Over 40 international and UAE-based artists included in a dynamic programme of new artists’ and curator’s residencies, commissioned performances, site-specific works and live radio broadcasts 

March 21–24, 2012


Art Dubai Projects is a programme of new works that explores the fabric and economy of an art fair, embracing the theatrical nature of such an event. In 2012, this critically-acclaimed, interactive programme at Art Dubai (21–24 March 2012) features dynamic new initiatives: artists’ residencies and site-specific projects are joined by live, city-wide radio transmissions; a new Performance Night staged at the fair; plus a unique artist’s project for children.

Artists commissioned to produce new site-specific and performative works for Art Dubai Projects include Fayçal Baghriche, Yto Barrada, Carlos Celdran, James Clar, Koken ErgunRami Farook, Setu Legi, Magdi Mostafa, UBIK and Deniz Üster.

In partnership with The Pavilion Downtown Dubai, The Curatorial Delegation—a collective consisting of writer and curator Juan A. Gaitán and Rabat’s L’Appartement 22 founder Abdellah Karroum—presents Radio for Example (R22-Dubai), a live transmission of mobile conversations with leading artistic practitioners, recorded on the move, around Dubai. These interviews will be streamed on Radio Appartement 22 and presented at Art Dubai and The Pavilion.

In keeping with the spirit of collaboration, Art Dubai hosts its inaugural Performance Night on March 22, in partnership with not-for-profit artspace Traffic, Dubai. This special event features artists, poets, musicians, academics, curators, and collectors—most of whom are based in the UAE—including Hala Al Ali, Isak Berbic, Jennifer & Kevin McCoy, Anahita Razmi, Lantian Xie and WolfPakistan, a self-styled “native-born Emirati Indian Slash Mexican dance rap group.”

Art Dubai Projects also presents an ambitious series of commissioned interactive performances. In 2012, selected artists include Manila-based Carlos Celdran, who will perform seven acts in seven different parts of Art Dubai, offering commentary about issues surrounding geopolitics, arts and culture, and Koken Ergun, from Istanbul, whose new project involves surprise performances throughout the fair, employing musicality as a means of communication. 

Created by renowned Tangier-based artist Yto Barrada with designers Zid Zid Kids, Morocco to the Moon is an interactive, educational installation for families and children. Inspired by 1950s sci-fi, this trilingual space takes visitors on a whimsical trip to outer space and beyond.

Other major, site-specific installations include Pseudophobia, an interactive fortress (or refuge)-like structure made from sandbags, textiles, pins and mirrors, by Jogjakarta-based artist Setu Legi.

In 2012, Art Dubai, Delfina Foundation, Dubai Culture & Arts Authority and Tashkeel launched a new, three-month residency programme, for six artists and a curator. As part of their residency, artists Fayçal Baghriche (Paris), Magdi Mostafa (Cairo) and Deniz Üster (Istanbul, Glasgow) have been commissioned to make new site-specific works for Art Dubai Projects.

Also part of its special commissions programme, Art Dubai Projects features Prototype for a Dubai Commune by Rami Farook and Oil and Water, a collaboration between artists James Clar and UBIK: both projects use architectural models of Dubai landmarks as a point of creative departure. Dubai-based UBIK will also present Portrait of an Artist through his Statements, an edible project that documents the precarious and symbolic relationship artists share with their bank balance on a daily basis.

This year Art Dubai debuts The Hatch, an ordinary stairwell given new life as a screening room. This intimate, innovative space features video programmes curated by Bidoun, plus artists’ talks and presentations.

The sixth edition of Art Dubai takes place 21–24 March 2012 and features 75 galleries from 32 countries, plus a dynamic projects programme, the unveiling of works by Abraaj Capital Art Prize winners, and the critically acclaimed, six-day Global Art Forum.

Art Dubai is held in partnership with Abraaj Capital and sponsored by Cartier. Madinat Jumeirah, on Dubai’s beachfront, is home to the event.


Photo: Study for “Oil and Water,” James Clar and UBIK, 2012, Courtesy of the artists and Art Dubai.