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21 April 2024

Art Dubai announces programmes and partnerships for 17th edition

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By E247

Art Dubai, the leading international platform for art and artists from the Middle East and the Global South, today announced details of the programmes and partnerships for its 17th edition, which will take place at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai. Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the fair will be held from 1 to 3 March, with previews on 28 February and 29 February. 

Art Dubai 2024 will feature an expanded programme of collaborations with local and international partners, underscoring the fair’s position as the meeting point for the Global South’s creative communities and its mission to redefine the role an art fair can play in supporting local and regional ecosystems.  Programme highlights will include major new commissions and premières by internationally renowned artists and the most extensive education, talks and thought-leadership programme of any international art fair. 

Since its founding, Art Dubai has been committed to working with institutional and commercial partners to develop new commissioning models and long-term innovative, high-impact cultural programming. These collaborations place particular emphasis on education and digital technologies, which are cornerstones of Art Dubai’s extensive year-round programming. They also play a crucial role in shaping the future of Dubai's cultural infrastructure, as well as responding to some of the most important issues of our time. 

Key Highlights

 Art Dubai's key highlights encompass a series of newly commissioned performances centred on themes of healing, hope, and the transformative power of art in challenging times. The 17th edition of the Global Art Forum, Art Dubai's flagship summit, curated by Shumon Basar and Nadine El-Khoury, will explore the relationship between extreme weather and extreme change. The fair boasts the most extensive talks programme among international art fairs, featuring Modern and Collector Talks in collaboration with Dubai Collection, the first institutional art collection for the city of Dubai. 

Additionally, the A.R.M. Holding Children’s Programme, devised by artist Sahil Naik, will have its largest edition, initially launching at the fair before extending to over 100 schools and 15,000 students. Furthermore, the premiere of 'Heart Space,' a significant new commission by digital artist Krista Kim, presented by Julius Baer as part of their global NEXT initiative, adds to the diverse and innovative offerings at Art Dubai.

Pablo del Val, Art Dubai’s Artistic Director, said: “Art fairs like Art Dubai have a responsibility to be far more than commercial platforms and Art Dubai continues to play an important institutional role in this region’s cultural ecosystem, supporting artists, scholarship, cultural education and thought-leadership. Our programme this year reflects the increasingly diverse and multicultural communities of our home city, providing more opportunities than ever for artists from across the Global South. Dubai is a place of relentless reinvention, possibility and opportunity, and these commercial and institutional partnerships are central to all our activity, supporting our world-class non-commercial programmes.”

 

Benedetta Ghione, Art Dubai’s Executive Director, said: “Art Dubai Group is committed to laying foundations for a thriving cultural and creative ecosystem, inspired by and responding to our home city of Dubai. The cultural scene here is maturing rapidly and we are proud of the role we play in engaging and inspiring audiences of all ages and backgrounds, and in supporting the next generation of cultural professionals. Our year-round education, scholarship, and thought-leadership programmes, developed alongside our long-term partners, create significant opportunities for people from all over the world to build careers in the creative industries in Dubai.”

Art Dubai is held in partnership with A.R.M. Holding and is sponsored by Swiss Wealth Management Group Julius Baer. The event’s exclusive high jewellery and watch partner is Piaget. Culturally driven lifestyle developer HUNA is a partner of Art Dubai. The Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) is the fair’s strategic partner. Madinat Jumeirah is the home of Art Dubai.

Full speaker line-ups and conference session timings will be released in early February. 

 View the list of galleries participating in Art Dubai 2024 here.

Thought-leadership

 In the 21st century, extreme weather - from floods, droughts and storms to smog - is no longer limited to “the developing world,” but is now happening everywhere. Meanwhile, the threat of extinction elicits urgent innovations — and imagination. Over two days, Art Dubai’s flagship transdisciplinary summit, the Global Art Forum, will present the cultures, technologies, sciences and initiatives around extreme weather and extreme change with many of the world's most compelling artists, architects, academics, curators and thinkers.

 

Entitled “Whether or Not,” Global Art Forum 17 is organised by Commissioner Shumon Basar and Curator Nadine El-Khoury, and will take place on 29 February and 1 March 2024. Speakers contributing to the forum include Dr. Stephanie Rosenthal, Director, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Samir Bantal, Director, AMO at Office of Metropolitan Architecture, Rotterdam, Anne Holtrop, Founder, Studio Anne Holtrop, Bahrain, Monira Al Qadiri, Artist, Kuwait and Berlin, Gabriel Alonso, Artist and Researcher, Madrid, amongst others.

