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Volkswagen Constellation

People of Means

03.29.13

Writer and artist Douglas with Shumon Basar. Artist Hassan Sharif and Art director Antonia Carver.

IS STRAIGHT out of Inception . right?” Spirito mused last on the staircase of the Salsali Private She meant the city as a whole; having exhausted our capacity to had left us fumbling for cinematic “Don’t you feel like in some B-grade spy thriller?” Tinari asked me later evening, as we took in the schizophrenic from the penthouse of the Index where we’d all gathered for a party thrown by Ayyam Khaled and Hisham Samawi. I correcting Tinari—does it get any more than sipping champagne on a Foster–designed balcony, seventy-two up?—but there was something about this “almost-like, apparition of a city. “Everything like a set piece for one of those people dramas,” I overheard. One suspension of disbelief, one part of gravity.

We may have worked the starchitecturespeak and Koolhaas-isms, but it’s a challenge to pin down a language for about Dubai, a place Urdu (literally) gets you than Arabic or English, you can see “The World” in a single ride, and where outdoor all mysteriously seem to be air-conditioned. all this you have the genuinely Art Dubai, which, though in the Madinat Jumeirah (very Housewives ), has achieved a social and sophistication that belies its setting. The fair’s seventh opened its doors last bringing with it a week of and roundtables, all-night beachfront and penitent morning trips to the Biennial.

Left: The Third Line’s Rahbar and Claudia Cellini. Artist Monir Farmanfarmaian in of a work by El Anatsui.


So on the eve of the big fair, that tippling house in the sky, festivities commenced Gallery Night in the Al Quoz district. Our first stop was the Line, where we were to more of the mirror mosaics had won the eighty-nine-year-old Iranian artist Farmanfarmaian special commendation in From there we dashed to Alserkal Avenue, home to power players like the Private Museum, Grey and Green Art Gallery. Ayyam had a lively crowd with a show of Shurooq Amin. as “popcornographic,” her randy paintings commodity culture, women’s and Surrealism through images of pouty lips, “Pretty The Poseable Dolly,” and blindfolded men tiny black elephants in their palms. (According to the release, this all has something to do divorce.)

Next, we decamped to the International Financial Centre a luxury shopping mall, we were met with a confusion of and bite-size mousses, whipped up by the Muddling through the iBanker we were able to catch Al Dowayan at Cuadro before in on the Moving Museum’s pop-up show “TECTONIC.” The itinerant left its exhibition space raw, its electrical innards in the cold concrete hulls. “We it was more effective in contrast to super slick surroundings,” Simon Sakhai explained, as we over Soheila Sokhanvari ’s of horse and giant inflatable ball.

Tuesday was the official opening of Art as well as a reception for Abraaj Art Prize recipients Vartan Iman Issa. Huma Hrair Sarkissian and Rayyane “There’s a different pace to fair,” a dealer confided, as she me around her booth. “No one is rushing the but sales are definitely happening.” I a few collectors (Maja Hoffmann. Chang. Amy Phelan ), but also a number of international, institutional In the span of two minutes, I saw Tinari Center), Lauren Cornell Museum), Frances Morris Modern), Dirk Snaeuwaert and Chus Martнnez (El Museo del as well as Jйrфme Sans and Vali (curator of this Abraaj Prize).

Left: Richard Chang with Andreй Sfeir-Semler. Right: owner Khaled Samawi .

So were they looking at? eschewed a traditional booth in favor of a reconstituted, antique salon, where they Wim Delvoye’s sculptures of construction and hand-carved tires. (“We it would be the good kind of a director assured me.) Miro pulled together a sampler of Yayoi Kusama ’s while Rodeo highlighted a reassembled mosaic by Christodoulos and Banu Cennetoglu’s collection of from across the Arabic-speaking

“Now, this is a great Andreй Sfeir-Semler said as she Chang toward a gorgeous Adnan painting and away what I thought was a rather Gabriel Kuri installation: two slabs, one affixed to the wall, and one elegantly across the carpet. As I soon learn, both had been attached to the wall the before, with a Lebanese note (roughly three US wedged between them. In the the money was gone, and the second lay strewn in pieces on the floor. The seemed upbeat. “I actually the work proves itself way,” one pretty assistant “Gabriel set up the idea that you get at the money without destroying the and, well, see for yourself.”

