artists & participants
Abu Dhabi Art is open to the public from Thursday 19 November until Sunday 22 November, open daily 4pm-10pm. Events throughout the day.
Opening reception and preview takes place on 18 November (by invitation only).
The art fair is located in the ballroom and on the terrace of Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi, entrance is free of charge.
For information on the venue please visit www.emiratespalace.com
Abu Dhabi Art is an innovative new platform for modern and contemporary art. Bringing together an exclusive selection of high-level art galleries and innovative emerging galleries from the four corners of the world within an ancient and modern crossroads of culture and trade, Abu Dhabi Art will be a new-model curated art fair, which will reflect the dramatically changing geography of today´s art world.
Organised exclusively by TDIC (Tourism Development & Investment Company) and ADACH (Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture & Heritage), Abu Dhabi Art will be presented under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Featuring an extraordinarily rich roster of special exhibitions, public programmes and cultural events to complement a boutique-style art fair with leading galleries from the United States of America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, Abu Dhabi Art will take place in the capital of the UAE where the already renowned Saadiyat Island Cultural District is taking shape. Abu Dhabi Art will be the must-see event for collectors, artists, designers, art dealers, curators, critics and art lovers from around the world and an integral part of Abu Dhabi’s long-term cultural vision as the Zayed National Museum, the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Museum and the Louvre Abu Dhabi rise on the shores of the Arabian Gulf and build their world-class collections.
DISORIENTATION II: THE RISE AND FALL OF ARAB CITIES
22 November 2009 – 20 February 2010 Manarat Al Saadiyat, Saadiyat Island
ABU DHABI, UAE, 21 November, 2009 – Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) in collaboration with the Sharjah Art Foundation presents Disorientation II: The Rise and Fall of Arab Cities, the first exhibition to be staged on Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island in the new exhibition space Manarat Al Saadiyat. Featuring work by some of the region’s most acclaimed artists, including Kader Attia, Mona Hatoum, Marwan Rechmaoui and Diana Al Hadid, this major exhibition explores the notion of unity and fragmentation in the Arab world. Curated by Jack Persekian, the Artistic Director of the Sharjah Biennial and Director of the Sharjah Art Foundation, Disorientation II will open to the public on 22 November 2009 during the first edition of Abu Dhabi Art, an innovative new platform for modern and contemporary art in Abu Dhabi featuring a boutique style art fair, curated exhibitions and a rich public programme.
“We are committed through our cultural programme to supporting the most vital and stimulating of today’s Arab artists, and are proud to present this important exhibition during Abu Dhabi Art, when artists, curators and collectors from the region and around the world will be here in Abu Dhabi,” stated His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of TDIC and Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage. “Whether we are establishing Abu Dhabi Art, presenting path-breaking exhibitions at Manarat Al Saadiyat and Gallery One at Emirates Palace, or creating the Saadiyat Island Cultural District, we are always focused on making Abu Dhabi a true crossroads of global culture.”
Disorientation II follows a circular path tracing recent social and political history and exploring its manifestations in the art of the region. The starting point of the exhibition is the era of Egypt’s first President Gamal Abdel-Nasser, hailed as “leader of the Arabs” for his advancement of pan-Arab nationalism. Ali Jabri’s (1943-2002) sketchbooks, drawings and renderings from the early 1970s capture the moment when Egypt was at the forefront of the Arab world and the hope for the future that characterized this period. A nostalgia for these times is evident in the works of contemporary artists such as Hala Elkoussy’s “On red nails, palm trees and other icons” (2009), an intimate room interior with hundreds of images, portraits, newspaper clippings and video screens covering its walls.
The short-lived dream of pan-Arab unity came to an end as political factions and Arab nationalism grew until finally, marked by the assassination of Anwar Al Sadat, Egypt’s third President, in 1981, there began a period of political upheaval, war, bloodshed and displacement. The utopian vision of the 1960s and 70s which opens the exhibition is juxtaposed to the situation of loss and discord evident in the Arab world today, through the works of 16 contemporary artists from the region. While the artists work with a wide range of media, from photography and video to installation and performance art, they all share a common sense of disillusionment and frustration over the course of political events that affect their lives.
