Abu Dhabi Art Announces Dates and Commissioned Artist for its 11th Edition
Ebtisam Abdulaziz, Life in a Bag
The 11th edition of Abu Dhabi Art will take place at Manarat Al Saadiyat (MAS) in the UAE capital from 21-23 November this year, with multidisciplinary artist and writer Ebtisam Abdulaziz selected for the fair’s visual campaign.
Organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), the fair will present a programme of exhibitions, art installations, talks, workshops and performances delivered by leading international artists, curators and creative professionals, in addition to a rich roster of public programming over its three-day run. On view through 25 January 2020, the fair will offer a series of extended exhibitions and events.
Commissioned artist and writer Ebtisam Abdulaziz will expand on her ongoing initiative Life in a Bag in which she documents the various bags of fair-goers. On her participation this year, Ebtisam Abdulaziz stated: “Working with Abu Dhabi Art is a unique opportunity, and the event itself has inspired my new series; it documents visitors' bags from Abu Dhabi Art 2018, reflecting the diverse cultures and personalities it brings together. I think of them as portraits; through these items, culture, personality, social life, and different tastes are captured. I am very grateful to Abu Dhabi Art for their support and consider it an honour that my artwork will serve as the advertising and artistic visual campaign for the upcoming fair.”
Dyala Nusseibeh, Abu Dhabi Art Director, added: “Ebtisam is a key voice in the regional artist community and we are honoured that she has agreed to provide works for the new visual campaign. I love her Life in a Bag series, and it is really special that she chose to extend this project by creating new portraits of fair-goers at Abu Dhabi Art. She is a wonderful artist to collaborate with.”
Abu Dhabi Art 2019 will soon be announcing details for other key components in its programming, including the Beyond series with its Artists Commissions and Emerging Artists categories. Beyond: Artist Commissions sees established contemporary artists commissioned by Abu Dhabi Art to make site-specific works in Al Ain. Beyond: Emerging Artists is the annual realise ambitious art projects. The artists are invited to undertake a year-long programme under the mentorship and supervision of a guest curator, ahead of their projects being displayed in November. The annual Gateway exhibition will also return this year, highlighting local and international artists through a unique curatorial approach with a guest curator.
Abu Dhabi Art will also offer talks, workshops, community driven projects and performances that cater to a wide audience ranging from arts professionals through families and the general public seeking cultural entertainment. The Talks Programme offers a series of stimulating cultural talks, conversations and book launches featuring some of the art world’s leading figures, which aim to engage audiences in a dialogue about the complex history and contemporary art practice in the UAE and around the world.
Collaborative community projects with key universities will once again form a significant component of the event. Khalifa University has recently concluded the Abu Dhabi Art artist-in- residence programme for the collaborative initiative Art + Technology, while a nationwide architecture competition for students, the Pavilion Prize, is underway and will culminate in displaying the winning project at the fair.
Abu Dhabi Art Community Partners and non-profit cultural organisations will also be offered spaces within the fair to highlight their initiatives, presenting displays that respond to the theme of ‘Year of Tolerance’, as designated for 2019 by the UAE government. These partnerships encourage new ideas and inspiration from upcoming artists, designers and architects, as well as making connections with new audiences.
Alongside the fair, and as part of the annual Abu Dhabi Art year-round programme, the organisers have launched ‘Galleries at MAS’. Formerly known as Galleries Week, the popular initiative has moved to Manarat Al Saadiyat in its third edition, from 8 April to 8 June, 2019. Galleries at MAS offers an ideal opportunity for first-time collectors to find artworks for their homes with affordable prices, while established collectors can discover exciting new art during this popular, pop-up event.
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.
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.