nership between Art Dubai and The

Culture Office. The program offers

a unique opportunity for UAE-based

children and teenagers, encouraging

them to engage in the arts and due to

the success of last year’s edition, this

year’s program will grow to accom-

modate more than double the number

of participants it had last year, increase

the number of its Discovery Tours, as

well as include, for the first time, drop-

in workshops. The 2017 edition will

feature Expanding Treasures, a project

by lead artist Suzan Drummen, seeing

families and children work together to

create a large-scale temporary installa-

tion on-site at the fair. The program’s

popular Discovery Tours, enabling

young children to discover key pieces

around the fair, will be complemented

by the Artists in Schools Initiative,

giving the exclusive opportunity to

selected schools to experience work-

shops on campus.

About Art Dubai

The preeminent platform to in-

teract with art from the Middle East,

North Africa and South Asia, Art

Dubai is a leading international art

fair. Mirroring the cosmopolitanism

and diversity of its hometown Dubai,

it is the most globally diverse art fair,

which in 2017 will present galleries

from 43 countries. Through the fair

and its year-round activities, Art Dubai

also plays a leading role for the cul-

tural development of Dubai, thus rede-

fining the role an art fair can play; its

year-round thought leadership, educa-

tion and commissioning programming

activities such as the Global Art Fo-

rum, Campus Art Dubai and Art Dubai

Projects have been instrumental in

building the framework for supporting

artistic talent in the city and beyond.

Art Dubai



for its