The Return of Art Dubai
Highlights from the anticipated international fair that recovered our connection and senses through art.

One year after its COVID-enforced cancellation, the leading art fair for showcasing local, regional and international artists came back to Dubai ground. This year’s 14th edition of Art Dubai which ran through April 3, took place at the iconic Gate Building at Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

The fair featured 50 galleries from 31 countries with a focus on modern and contemporary art from the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and the Global South. And while the international fair is known for bringing together visitors, dealers and collectors under one roof, what made this year special goes beyond just staging a dynamic in-person event. The world has changed, and art is at the forefront of communicating it. 

With the city becoming a performance ground, several local happenings and site-specific exhibitions took place in tandem across the Emirates. We’ve rounded up our highlights in Dubai throughout the week. 

Neon Sign

Three Wishes, by Harif Guzman

Venezuelan-born, New York based artist Harif Guzman’s show “Three Wishes” is set in the context of now, literally. Guzman, whose work ranges from painting, to sculpture, photography, graffiti, and more produced all the works locally. The exhibition explores our current common global experience, a time of radical shift, fear and uncertainty, and what the three wishes would be in this moment in time. 

“As you get older you’re more comfortable with the techniques, it’s become more about emotion and capturing energy for me now,” explains Guzman. Emotion is not the only thing on display, the works brings human complexity and connection to life. On the one side of The Foundry’s gallery space is the manifestation of the wishes, from Confusion Turns to Clarity, to Granting Beauty, Granting Wisdom, and Granting Health. From Green Man Wishing for Better Things, to Girl That Can’t Decide On A Wish, displayed on the opposite side are colorful interpretations of the people that might have wished them, inspired by Guzman’s time in Dubai connecting with a community of artists, and creatives. 

The Sacred Space Oddity, by Tanya Habjouqa 

Tanya Habjouqa’s The Sacred Space Oddity is an elegiac meditation on the interaction of the physical and psychological space encompassed in the loaded, often effacing, phrase “Holy Land”. The solo show held at Gulf Photo Plus in Dubai’s Alserkal Avenue, challenges media narratives and representations of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Habjouqa explores intimacy through everyday occurrences, from hopes, to fears, and choices.  

The Jordanian-born photographer combines still and moving images, with sound and stereographs in search of a different reality. Habjouqa considers the characters featured in the images to be metaphorical co-authors of the project. The works offer a surreal and multi-layered perspective.

Age of You

It’s an uncomfortable truth to grasp, but we have lost our innocence to data. The rise of the digital landscape has become integral in our lives, but what threat does that bring to ourselves and to one another? Age of You aims to address this global phenomenon. 

Set at the Jameel Arts Centre and curated by three of the most highly respected curators in the art world: Shumon Basar, Douglas Coupland and Hans Ulrich Obrist, along with over 70 visual contributors, the exhibition explores our relationship with digital media in the 2020s. 

Walking through the exhibition is both humorous and equally terrifying, through a mix of emojis, films, and bold statements on the discussion of our online world as an individual and as crowds. The exhibition showcases commissions by Satoshi Fujiwara, Stéphanie Saadé, films by Trevor Paglen and NVIDIA Research, and Craig Green‘s collection and campaign for Moncler fusing menswear and machine, to name a few. 

Age of You is a dangerously extraordinary exploration of the extreme self.

The Return of Art Dubai
Highlights from the anticipated international fair that recovered our connection and senses through art.

One year after its COVID-enforced cancellation, the leading art fair for showcasing local, regional and international artists came back to Dubai ground. This year’s 14th edition of Art Dubai which ran through April 3, took place at the iconic Gate Building at Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

The fair featured 50 galleries from 31 countries with a focus on modern and contemporary art from the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and the Global South. And while the international fair is known for bringing together visitors, dealers and collectors under one roof, what made this year special goes beyond just staging a dynamic in-person event. The world has changed, and art is at the forefront of communicating it. 

With the city becoming a performance ground, several local happenings and site-specific exhibitions took place in tandem across the Emirates. We’ve rounded up our highlights in Dubai throughout the week. 

Neon Sign

Three Wishes, by Harif Guzman

Venezuelan-born, New York based artist Harif Guzman’s show “Three Wishes” is set in the context of now, literally. Guzman, whose work ranges from painting, to sculpture, photography, graffiti, and more produced all the works locally. The exhibition explores our current common global experience, a time of radical shift, fear and uncertainty, and what the three wishes would be in this moment in time. 

“As you get older you’re more comfortable with the techniques, it’s become more about emotion and capturing energy for me now,” explains Guzman. Emotion is not the only thing on display, the works brings human complexity and connection to life. On the one side of The Foundry’s gallery space is the manifestation of the wishes, from Confusion Turns to Clarity, to Granting Beauty, Granting Wisdom, and Granting Health. From Green Man Wishing for Better Things, to Girl That Can’t Decide On A Wish, displayed on the opposite side are colorful interpretations of the people that might have wished them, inspired by Guzman’s time in Dubai connecting with a community of artists, and creatives. 

The Sacred Space Oddity, by Tanya Habjouqa 

Tanya Habjouqa’s The Sacred Space Oddity is an elegiac meditation on the interaction of the physical and psychological space encompassed in the loaded, often effacing, phrase “Holy Land”. The solo show held at Gulf Photo Plus in Dubai’s Alserkal Avenue, challenges media narratives and representations of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Habjouqa explores intimacy through everyday occurrences, from hopes, to fears, and choices.  

The Jordanian-born photographer combines still and moving images, with sound and stereographs in search of a different reality. Habjouqa considers the characters featured in the images to be metaphorical co-authors of the project. The works offer a surreal and multi-layered perspective.

Age of You

It’s an uncomfortable truth to grasp, but we have lost our innocence to data. The rise of the digital landscape has become integral in our lives, but what threat does that bring to ourselves and to one another? Age of You aims to address this global phenomenon. 

Set at the Jameel Arts Centre and curated by three of the most highly respected curators in the art world: Shumon Basar, Douglas Coupland and Hans Ulrich Obrist, along with over 70 visual contributors, the exhibition explores our relationship with digital media in the 2020s. 

Walking through the exhibition is both humorous and equally terrifying, through a mix of emojis, films, and bold statements on the discussion of our online world as an individual and as crowds. The exhibition showcases commissions by Satoshi Fujiwara, Stéphanie Saadé, films by Trevor Paglen and NVIDIA Research, and Craig Green‘s collection and campaign for Moncler fusing menswear and machine, to name a few. 

Age of You is a dangerously extraordinary exploration of the extreme self.

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