I couldn’t squeeze all events happening in the Art Week 2012 for Mark Your Calendar, there just so much to talk about! Art week is the umbrella programme that includes Design Days Dubai, SIKKA and Art Dubai, showcases the broad range of cultural events taking place across the UAE and beyond. The initiative positions the Gulf – regionally and internationally – as a central meeting point, promoting creativity and debate. From expansive new museum projects in Doha to the thriving Dubai gallery scene, from one-off happenings, projects and installations to festivals and fairs, Art Week serves to demonstrate the dynamism and progressive spirit throughout the region’s cultural community.
Save the dates people!! During March 15 – 25, 2012 visitors to and residents of the GCC will experience the region’s most comprehensive cultural programme to date during the second edition of Art Week. The Gulf will host an exceptional range of contemporary art and design events — from art and design fairs to major museum shows — cementing the region as a hub for artistic production and home to numerous cultural centres.
Dubai Galleries’ Night on Monday, March 19 from 7 – 10 PM will see late-night openings for a host of stellar new exhibitions, complemented by performances by locally-based musicians, at more than 40 galleries across Dubai. Five new galleries, including Fayez Barakat, Grey Noise, La Galerie Nationale, Showcase Gallery and FN Designs, will open their doors for the first time in Alserkal Avenue. Meanwhile, established galleries in Al Quoz and the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), such as Green Art Gallery, The Third Line, Lawrie Shabibi, Cuadro, Artspace and The Empty Quarter, among others, in addition to private collections such as the Salsali Private Museum and The Farjam Collection, will open major exhibitions of Arab, Iranian, South Asian and international contemporary art. Download full program here.
Design Days Dubai, the first fair in the Middle East entirely dedicated to limited edition and collectible design will open on Saturday March 17 in a new location at the foot of Burj Khalifa. Bringing a fresh dimension to the region’s arts and design scene, Design Days Dubai will showcase works of leading design galleries and the most innovative of designers from around the world. The fair will appeal to a broad public – from design connoisseurs, architects, design enthusiasts, and designers to students and graduates – looking for inspiration, and for exclusive designed objects for their homes and work spaces.
In 2012, Art Week also includes SIKKA in the Bastakiya cultural district, which will serve as a pathway to discover the works of UAE artists this March. The sixth edition of Art Dubai takes place March 21-24 at Madinat Jumeirah. This edition of the fair is the most diverse to date, featuring 75 galleries from 32 countries showing more than 500 artists, while Marker, the curated section gallery stands, turns its focus to the Indonesian art scene. Art Dubai Projects involves over 40 artists and a host of commissioned projects, including live radio transmissions, a performance night, and a range of activities for families and children.
The winners of the fourth Abraaj Capital Art Prize will unveil their major new works at the fair. 2012 also sees the expansion of the critically-acclaimed Global Art Forum, which looks at ‘The Medium of Media’, taking in everything from archived Emirati TV shows to an analysis of the past year of news reportage in the Arab world. The Forum starts in Doha at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, March 18-19, and continues at Art Dubai, March 21-24.
Looking to the rest of the UAE, the Sharjah Art Foundation will host its 5th annual March Meeting, an annual gathering of artists, art professionals and institutions concerned with the production and dissemination of art in the region and internationally, alongside a number of new launches in the emirate’s non-commercial art spaces. Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Festival (ADMAF) begins on March 11, with performances and productions around the city.
In addition to the Global Art Forum starting at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha’s involvement in Art Week includes major museum exhibitions by Cai Guo-Qiang, Takashi Murakami, Louise Bourgeois and the opening of ‘The Gift of the Sultan: The Arts of Giving at the Islamic Courts’.
Alongside the Art Week, The Ara Gallery proudly presents (Abaya), a reflection of culture and religion worn by Emirati women. With the differences in their experiences, their lives, their past & present, one thing draws the Emirati women together: a black piece of cloth, a symbol of being an Emirati woman. Through this exhibition, the Abaya is presented through the eyes of those who wear it. It is translated into a form of expression and a form of art that reflects each artist’s own interpretation of it. (Abaya) brings together 6 emerging artists in the form of inspired, young Emirati women who individually capture their personal meaning of the Abaya, and transform it into a work of art and creative commentary. These showcased artists are: Alia Hussain Lootah, Maitha Demithan, Moaza Matar, Shamma Al Amri, Sheikha Aysha Saqer Al Qassimi, Zeinab Al Hashemi. The official opening reception for (Abaya) will take place on Monday, March 18 from 7-9pm in celebration of Art Week 2012 & will continue throughout 20th of April at The Ara Gallery.
I told you a full week of so much to do in the Gulf art map! So book your tickets, set your calendars and enjoy a wonderful artistic week!