Artists commissioned to produce new site-specific works for Art Dubai Projects include Fayçal Baghriche, Yto Barrada, James Clar, Setu Legi, Magdi Mostafa, UBIK and Deniz Üster.
Fayçal Baghriche, Magdi Mostafa, and Deniz Üster created new works for Art Dubai Projects as part of their A.i.R Dubai residencies.
Fayçal Baghriche developed two site-specific installations. For Nothing More Concrete, situated at Satellite, Alserkal Avenue, he reclaimed plasterboard to produce a monolithic structure, a kind of anti-monument for a fair. Playing with the branding and repetitive overload of the plasterboard packaging, Baghriche seeks out and foregrounds the formalist patterns and structures that emerge. At Art Dubai itself, Baghriche's Nothing More Real was a textural architectural intervention, inspired by the erratic rhythms of the building boom in the emirate.
Fayçal Baghriche, born in 1972 in Algeria, lives and works in Paris. Primarily concerned with performance, photography and sculpture, Baghriche is a collector of narratives and traces and an assembler of objects and films, proposing images that thwart the identification reflex. Baghriche has exhibited widely both in France and internationally including ‘Brooklyn Euphoria’, New York (2004); ‘Architecture of Survival’, Outpost for Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2008); ‘Second Hand’, the Museum of Modern Art, Paris (2010); and ‘The Future of a Promise’ at the 54th Venice Biennial (2011).
Magdi Mostafa develops contextual site-specific, process-based projects that are based on his interactions with the city. During his residency, Mostafa walked Dubai, gathering data and historical research, and recording sounds, allowing his experiences to be shaped by the city’s fluid parameters and geopolitical and economic specificities. In particular, Mostafa sought out outmoded, discarded, or analogue forms that invisibly persist in this cityscape, arguably one of the most contemporary, technologically advanced cities in the world. His installation, or representation of three dimensional sounds, at Art Dubai remixed traditional bread dough machines tahona, altered to knead and whip honey, with an aural cityscape; the work was drawn directly from his residency process and experiences.
Magdi Mostafa, born in 1982, is a Cairo-based artist who works with site-specific, research-driven sound projects, multimedia installations, and experimental music. His work explores the conceptual relationships between sound and space, phenomenological encounters with the urban environment, and the nostalgia of outmoded technologies. Exhibitions include ‘Invisible Presence’, Malawian Museum, Cairo (2009); ‘The One & the Multiple’, La Capella de Barcelona (2010); ‘Sound Cells (Fridays)’, Cairo Opera House (2010).
Taking “reverse functionality” as her method, Deniz Üster constructed three barjeels, or windtowers, dedicated to Istanbul, Glasgow and Dubai, the cities in which she was based and which have shaped her identity and practice. Deconstructing their use, constructing them from found and sourced objects, Üster created a series of monuments that disseminate – rather than capture - sound, scent and texture, and that embody a sense of transition and alchemy. Titled Somewhere in the middle of two; southwest of one, and north of the other, two towers created for the terrace at Art Dubai were complemented by a third located in Bastakiya, the site of Üster’s residency.
Deniz Üster is based in Glasgow and Istanbul. Her work often implies processes of transmutation, paradoxically transforming the utilitarian and valuable into the futile and useless. She draws on vaguely familiar rituals and forms that stem from Anatolian folklore, fused with the antithetical nature of Glasgow, of its post-industrial terrain and scenic beauty. Üster’s work has been featured in ‘Light Courses’, Elgiz Contemporary Art Museum, Istanbul (2010); ‘Encrypting Signs on the Fabric of a Rhizome’, La Giarina Gallery, Verona (2011); ‘Confessions of Dangerous Minds, Contemporary Art from Turkey’, Saatchi Gallery, London (2011), among other
Created by renowned Tangier-based artist Yto Barrada with designers Zid Zid Kids, Morocco to the Moon was an interactive, educational installation for families and children, produced in collaboration with Louis Vuitton. Inspired by 1950s sci-fi -- and featuring astronauts, aliens and space robots -- this trilingual space took visitors on a whimsical trip to outer-space and beyond. Also serving as a unique exploration area for children and astronauts of all ages, the space offered bespoke furniture, fun and innovative play-objects, interactive features, film projections, and stimulating workshops for children run by world-class visiting artists.
