'Dubai Next': Emirate's amazing story told through art and culture at Paris pavilion

Exhibition is platform that brings Emirati and UAE-based artists to the international circuit

The Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the emirate’s dedicated Authority for culture, arts, and heritage, will launch the second edition of ‘Dubai Next,’ a platform aimed at promoting the thriving cultural industry of Dubai, at the renowned Institut du Monde Arabe (Arab World Institute) at the Le Mobile Art Pavilion designed by Zaha Hadid, in the heart of Paris from September 26 to 28, 2013.

Held under the patronage of Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Culture, ‘Dubai Next’ narrates the tale of Dubai through art and depicts the ambitious progress of the emirate.

By drawing on the heritage and vision of the Emirati people, and their continued focus on promoting global collaboration and intercultural knowledge exchange, the exhibition is a platform that brings Emirati and UAE-based artists to the international circuit.

Sheikh Majid said: "Global collaboration, intercultural dialogue and fostering artistic talent are the central focus of Dubai Culture. The second edition of ‘Dubai Next’ underlines the vision of Dubai to draw on the strength of art as a commonality, which brings people from various cultures together. It also demonstrates our commitment to further define our city as a world-class cultural destination, in line with our Strategic Vision 2020.
He added: "France and the UAE have shared strong ties for the last four decades with active collaborations in the arts and cultural scene too. ‘Dubai Next’ further enhances our strategic cooperation with France, and will drive creative exchanges between the two nations."

Under the theme ‘Dubai Next: Faces of Tomorrow,’ which reiterates Dubai’s global position as a hub for collaboration and creativity, Dubai Culture will showcase dynamic works of Emirati and international artists.

With France backing UAE’s bid for the World Expo 2020, ‘Dubai Next’ in Paris is a demonstration of the strong partnership between the two countries.

The three-day programme will cover an art exhibition, film screenings, themed panel discussions, Q and A sessions, as well as a mentoring session aimed at providing aspiring arts and film students with the opportunity to learn from an influential line-up of cultural and artistic figures from the UAE.

Events held on September 27 and 28 will be open to the public.

‘Dubai Next’ is billed to see attendance from some of the UAE’s most renowned cultural figures including: Mohammed Al Murr, Member of the UAE Federal National Council; Bilal Al Budoor, Assistant Deputy of Arts and Culture, Ministry of Culture, Youth, and Community Development; Dhaen Shahin, Director-General for Publishing, Dubai Media Incorporated and Chief Editor of Al Bayan newspaper; founder of Al Serkal Avenue, Ahmed Issa Al Serkal; artist Abdulqader Al Rais; Dr. Salah Al Qassim, Advisor of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority; and Hussain Al Jazeeri.

The artists

The exhibition component of ‘Dubai Next’ will feature the works of Czech photographer, Martin Becka, who lives and works in Paris, but shares an emotional relationship with the Emirate of Dubai.

Becka’s works creatively explore Dubai’s present and its future aspirations.
The images project the architecture, historic landmarks, and beauty of new Dubai in stunning black and white, and sepia, creating the feeling on viewers that they are watching the growth of the city from the future.

Also bringing his artistic styling to ‘Dubai Next’ is Brazilian Edgar Salmen, who has been working with audiovisual productions for eight years.
A SIKKA 2013 commissioned artist, Edgar has been mapping the art of audiovisual productions in festivals around the world.

Joining Becka and Edgar are six Emirati artists, whose works were selected by curators Elie Domit and Jonas Tebib, based on their resemblance to the exhibition’s theme, ‘Faces of Tomorrow.’

Jonas Tebeb, curator of Martin Becka’s exhibition has managed numerous photography exhibitions in the Middle East and now focuses on the art market, advising and assisting on acquisition for private collectors from across the world; while Elie Domit, Director of East Wing, a contemporary platform for photography founded in Doha, Qatar, curates and commissions international photography projects which are presented at exhibitions, art fairs, educational events, and in publications.

The artists include: Graphic designer Alia Al Malik; Alia Hussain Lootah, a full-time artist whose focus revolves around abstract paintings and mixed media; Alia Zaal Lootah, an established artist and curator who aspires to promote culture and arts in the UAE; Lateefa Bint Maktoum, one of the city’s critically acclaimed artists and founder and director of Tashkeel, the first public studio supporting artists and designers; Maitha Demithan, a visual artist who works across mediums including photography, scenography, painting, drawing, and photo transfers; and Mattar Bin Lahej, a self-taught artist and an active painter, sculptor, and photographer.


In the film category, audiences can watch the cinematic collaboration of UAE and France through clips from Emirati filmmaker Abdullah Al Kaabi’s short film, ‘The Philosopher’, which stars Moroccan/French actor, Jean Reno; while aspiring Emirati chef Shaikha Al Ali brings the taste of the Middle East to visitors in Paris, providing a contemporary twist to the country’s traditional cuisine.

Boasting an awe-inspiring programme that truly provides vivid insights on the region’s arts industry, curated, mediated, and presented by Sara Raza, Associate Curator of Maraya Art Centre, the second edition of ‘Dubai Next’ will feature a keynote speech by Sultan Al Qassimi on ‘Young Emirati Practitioners (YEP), which will bring together four creative voices who resonate with this cohort, along with cultural entrepreneurs Rashid and Ahmed Bin Shabib; artist and curator Noor Al Suwaidi; and Abdulla Al Kaabi.

‘Innovation & Evolution: Contemporary Design in Dubai Now’ a talk by Cyril Zammit, Fair Director of Design Days Dubai, will be joined by designer Khalid Shafar, Anarchitect co-founder Tarik Al Zaharna, and architect and designer Marc Aurel.

The third talk entitled ‘Cultural Hubs, Incubators & Alternative Art Spaces,’ by Rashid Bin Shabib will provide vivid insights from Guiseppe Moscatello, Manager of Maraya Art Centre; Barjeel Art Foundation’s curator and manager, Mandy Merzban; and independent curator and former Artists-in-Residence Dubai curator-in-residence Alexander MacGlip.

Earlier this year, Dubai Culture further strengthened its cultural ties with France, through the launch of an Artist-in-Residence programme with Institut Fran?ais, enabling two French designers to meet Emirati and UAE-based artists and explore the local art scene.

The programme aimed to further strengthen the understanding of the local heritage and culture among the participants through educational activities such as workshops, school tours and mentorship.

(Home page image used for illustrative purpose only: Courtesy Shutterstock)