Volkswagen Constellation

at Istanbul-based Galeri Non, Derya Demir was also a sunny spin on a tricky as of the press opening, she still determined if her wares had even Turkey. She navigated visitors a series of A4 printouts depicting the (by Erdem Ergaz and Extrastruggle). “I this format,” Demir “People stop to hear you each piece, rather just dashing by.”

Left: Green Art Gallery’s Atassi. Right: Nubuke directors Odile Tevie and Setordji with CCA Lagos Bisi Silva .

As Art Dubai so does its program of commissions, this year included a VIP lounge” (courtesy of Ahmet ) and an official fair sound that riffed on Tchaikovsky’s (Fatima Al-Qadiri ). Martнnez the newly expanded sculpture (with works by Mounir Chris Burden. and Slavs and while CCA Lagos founder-director Silva took over the program, selecting five and nonprofit spaces representative of African “Cities in Transition”: Douala, Sйgou, Accra, and Nubuke Foundation directors Tevie and Kofi Setordji thrilled to be reaching a wider “Our main issue is exposure,” Tevie admitted.

visibility is always at stake. dining souk-side with Coupland. Michael Stipe. and Kamrooz Aram. we opted to a gondola through the canals of Mina A’Salam hotel. On our way we the promenade of restaurants and al fresco like curator Stuart writer Negar Azimi. and Chantal Crousel and Sylvia “Is this what Venice is Coupland asked as we glided the crystal clear, Glade-scented “Almost,” I replied, feebly.

saw the return of the fair’s cerebral the Global Art Forum. Instigated by HG Masters and Shumon Basar, year’s program—cryptically titled “It This”—sought to tackle “definitionism,” the meaning of making more Under this elastic the forum provoked discussions on the debut of Hassan Khan ’s piece Purity ; a teaser for Gonzalez-Foerster and Tristan Bera ’s ode to Bavaria; a group therapy on “Middle East Nervous (MENA); and a panel on “careering” Coupland and Stipe and (of course) Ulrich Obrist. Between the visitors were treated to “commercials” by Abdullah Al Mutairi and Xie. who filmed a group of Chinese schoolgirls singing. “A day / in London Town / had me low / had me down,” chant, pigtails swinging. It wait, what?

Meanwhile, over at the VIP Lounge, a “Terrace Talks” program host to distinguished guests Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi. Yemisi Shyllon. and Haro who was there to talk video art Comer. “It’s easier to with these kinds of when you aren’t actually with them,” Cьmbь#351;yan citing how his family’s New York makes the perfect viewing because they still managed to move in. “Right we have Ed Atkins in what be my son’s room. That may be a bit for a six-year-old.”

I would have to hear more, but I had to cut out to the beachfront of Dana Farouki. who was celebrating Pasternak with a whole Time posse. From I forged on to a backyard barbecue by the Third Line’s Claudia and then back to the beach, Absolut was hosting a late-night party under the lights of the Al Arab. When we arrived at our stop, artist Fayзal was ruling the dance floor, as muses shimmied around breaking out in occasional belly (“Bedouin music,” a girl at the bar it.) Apparently we had just the main event: a collaboration Tarek Atoui and Andrй who would also be performing for the Global Art Forum. (Vida condense Atoui’s entire for his recent Sharjah commission three exuberant minutes). are people who just understand other, without all the complicated Obrist would note “Andrй and Tarek understand other.”

Volkswagen Constellation
Volkswagen Constellation
Volkswagen Constellation
Volkswagen Constellation

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