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Art Dubai

Art Fair
Art Dubai to Launch Marker (21.2.2011)
  This March, Art Dubai will launch MARKER, a new platform for experimental art spaces from Asia and the Middle East to showcase projects by emerging artists at the fair in 2011. The section is curated by Nav Haq, and it includes five ‘concept stands’ that each respond to the phenomenon of the art fair as a mirror of contemporary society, and will reflect on the realms of commerce, entertainment, education and aesthetics.

The five art spaces taking part in MARKER are: Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum (Alexandria, Egypt), GREY NOISE (Lahore, Pakistan), Liu Ding’s Store (Beijing, China), Makan (Amman, Jordan) and Ruangrupa (Jakarta, Indonesia). Each organisation will present new projects that have been conceived specifically for Art Dubai.

“Through MARKER, Art Dubai aims to champion innovative arts spaces and provide exposure and opportunities for the next generation of artists from the MENASA region,” stated Art Dubai fair director Antonia Carver. “This platform links the dynamic artists projects commissioned by Art Dubai with the gallery halls, and is another point at which international curators and collectors meet the arts scenes of Asia and the Middle East.”

“The art fair is an example of an experience economy par excellence, embodying the realms of escapism, entertainment, education and aesthetics,” says Nav Haq. “It will be negotiated as a particular kind of convergence – an abounding space of exchange for people, brands, art, money and ideas.”

Punctuating the gallery halls, these five spaces are literally ‘marked out’ from the other commercial spaces, presenting specific projects that reflect upon the fair. The projects are as follows:

- Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum will present the second installment of its long-term text project The ARPANET Dialogues, an archive of rare conversations within the contemporary social, political and cultural milieu. Excerpted from a series of dialogues that began in 1975 and took place over the U.S. Department of Defense’s experimental instant messaging application ARPANET, the project presented at Art Dubai will feature a 1976 conversation between economist Samir Amin, anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko, political economy Ph.D. candidate Francis Fukuyama and architect Minoru Yamasaki.

- GREY NOISE will present two separate but related projects by Lahore-based artists Saira Ansari and Mehreen Murtaza that reflect on consumer culture. Ansari’s piece, The Complete ‘Pakistani Art’ Dinner Set, depicts clichés taken from Pakistani art such as men on horseback, geometric patterns and guns, using silhouettes in the style of traditional 18th century portraits. Murtaza’s work, Tastes Like Futurism, consists of a series of photographic images that depict the role of food in a future civilization where, over time, humans have begun engineering culture using patterns of consumption as a basis for creating social concepts.

- A roving platform that reflects on the notion of value and the complex politics of valuation in the art market (Liu Ding’s Store) will consist of two components at Art Dubai. In Home and Make Real the Priceless in Your Heart, the artist will sell a series of deliberately unfinished landscape paintings. Made in a factory according to the artist’s specifications and signed by Liu Ding, customers will be offered the opportunity to finish the painting themselves. Conversations is a section of the store that will organise private dialogues led by the artist with other artistic and cultural practitioners. In collaboration with curator Carol Yinghua Lu, each day of the fair will include a schedule of conversations with collectors, critics, curators and dealers, who in return for their participation will receive one of Ding’s paintings.

- Makan’s project reflects the community-oriented nature of the teams collaborative projects and residency program. They have opened a pop-up bar, to serve a range of complimentary drinks at a fixed time each day, and will use these opportunities to lead impromptu themed discussions with attendees.

- Ruangrupa’s Mini OK-Video Festival will present highlights from this biennial event that they launched in 2003, featuring, which has become an important event in the South East Asian art scene. The video works presented will be selected from across the festival’s various incarnations, and will present work from Indonesia and beyond.
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