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December 2013


All Aboard for Abu Dhabi Art 2013

Posted October 31, 2013 by artBahrain in artDestination

Fifth Edition of the Glittering Emirati Art Fair Offers International Art Lovers
a Rich and Rewarding Cultural Journey 

Emirati Expressions: Realised. Mohammed Kazem. Directions 2005-2013 (2005-2013). Color video installation with sound 2 min loop overall dimensions

Emirati Expressions: Realised. Mohammed Kazem. Directions 2005-2013 (2005-2013). Color video installation with sound 2 min loop overall dimensions

In addition to the core commercial fair, with its increasingly impressive line up of top flight galleries, Abu Dhabi Art 2013 has added a thoughtfully prepared a rich programme of extra “happenings”. Street performances, poetry readings in the desert, film screenings, architecture pavilions, tours of the city by boat and bus, art talks, installations and “interventions” are all enticingly and appropriately themed around “dunes”, “waves” and “wings”.

This festival of events is sure to enrich what can become to jaded art fair visitors a depressingly familiar experience of endless meandering through mazes of ill-lit booths – that even to the most passionate art lover – can come to feel after day two like a Kafka-esque dream where one is trapped eternally in the anonymous and sterile halls of a convention center that could be anywhere in the world.

Abu Dhabi Art, of course, takes place on enchanted Saadiyat Island and the organizers have taken great care to incorporate the beauty of the natural surroundings, plus the city’s thriving cultural community, to create a lively spectacle for the visitor not just to the fair but also to Abu Dhabi itself.

To give a flavor of the unique offerings this year, Egyptian artist, Wael Shawky will present a video piece about the Bedouin’s tradition of reciting poetry to their camels. Emirati poets Mohamed Al Mazroui and Aita Ben Masaaoud will read Classical Arab and Nabati poems on the beaches of Abu Dhabi’s Corniche and traditional dhows will depart from Mina (port) functioning as mobile galleries.


One of the new additions Artists’ Waves, is a programme that focuses on the “discovery” and “re-discovery” of artists. Selected artworks by innovative artists will be presented in a critically curated exhibition uniquely designed to reflect the dynamism of new artistic movements and in order to showcase shifting perceptions of art.


Emirati Expressions: Realised will feature a series of exhibitions and programmes exclusively highlighting the work of Emirati artists. The essence of Emirati Expressions is to present commonalities in the visual languages and art practice of Emirati artists by highlighting their linked history of connected experience and collaboration.

Participating artists include Abdullah Al Saadi, Ebtisam Abdulaziz, Layla Juma, Mohamed Al Mazrouei, Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim and Mohammed Kazem. Emirati Expressions: Realised was curated by Reem Fadda, Associate Curator for Middle Eastern Art, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Project and Maisa Al Qassimi, Programmes, Manager, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.


The designs of six Emirati artists have won the Abu Dhabi Art Wings Project, a competition organised by TCA Abu Dhabi, as part of the wider Abu Dhabi Art Design Programme. The competition received an enormously positive response from a multitude of artists challenged to create new concepts featuring the Abu Dhabi Art ‘wing’ logo.

The winning designs will be on display in Artyfact, the merchandise space in Manarat Al Saadiyat and throughout the Fair on printed materials, advertising and other related collateral. The artists will also be part of the wider education programme of Abu Dhabi Art this year.


Durub Al Tawaya, another first time happening at Abu Dhabi Art is an exciting multi-stage project that incorporates a series of “Interventions” placed throughout the city of Abu Dhabi, thereby creating routes that connect the multitude of artistic events, performances, public art pieces, concerts and installations.

The path taken by Durub Al Tawaya will connect four points of significance, or tawaya, within the city: Manarat Al Saadiyat, Mina Zayed, Corniche Beach and Marina Mall.

At each of the four stops a series of cultural activities organised in collaboration with various artistic communities and institutions in the city will take place. Durub Al Tawaya will showcase a diversity of artistic practices; contemporary dance, video installation and poetry and audiences will be invited to join in this journey that blurs the border between art viewers and the artists themselves.

Inspired by the experience of a journey, not just its final destination, contemporary artists have even been commissioned to create interventions inside the public buses that will transport through the city. The result is that the buses themselves will become moving artworks, roaming Abu Dhabi while connecting art spaces, historical locations and meeting points.


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