Yto Barrada was born in Paris in 1971 and educated in Tangier. She later studied history and political science at the Sorbonne, Paris and photography at the International Centre of Photography, New York. Her recent exhibitions of photography and video include Art Dubai, the Fowler Museum (Los Angeles), the MoMA (San Francisco and New York), Jeu de Paume (Paris), and the 2007 Venice Biennale. In 2006, Barrada was awarded the first Ellen Auerbach Award in Berlin and was shortlisted for the Deutsche Boerse Photography Prize. Her book, A Life Full of Holes – The Strait Project, was published by Autograph ABP in 2005. She is the artistic director and co-founder of the Cinematheque de Tanger. Yto Barrada is represented by Sfeir-Semler.
Zid Zid Kids was founded in 2003 by Julie Klear and Moulay Essakalli in Marrakech, Morocco. Zid Zid’s ambition is to design with an unlimited imagination, blending the magic of play with the beauty of the handmade into each sustainable product and playspace they create. Their work has garnered significant attention and note-worthy awards, including Best Children’s Product at Maison & Objet Paris, and the global entrepreneurship award presented by president Obama.
Jogjakarta-based artist Setu Legi’s major, site-specific installation, Pseudophobia, was part fortress, part refuge created from hand-sewn bags, imported from Yogyakarta and filled with discarded materials. The structure evoked connotations of a shelter in times of war and disaster, and aimed to carve out a place of reflection and perspective within the context of the art fair.
Setu Legi was born in 1971 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, where he lives and works. He graduated from the Indonesian Arts Institute in Visual Communication Design, and is co-founder of the artists’ collective Taring Padi. Legi’s work, mostly in mixed media installation, tends to focus on socio-political and environmental themes. Exhibitions include ‹Achtung!’, Ruang Mes 56, Yogyakarta (2003); ‘Social Realities,’ Pförtnerhaus, Dresden, Germany (2005); ‘Are you ready?’, Kedai Kebun Forum, Yogyakarta (2008).
James Clar and UBIK collaborated to produce Oil and Water, a textural, sculptural rendition of a scale architectural building – an actual high-rise located in Dubai’s business district - immersed in crude oil and water. Taking as their starting point the meticulously composed architects’ plan which, once the building is complete, is rendered mere utopian nostalgia, the work observes the links between Dubai’s property boom, globalisation and the city’s consumer reinvention.
Dubai-based UBIK also presented Portrait of an Artist through his Statements, an edible documentation of the precarious and symbiotic relationship an artist has with his bank balance. The work was a gesture of generosity on behalf of the artist to the Art Dubai community, reflecting UBIK's personal triumphs and daily struggles of being an artist in the region.
James Clar studied film at New York University before joining NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, where he started creating sculptural light pieces; later,
his work began fusing technology, popular culture, and visual information. Resident in Dubai since 2007, working with the arts space Traffic and experimental studio Satellite, his work explores the limitations of various communication mediums and their effect on the individual and society. Recent exhibitions include Art Asia, Miami (2010); ‘THE STATE: SOCIAL / ANTISOCIAL?’, Traffic and The Third Line, Dubai (2011); ‘WESTEND?’, Museum on Seam, Jerusalem (2011); Athr Gallery, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (2011). James Clar is represented by Carbon 12.
UBIK is an Indian artist living and working in Dubai, UAE. Experimenting with a variety of media, UBIK deals with the reactionary absurdities of a “new world order” and explores socio-political issues, often in a conceptual or ironic way. Solo exhibitions include ‘iamwhatiam’, the jamjar, Dubai (2009); ‘Here’s Something to Violate While You’re At It’, Shelter, Dubai (2010); ‘Relate to the Matter As I Drop the Bomb’, Traffic, Dubai (2011).