One of the most anticipated arts and culture events of the year, the annual Abu Dhabi Art fair brings together creative minds and cultural leaders from around the globe. Alive with inspiration, thought-provoking performances, and diverse works of modern and contemporary pieces, the art scene in the UAE is celebrated through an array of events and programs. In its seventh year, Abu Dhabi Art runs from November 18 through the 21st and features hundreds of artists and their work from leading international galleries, live performing art shows, and discussions from internationally-renowned voices in the art world. Read on to discover five elements of the fair we’re looking forward to.
The ‘Bidaya’ Gallery of 2015
This year’s featured Bidaya (the Arabic word for ‘beginning’) is none other than Palestine’s first art gallery based in Ramallah, Gallery One. The Bidaya gallery introduces and provides exposure to up-and-coming galleries to the international art scene. Showcasing a diverse spectrum of contemporary art by established and emerging Palestinian artists, Gallery One is a must-see at this year’s fair.
Abu Dhabi Art’s Talks and Panel Discussions
Exploring the concept of museums in the 21st century, influential art directors Richard Armstrong and Neil MacGregor – along with philosopher Peter Sloterdijk – will gather at Abu Dhabi Art Talks and engage in a panel discussion moderated by Anna Somers Cocks, founder and CEO of Art Newspaper. The discussion highlights the public outreach programs and initiatives of the Saadiyat Cultural District museums and how it connects with the wider city and communities of the UAE.
Discover and experience the artistic beauty behind a series of live performances at Abu Dhabi Art. Curated by Fabrice Bousteau, and performed at the visionary art and culture center of Manarat al Saadiyat, Bliss is an interactive program inspired by the dynamic context of Abu Dhabi and touching on the theme of happiness. The performance includes screenings of JR’s film Les Bosquets, inspired by French ghettos and the New York City Ballet.
Durub Al Tawaya
Returning to the Abu Dhabi Art fair is the popular and vibrant performing arts show, Durub Al Tawaya, curated by Tarek Abou El Fetouh. This program explores the idea of contemporary art and how it creates cultural exchanges or transcends boundaries by engaging with archival material and influences. The program includes five diverse performances that address questions of ownership, responsibility, and preservation. The program includes Rimini Protokoll’s dramatic urban scavenger hunt, “Remote: Abu Dhabi” and a screening of the 1969 film, The Night of Counting the Years.
This is a biannual exhibition presenting a variety of artistic and cultural expressions by 16 Emirati artists. The fourth edition will explore the functionality and usability of art while bridging the gap between disciplines in visual and applied arts. The exhibition reflects on the understanding of art and its role, especially within the context of the UAE.