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Abu Dhabi Art Fair

Manarat Al Saadiyat
November 17,2021 - November 21,2021

November 17, 2021 November 21, 2021

About Abu Dhabi Art  

Abu Dhabi Art expands beyond the notion of a traditional art fair, in placing strong emphasis on a diverse  public engagement programme, including art installations and exhibitions, talks and events that take  place in different locations throughout the year. The culmination of this year-long programme is the Abu  Dhabi Art event in November, which provides an important sales platform for participating galleries  whilst also offering these galleries an opportunity to showcase ambitious installations and site-specific  works by their artists to a wide audience.

Abu Dhabi, UAE, 15 July 2021: Abu Dhabi Art announced today that the guest curators for its 2021  Beyond: Emerging Artists programme will be Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, co-founders of  multidisciplinary curatorial platform Art Reoriented. The curators have chosen three UAE-based  emerging artists – Hashel Al Lamki, Maitha Abdalla and Christopher Benton – to participate this year  and create new commissions for the exhibition in November.  

“We are honoured and delighted to have such distinguished curators as Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath  helming the Beyond: Emerging Artists programme for 2021. With their critical insights into Modern and  Contemporary art from the region, they will bring a deeply informed art-historical context and  perspective to bear on what can be viewed as a new moment for the contemporary Emirati art scene  today,” said Dyala Nusseibeh, Director of Abu Dhabi Art. “The commissioned artists for 2021, Hashel  Al Lamki, Maitha Abdalla and Christopher Benton, are all key voices from within the community and will  be supported by Sam and Till as they realise ambitious new projects for this year’s programme. We are  thrilled that they have accepted the invitation to participate in the programme this year.” 

The commissioned artists each bring a unique perspective to this year’s programme. Al Lamki is  inspired by the evolution of the UAE’s cultural dynamic since the early 2000s, while performance artist  Abdalla explores the real and the imagined using memory and folktales. Benton’s multimedia works span sculpture, photography and film. 

“We are thrilled to be curating Abu Dhabi Art’s 2021 Beyond: Emerging Artists programme,” said  Bardaouil and Fellrath. “The next edition will showcase new commissions by three very diverse artists  whose practices are marked by a truly interdisciplinary approach, in both conceptual reference and  choice of media. Departing from a position of heightened social engagement, and with remarkable  formal inventiveness and intellectual rigour, Maitha, Hashel and Christopher touch upon a number of  pertinent issues that are of significant relevance to the socio-cultural context of the UAE, as well as the  current discourse within the global arts community.” 

Al Lamki said, “I am super excited and thankful to be selected for the Beyond: Emerging Artists programme this year, to be among other great artists that I consider friends and family, and work with  star curators Sam and Till.” He added, “I have known Maitha and Christopher for a long time, we have  a close connection, we discuss our projects and help each other out.”  

Al Lamki’s project for the programme, titled Dice, highlights the patterns of the world, showing that  everything has a rise and fall, and is meant to repeatedly evoke a sense of tension and release. 

Abdalla said, “My work often revolves around local stories, folktales and mythology and explores the  boundaries of these stories through performance. I plan on exploring one of these folktales in particular  this year, a folkloric female character who pushes boundaries and is feared by the community. Working  with Sam and Till will be fantastic, they are curators that I have been following and admiring.”

This material is distributed by Brunswick Group LLC on behalf of the Department of Culture and Tourism –  Abu Dhabi. Additional information is on file with the FARA Registration Unit of the Department of Justice,  Washington, DC.  

Abdalla added, “The body of work I am producing is across multiple disciplines, tackling the conflict  between the desire for freedom and the social limitation in society.” 

Benton said, “The curators Till and Sam have already been incredible mentors and friends, working  with me to challenge and develop my ideas for this commission. It has been a really fun process. I am  presenting a project that is looking at the date palm tree as a symbol for the movement of people, ideas, and products across the world, and across decades. I am envisioning my project as comprising a large scale installation, video and sculpture, and I can’t wait to share what I have been working on this  November.”  

He added, “I am grateful to be part of Abu Dhabi Art this year and to be able to explore untold histories  and journeys through a platform that brings the art world together from around the world in the UAE.” 

Beyond: Emerging Artists 2021 will be on show at Manarat Al Saadiyat from 17 November until 22  January 2022. 

The fair’s upcoming edition will open to the public at Manarat Al Saadiyat from Thursday 18 November  to Sunday 21 November 2021, with an opening reception on 17 November. 

Strict precautionary and hygiene measures will be enforced at Abu Dhabi Art 2021 to ensure the safety  and wellbeing of all participants and visitors. Details of these measures will be announced in due course. 

For more information on Abu Dhabi Art 2021 and its year-round programmes, visit abudhabiart.ae and  follow Abu Dhabi Art on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. 


Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Hwy، Saadiyat Cultural District،
Abu Dhabi,
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