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Abu Dhabi Art 2009 to kick off in November

A new platform for modern and contemporary arts will kick off in the capital next November to reflect the cultural strategy of Abu Dhabi, organizers announced on Monday.

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: A new platform for modern and contemporary arts will kick off in the capital next November to reflect the cultural strategy of Abu Dhabi, organizers announced on Monday.

Abu Dhabi Art, an innovative platform for modern and contemporary art organised for the first time by Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) and Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) under the patronage of General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

The fair, which will be held in November 19 to 22 at Emirates Palace, will bring together an exclusive selection of high-level art galleries from the four corners of the world within an ancient and modern crossroads of culture and trade.

"With the launch of Abu Dhabi Art we will mark a new milestone in the evolution of our capital into a global hub of arts and cultures," said Mubarak Al Muhairi, Managing Director of TDIC on behalf of Shaikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of TDIC and ADACH in a press conference held on Monday at Emirates Palace.

"Our goal is to help make Abu Dhabi a place where our people express their talents in museums, academies, art centers and exchange ideas and insights with other people from around the world," he said.

The fair is one of the initiates that led to the opening of Sa'adiat Island cultural district, which will comprise the Zayed National Museum, the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, a performing arts centre and a maritime museum.

"We are building an audience for the arts and culture- both among Emiratis and among our millions of visitors ... our goal is to engage all sections of society in a variety of artistic disciplines through art exhibitions, music festivals, film screenings, discussion programmes and more," he said.

A number of committees have been formed in support of Abu Dhabi Art, including a Host Committee chaired by Shaikha Salama Bint Hamdan Bin Mohammad Al Nahyan; an International Patrons Committee drawing on the talents of renowned figures in the world of modern and contemporary art; an Abu Dhabi Board, made up of government and cultural leaders; and a special group, which will provide guidance to young and beginning collectors.

Abu Dhabi Art will replace the famous fair Art ParisAbu Dhabi which was hosted in the capital in the last two years in collaboration with Art Paris fair in France “the idea is to bring the two major cultural bodies in the capital together in a major project that reflects the vision and strategy of the capital; so the fair is 100 per cent organised by Emiratis bodies'' Rita Aoun-Abdo, director of cultural department at TDIC.

The fair is a rich platform of cultural events created specifically for the inaugural edition. Many of the programmers have been developed with Abu Dhabi's partners, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, the Louvre, New York University Abu Dhabi and Paris Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi as well as number of other cultural institutions.

Middle Eastern art will be highlighted through an exhibition of works from Middle Eastern artists and curated by Sharjah Biennial Artistic Director Jack Persekian; a showcase of works by leading Middle Eastern galleries; an interactive multimedia archive on Middle Eastern contemporary art, The Bidoun Library and Project Space; and a gallery dedicated to Emirati artists curated by Anne Baldassari, Director of the Musée National Picasso, Paris. Design will also be featured through workshops led by top international designers, the first public atelier for emerging Middle Eastern designers, and panel discussions.