Art and Culture: Visit Art Dubai 2020 online

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In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 14th edition of Art Dubai, which was to be held at Madinat Jumeirah from March 25 to March 28. has been postponed to next year. But art lovers can still enjoy this major event in the city’s art calendar online. The art fair has developed a special digital programme that includes the 2020 Online Catalogue, a Global Art Forum live broadcast, and an online Performance Programme themed around healing. The digital content launched this week is available on the Art Dubai website and new material will be added in the coming weeks.

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The Online Catalogue contains more than 500 artworks presented by galleries that were slated to participate in the Contemporary, Modern, Bawwaba and Residents sections of Art Dubai 2020. Visitors can browse, filter selections through a range of criteria, and also place purchase enquiries directly with the galleries. In the Contemporary section galleries are showing solo or group shows by emerging and established contemporary artists from around the globe, and the Modern section, curated by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath showcases works by 20 modern masters from the MENASA region. Bawwaba, which means ‘gateway’ in Arabic is curated by Nancy Adajania and features works created over the past year or specifically for the fair by artists from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Iran, Mexico, Cuba, Yemen, Vietnam, and Peru. The Residents section, curated by Johannesburg based Kabelo Malatsie, features works by six artists from Africa, created during a residency in the UAE that was cut short by the pandemic.

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The Global Art Forum’s digital presentation based on the theme “Do You Story?” began on March 25 with a Newshour Special live broadcast dedicated to the stories and narratives shaping the current coronavirus fallout. Hosted by Shumon Basar, the Forum’s commissioner, the programme includes appearances by Dubai based guests such as Turner Prize winner Lawrence Abu Hamdan, creative director of Dubai’s Museum of the Future, Brendan McGetrick, Art Jameel exhibitions curator, Rahul Gudipudi and artists Ana Maria Nicolaescu and Nabla Yayha. More stories will be added over the next few weeks in the form of a Planetary Feed of interviews, insights and personal impressions collected from the Global Art Forum’s alumni of novelists, filmmakers, philosophers, technologists, musicians, historians, artists, curators, and others.

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The performance programme, titled ‘On(line) Healing’, curated by Marina Fokidis, director of Kunsthalle Athena features performative works by Iranian artist Bahar Noorizadeh, Angelo Pleassas from Greece, Tabita Rezaire from French Guiana, Brazilian Tiago Sant’Ana and Sri Lankan Imaad Majeed. It addresses the importance of healing as an art form and an act of togetherness, of thinking, sensing and poetically restoring experiences, processes and memories, besides borders, nations, power asymmetries and other temporal conventions. Through a variety of performances, the artists have brought together science, technology and the spiritual wisdom of diverse cultures to create a restorative online space for collective therapy in these challenging times.

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Art Dubai 2020 digital programming is available at

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