Abu Dhabi Art Opens its Doors to the Public
- Programme of talks and workshops kick off day one of iconic art fair
- Abu Dhabi Art welcomes visitors from 14:00 daily at Manarat Al Saadiyat
Abu Dhabi, UAE, 9 November 2017: Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the ninth edition of Abu Dhabi Art opened its doors to the public yesterday, with visitors enjoying a rich programme of talks and interactive workshops, in addition to a diverse range of international galleries.
In between discovering an array of installations and artworks on display from globally celebrated and up-and-coming artists, members of the public participated in cultural debates with arts professionals, practitioner and collectors.
The daily Talks Programme, curated by Munira Al Sayegh, began its exploration into a wide array of topics relating to contemporary art developments in the GCC. The Role of Private Foundations and Public Collections saw speakers Olivier Mosset, Artist, Herve Mikaeloff, Curator, Mohammed Afkhami, Collector, Deborah Najar, Co-Founder at Jean-Paul Najar Foundation and Director of the Global Private Museum Network and Venetia Porter, Assistant Keeper, Curator, Islamic and contemporary Middle East, British Museum highlight the importance and underscore the differences and similarities in the roles of private foundations, and public collections. The discussion also emphasised the roles of various art foundations and the significance of collecting for both private and public collections.
Meanwhile, Connecting Collections: Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and Zayed National Museum in Conversation with Ahmed Mater brought together panellists Maisa Al Qassimi, Programmes Manager, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, and Salama Al Shamsi, Senior Project Manager, Zayed National Museum, Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, to highlight points of connection between their respective collections. The distinctiveness of each museum’s narrative was explored through this collaborative talk with artist Ahmed Mater, whose work is in the collections of both Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and Zayed National Museum.
Bringing together participating artists and curators from this year’s Abu Dhabi Art, Collectors and Collections: The Art Fair as a Platform for Commissions: Abu Dhabi Art’s Gateway and Beyond (Emerging Artists Projects) featured Maya Allison, Director and Chief Curator, NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery, Curator of Gateway: Line, Abu Dhabi Art, artist Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim, Cristiana de Marchi, Co-Curator of Beyond: Emerging Artists, and artists Shaikha Al Mazrou and Jumairy. The panelists discussed their experiences and outcomes of the commissioning process, underscoring the place of commissions in Abu Dhabi Art, and highlighting the role and the importance of these platforms to this year’s fair.
Visitors also took part in the first in a series of creative and immersive workshops catered to the entire community. Tailored to children, teens and adults, the specially designed art workshop kicked-off today and will run daily until Saturday 11 November from 14:00 – 21:00 at AED 25 per person at the Art Studio at Manarat Al Saadiyat.
Abu Dhabi Art’s performance art platform, Durub Al Tawaya, offered visitors the opportunity to engage with contemporary performance art through a selection of site-specific performances during the fair and across the city. Wednesday’s events included Evros Walk Water, an interactive performance by Daniel Wetzel re-enacting John Cage’s Water Walk, created in collaboration with refugee children living in Athens, A Grand March by choreographer Zan Yamashita, and the launch of Çevdet Erek’s book SSS – How to Imitate the Sound of the Shore Using Two Hands and a Carpet.
Abu Dhabi Art is the culmination of a year-long programme of installations and exhibitions, talks and events that take place in various locations across the emirate. A dynamic and engaging event for all ages, the fair once again offers a diverse four-day programme of interactive workshops, dialogues and performances, in addition to a diverse range of international galleries showcasing a variety of inspiring artworks and iconic installations.
Tickets to Abu Dhabi Art are AED 50 for adults. Complimentary access will be available for students and visitors below 18 years of age. All workshops include a participation fee.
To purchase tickets, to register for programme events, and to view the full programme, visit abudhabiart.ae.
About The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi
The Department of Culture and Tourism conserves and promotes the heritage and culture of Abu Dhabi emirate and leverages them in the development of a world-class, sustainable destination of distinction that enriches the lives of visitors and residents alike. The Department manages the emirate’s tourism sector and markets the destination internationally through a wide range of activities aimed at attracting visitors and investment. Its policies, plans and programmes relate to the preservation of heritage and culture, including protecting archaeological and historical sites and to developing museums, including the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the Zayed National Museum and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. The Department of Culture and Tourism supports intellectual and artistic activities and cultural events to nurture a rich cultural environment and honour the emirate’s heritage. A key role played by the Department is to create synergy in the destination’s development through close co-ordination with its wide-ranging stakeholder base.
About Abu Dhabi Art
Abu Dhabi Art expands beyond the notion of a traditional art fair, in placing strong emphasis on a diverse public engagement programme, including art installations and exhibitions, talks and events that take place in different locations throughout the year. The culmination of this year-long programme is the Abu Dhabi Art event in November, which provides an important sales platform for participating galleries whilst also offering these galleries an opportunity to showcase ambitious installations and site specific works by their artists to an audience of over 20,000 visitors.