Art Dubai 2010

Just a small sampling of the works displayed by the galleries at this year’s Art Dubai.

‘In the World but Don’t Know the World?’ by El Anatsui

Susy Gomez and Jorge Mayet – Galleria Horrach Moya

‘Islands are Forever’ by Gigi Scaria

Glamoury in Laleh June Gallery

‘The Table’ by Aj Shemza – 1958

‘Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt’ by Pascal Hachem

‘Topenza’ by Huguette El Khoury Caland

‘Parameter’ by Fahd Burki

‘History of a Myth: The Small Dome of the Rock’ by Kader Attia

Marwan Sahmarani

‘Triptych#6’ by Iman Issa

Burj Khalifa

Today I had the amazing opportunity to lead a VIP tour of the Art Dubai Collector’s Circle to the Burj Khalifa. It was a wonderful group of charming people and we all had a great time, though we ran about 30 minutes over our alloted schedule. We spent a little too much time taking in the lavish Armani Hotel interiors.

Here are a few photos from the observation deck (At the Top) which we had the opportunity to see while it is still officially closed to the public, pending some recent maintenance. We took the freight elevator which is in excellent working order. Even though it is slower than the passenger lifts, the trip to the 124th floor was over before we knew it. At the Top is supposed to open again officially in a week.

We also got a tour of the Armani Hotel. They didn’t want us taking photos unfortunately. It was really elegant and I would stay there if they had a 95% off week sometime.

MinD Opening at DUCTAC

Last evening was the opening of MinD (Made in Dubai). Billed as an alternative art festival and timed to coordinate with the Art Dubai festival this week, MinD focuses on works of art by Dubai residents and the local art scene here.

Aviarium by Elizabeth Monoian and Robert Ferry

Our piece, Aviarium, consists of 12 obedient sugar birds dressed in cellophane watching a video and one similar little sugar bird who tried to get away. The video is a loop of a bird flying multiple times into a window with sound that mixes a David Attenborough commentary on the Lyre bird with the amplified sound of the smacking. The lyre bird is held up as the exemplary overachiever to which all sugar birds would aspire, the ends to which the means it is suggested might be the sisyphean degradation of one’s soul.

When we struggle individually to find meaning for our lives in this complex and interconnected world, we do so with the assumption that our actions are willful—that we have real choices to make between doing what is easy and what is just—in setting ourselves apart as successful and dernier cri, as model citizens and conservationists, as entrepreneurs and progressives. Much like the “Allegory of the Cave” from Plato’s Republic expanded the notion of reality to include metaphysical world, the Aviarium seeks to expand our notion of what is required of us in a contemporary society that has become enlightened to the evolutionary construction of our behaviors and emotions and the seemingly deterministic functions of our neural systems. Perhaps the light of the cave fire is comparable to the ‘light’ of our collective notions of normality that have helped to defined the concept of civilization for all of history.

Mass Produced by Toma Gabor

My Little Pony by Sarah Lahti

Flight by Rebecca Rendell

The Funeral Procession by Michael Bray

Darwin “Japat” Guevarra

Construction series by Hind Mezaina

Fathima Mohiuddin and Karen Dias

Guillermo Munro

Ruja Alexis

Beats by Liz Ramos-Prado

Lantian Xie

GesturoDubai: A Mer-chan Souvenir (live performance and video installation) by Wayne Osborne and Katy Chang

Pidgeon, Barry Anderson