Over 70 established and emerging art galleries from 28 countries will present a palette of contemporary art spanning various genres at Art Dubai, to be held at the Madinat Arena, Madinat Jumeirah - The Arabian Resort of Dubai, from March 19 to March 22.
Art lovers can also enjoy a variety of interesting art installations by leading international artists such as Wim Delvoye, Amir H. Fallah, Sunil Gawde, Marwan Rechmaoui and Egyptian artist Tarek Zaki. These are displayed in various locations ranging from the lake to the beach at Madinat Jumeirah.
An interesting feature this year is the Art Park located in the underground car park at the Madinat Arena. This space is devoted to experimental and site-specific works with a particular emphasis on video. Here visitors can see art projects by Idris Khan, Jittish Kallat, Mohammed Zeeshan and Khalil Chishtee, Spanish artist Susy Gomez, Afghan-born Lida Abdul and Algerian artist Kader Attia. Also located in this underground art space is the Bidoun Cinema, featuring curated video programmes with a Middle Eastern focus. The Bidoun Lounge, designed by UAE-based design company Traffic, will also host a ‘video bar' with continuous screenings.
The second edition of the event, earlier called the DIFC Gulf Art Fair, will also host a Pakistan Pavilion with contemporary art from Pakistan curated by well-known artist and educationist Salima Hashemi. Titled, "Desperately Seeking Paradise", the exhibition will feature artworks and interactive installations by eleven artists whose work circumscribes the many pathways and notions of paradise that possess us today.
The artworks range from contemporary Mughal miniatures and graphic artworks to clay sculptures and elaborate installations that make witty and incisive statements on topics such as the militarisation of society, racial profiling at airports, women's emancipation and the tragic consequences of war. Also exhibited at this pavilion will be photographs taken by construction and other workers from Dubai's labour camps as part of a community art project titled ‘At the end of a rainbow'.
The DIFC Global Art Forum 2008 will also take place alongside Art Dubai. Fifty of the most respected curators, collectors, and artists from around the globe will get together to discuss the current state of art production in the Middle East and ways to develop opportunities for artists and curators from the region. After ‘by invitation only' sessions at the DIFC, the Forum will move to a specially designed pavilion on the Madinat Arena beach for sessions that are open to the public.
Those scheduled to participate in discussions on issues such as ‘Building on the Foundations of Contemporary Art: East meets West in Dubai' and ‘the role of art in political and social transformations' include Daniel Buren from France, Ai Wei Wei from China, British artist Tony Cragg, Iranian artist Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Suha Shoman, Director, Darat al Funun, Amman, Salima Hashemi, curator and artistic director of the Sharjah Biennial, Jack Persekian, Glenn Lowry, Director, Museum of Modern Art, New York City, (MoMA), British-based artist Anish Kapoor, Soichiro Fukutake, founder of the Naoshima Fukutake Museum Foundation and President of Benesse Corporation.
"The strength of our show lies in the caliber and unparalleled global diversity of our offerings. We have a good blend of art from emerging markets of the Middle East, South and Central Asia and the Far East along with leading galleries from Europe, North and South America and Africa," said fair director, John Martin.
"We have changed the name of the event from the DIFC Gulf Art Fair to Art Dubai to reflect Dubai's growing role as a centre for art and a cultural melting pot. And the response from galleries, artists, curators and collectors from around the world indicates that this city has the potential to become one of the world's great centers for innovative contemporary art and design," he added.
For more information go to http://www.artdubai.ae/.