For his work Telematch Sadat (2007), which takes its name from the famous German television contest from the 70s, Wael Shawky asked a group of village children to reenact Anwar Al Sadat’s assassination. In A Monument for the Living (2001), Marwan Rechmaoui has constructed a large-scale replica of Burj Al Murr, a skyscraper at the edge of Beirut which, used by various militia factions during the civil war in Lebanon, now stands unused and dilapidated but too solid to destroy—a towering monument to the seemingly inescapable cycle of conflict. Meanwhile Monika Borgman revisits the infamous Sabra and Shatila massacre through the chilling confessions of six of the perpetrators. Hriar Sarkissian’s tranquil dawn photographs of empty squares in the Syrian cities of Aleppo, Latakia and Damascus where public executions take place are equally disturbing. Kader Attia’s photographic series Rochers Carrés of young Algerians casting their gazes over the rock boulders to the continent beyond are imbued with a fierce sense of longing for the better future they believe could be found on the other side of the insurmountable boundary of water.
“This flashback to the 1960s and 70s is juxtaposed to our present moment, as expressed through the drawings, collages, photographs, videos, sculptural installations, performances and films of 16 artists from throughout the region. The result is a vision of Arab cities as places where unity and division co-exist,” Jack Persekian stated. “This is not a simple survey of Middle Eastern art, but an exhibition that explores the historical context for issues pertinent to our society today—issues that young artists are grappling with and that resonate with audience throughout the Arab world.”
“The Sharjah Art Foundation is delighted to partner with Abu Dhabi in this important initiative to enrich the cultural landscape of the UAE,” stated Her Highness Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi, President of the Sharjah Art Foundation and Director of the Sharjah Biennial. “We hope that this exhibition will be the first of many future collaborations that help foster understanding and support for the contemporary art of our region.”
The participating artists in Disorientation II: The Rise and Fall of Arab Cities are Ali Jabri, Ayreen Anastas and René Gabri, Diana Al Hadid, Hala El Koussy, Hrair Sarkissian, Kader Attia, Marwan Rechmaoui, Mona Hatoum, Monika Borgmann, Samah Hijawi, Tarek Al-Ghoussein, Tarek Atoui, Wael Shawky, Wafa Hourani and Yto Barrada.
Disorientation II: The Rise and Fall of Arab Cities will be accompanied by a fully illustrated brochure.
About Abu Dhabi Art: Abu Dhabi Art is a major new annual platform in modern and contemporary art, with an introduction to design, organised by Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) and the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. Conceived as a new, boutique-style art fair, it brings together an exclusive selection of leading art dealers and innovative new galleries from the four corners of the world and surrounds them with an exceptionally rich schedule of special exhibitions, public programmes and cultural events. As an integral part of the Emirate’s long-term agenda for transforming the capital, an ancient and modern crossroads of culture and trade, into a global city of the 21st century, Abu Dhabi Art will welcome collectors, artists, designers, art dealers, curators, critics and art lovers from around the world. Abu Dhabi Art will be presented for the first time from 19 to 22 November 2009, as institutions including the Zayed National Museum, the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Museum and the Louvre Abu Dhabi rise on Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island and build their world-class collections.
Abu Dhabi Art is honoured to have the enthusiastic support of HSBC Bank Middle East Ltd as Principal Sponsor. Organizers also thank Associate Sponsors Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) and Audi Middle East, Official Cargo Carrier Etihad Crystal Cargo, Host Sponsor Emirates Palace, and Official Provider Abu Dhabi National Hotels, Apple and Sunraysia Five Star. Media Partners include CNN International, Abu Dhabi Media Company (The National), Bidoun, Canvas, The Art Newspaper, ArtNexus, and TimeOut Abu Dhabi.
Information on Abu Dhabi Art is updated frequently, as the opening of the inaugural edition approaches. For full current details and the latest updates, please visit www.abudhabiartfair.ae.
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only in german
Abu Dhabi Art 2009
22.11.09 - 20.02.10 Disorientation II: The Rise and Fall of Arab Cities
Künstler: Ali Jabri, Ayreen Anastas / Rene Gabri, Diana Al-Hadid, Hala Elkoussy, Hrair Sarkissian, Kader Attia, Marwan Rechmaoui, Mona Hatoum, Monika Borgmann, Samah Hijawi, Tarek Al-Ghoussein, Tarek Atoui, Wael Shawky, Wafa Hourani, Yto Barrada.
Performances: Samah Hijawi, Tarek Atoui
Kurator: Jack Persekian