Get on your dancing shoes: Art Dubai 2017 puts on a show

ARTIST: Eglé BudvytytėPHOTOGRAPHY: Joke Floreal
Updated 16 March 2017

Get on your dancing shoes: Art Dubai 2017 puts on a show

DUBAI: The Middle East’s largest art fair unveiled its 11th edition on Wednesday, with a twist that could surprise even the most ardent Art Dubai fans.
For the first time in its history, the Art Dubai Commissions series — dynamic, site-specific works set in the grounds of the fair — will exclusively feature performance-based art.
“We’ve got a lot of new things which we are initiating this year; among them for the first time we are committing our Commissions to performance only, so as you are walking through our halls, your art-fair experience will be enhanced by the punctuation of a performance,” Myrna Ayad, the fair director, told Arab News.
 A select group of international artists was asked to create unique pieces of work for the fair, including Manuel Pelmuş, Eglé Budvytytė, Iván Argote, Pauline Bastard and Lana Fahmi.
The artists worked closely with curator Yasmina Reggad to create a diverse showcase of performance art.
Fahmi created a piece called “What Modernity?” which focuses on the shift from traditional to modern dancing in the Arab world.
“Dancers combine all forms of art — they act, they sing, they paint with their bodies and they sculpt,” Fahmi told Arab News, adding that she is “amazed by the body’s abilities and powers… the shapes, sounds and stories you can tell.”

But where does it all start? Fahmi says every performance artist has their own unique way of working.

“Each choreographer has his or her own way of creating a dance piece, it can be music, imagery, an idea or even silence that can initiate movement.”
Curator Yasmina Reggad previously told audiences that “performance art is already part of the visual arts landscape in the MENA region (but) in the case of the UAE, performance art is not an art form that is regularly offered to local audiences,” perhaps explaining why Art Dubai chose to focus on the art form so heavily this year.
Art Dubai is dubbed the most global art fair in the world, according to organizers, with the 2017 edition hosting 93 galleries from 43 countries showcasing the works of more than 500 artists.
 The fair is open to the public and set to run between March 15-18.

Art Dubai 2017 picture gallery

The Six: A closer look at some of the artists on show at Art Dubai 2019

Updated 20 March 2019

The Six: A closer look at some of the artists on show at Art Dubai 2019

DUBAI: There are more than 500 artists on show at the region’s largest art fair, set to wrap up on March 23, and we’ve taken a closer look at six of them.

Daniah Al-Saleh

Al-Saleh, winner of this year’s Ithra Art Prize, unveiled her piece, “Sawtam” — Arabic for phoneme, the smallest unit of sound in a language. The artist recorded herself pronouncing all the 28 Arabic phonemes and created visual images of the sound waves of each.

Luis E. López-Chávez

The Cuban artist created a series of carpet-based works while on a 40-day residency in Dubai. He told Arab News that his work is all about merging the public — through allusions to graffiti — and the private spheres.

Samia Halaby

Showcased by the Dubai-based Ayyam Gallery, Halaby is a Palestinian artist who lives in New York and creates stunning, block-printed works that are exploding with color.

Rashed Al-Shashai

Saudi artist Al-Shashai created this lit-up, delicate piece called “Brand 2” in 2019.

Tomas Dauksa

One of the most fun pieces we spotted, “No Limit” by Dauksa featured battery-operated, fantastical, animal-like creations careening across the floor.

Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim

Shown by the Lawrie Shabibi gallery, “Robot 4” is a cardboard and papier-mâché creation that meshed together rudimentary materials with the futuristic concept of robot technology.