© lombard freid gallery / mounir fatmi - i like america  - painted jumping poles, ladders in metal
since its inception in 2007, the annual art dubai art fair has not only contributed to a more sophisticated image of dubai but also to a valuable infrastructure that indirectly sustains a more diversified economy. the middle eastern boomtown has an endless array ambitions and becoming a global hub in art and design is merely one of them. founded by ben floyd and john martin, the event has evolved into the region's leading art gathering and has helped to shape a new infrastructure and mindset for the emirate. at the very heart of art dubai obviously is the showcase of art work by leading art galleries around the planet. there are no less than 75 galleries present, including yvon lambert [paris], the running horse [beirut], galerie hussenot [paris], the third line [dubai] and lombard freid projects [new york]. these works will not only be shown on the expansive premises of madinat arena, the event's main location, but also on the nearby beach.
the latter's location is where the specially curated sculpture on the beach will be held. for this year's marker program, art dubai has invited lagos-based curator bisi silva to select and work with directional galleries and artspaces located in west africa. linked to this program is the showcase of two large-scale textile installations by contemporary malian artists, reflecting personal and political responses to mali’s urban realities and traditional heritage. and last but not least, there's an elaborate program of other curated projects, including artists’ and curators' residencies; commissioned site-specific and performative works, a pop-up radio network, a city-wide touring gallery and also the exhibition of works by the winners of the annual and highly coveted abraaj group art prize [on through mar 23]. main location: madinat arena, al sufuh road [umm suqeim].
© art dubai / joe namy - half step  - performance, video