Supporting Art Dubai’s commitment to scholarship, Modern and Collector Talks are presented in partnership with Dubai Collection, the first institutional art collection for the city of Dubai. Art Dubai Modern Talks will highlight the artistic links made possible by Soviet geopolitics of the Cold War, shifting the focus from Western metropoles, and focusing the conversations on the impact of Soviet education and exhibitions on artists from the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa. Though these East-East and South-South networks may no longer be obvious today, they were critical to the formation of modern art in the region. Bringing together a culturally diverse group of curators, scholars, and gallerists, each panel will highlight the personal stories of the artists represented in Art Dubai Modern.

 

They will also provide historical context to the unique grouping of artists in the section, revealing why these works remain valuable and relevant to audiences, collectors, and institutions. Individual and institutional collectors are driving cultural shifts in emerging cultural centres. With a focus on topics including philanthropy, corporate support for the arts and institutional collecting, Art Dubai Collector Talks will shed light on the unique forces, strategies and passions that are shaping global arts and culture. 

Education 

 Reinforcing the fair’s longstanding commitment to education, professional development and thought-leadership will be the largest-ever programme of talks, workshops and events, taking place across all five days of the fair. 

 The A.R.M. Holding Children’s Programme is now in its fourth year and the 2024 edition will be the largest to date, reaching more than 15,000 students in over 100 schools in what is the most ambitious such education programme in the UAE. Each year, an artist is selected to develop the workshops, which begin at Art Dubai before expanding to private, government, and special educational needs schools across all seven emirates. 

 Goa-based artist Sahil Naik has been selected to develop the 2024 programme and his sculptural, architectural and arts education-based practice will take participants on a journey through creation using dioramas, memory and the built environment as sources of inspiration. Centring on themes of ecology and nature, these workshops will invite children to explore the central question: “How do younger generations imagine future cities, and what they will comprise?”

Aimed at nurturing emerging talent and future cultural leaders, the fair will continue to run Campus Art Dubai (CAD) professional development and traineeship programme. Celebrating its 11th year, the initiative is designed to provide recent graduates with mentorship, masterclasses and hands-on experience across diverse departments at the fair. Additionally, participants will benefit from curated tours of leading cultural organisations in the city, providing practical insights and a clear pathway for them to enter and thrive within the dynamic art scene.

New Commissions 

This year’s Art Dubai Commissions will feature a series of new performances, films and activations focusing on topics of hope, community and the power of art to help us navigate challenging times. Complementing Art Dubai’s Bawwaba gallery section, and curated by Emiliano Valdes, participating artists hail from the Global South, and will explore various aspects of the healing process, creating spaces for contemplation and introspection, socially-oriented practices that engage with local communities as well as creating nurturing and liberating experiences. 

The Swiss Wealth Management Group Julius Baer, lead partner of Art Dubai will present a newly commissioned digital installation by Canadian-Korean artist Krista Kim. ‘Heart Space’ is an immersive experience that will allow guests to connect with one another through the universal language of the human heartbeat. In real-time, each visitor’s unique heart rhythm will be visualised through hypnotic patterns and meditative shapes displayed across a dynamic LED canvas. 

The installation puts forward the concept of ‘oneness’ where participants come together to create a social fabric harnessing the power of art and technology. ‘Heart Space’ is a continuation of Kim’s ongoing exploration into the creative potential of screens as digital instruments of wellbeing and longevity, and is part of Julius Baer’s NEXT universe, which explores investment thematics around the emergence of megatrends across arts, science, and technology. This is the second major digital commission by Julius Baer to debut at Art Dubai, following the acclaimed collaboration with Refik Anadol in 2023. 

Inaugurating a new partnership with Art Dubai, returning partner Piaget will debut a new exhibition ‘The House of Gold’ at Art Dubai 2024. Spotlighting gold as the ultimate luxury and a symbol of perfection, central to the brand’s philosophy, the presentation will showcase a series of high-end jewellery and watches, patrimony pieces and private collections in a bespoke booth featuring newly commissioned artworks, workshops and immersive experiences.