Launched in March 2007, the Global Art Forum gathers leading arts professionals to discuss pressing issues that affect art today and that define its future. Under the banner of “Crucial Moments”, this year’s Forum addresses the practical outcomes and theoretical concerns of key themes shaping our contemporary culture.
Supported by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Forum’s four-day programme commences in Doha on 15 March at the Museum of Islamic Art and will be hosted by the Qatar Museum Authority. The Forum offers thought-provoking concepts, such as imagining an ideal future art school, exploring the global trend for temporary museums alongside intimate interviews with international superstar artists, including Indian painter M.F. Husain and Iraqi artist Dia Azzawi. The day also marks the debut of Shumon Basar and Haig Aivazian’s 5000 Friends After the Rolodex, a performative mapping project that traces the progression of the Global Art Forum’s 4-day run.
From 17 to 19 March, Global Art Forum returns to its home at Madinat Beach, Art Dubai for three more days of lively conversation.
MF Husain, Kite, 1952, watercolour, felt tip, and ink on paper
Day 2 on Wednesday 17 March begins with a discussion centred on cultural practitioners who feature historical and archival aspects in their work. This panel, composed of top artists and curators, features 2010 Abraaj Capital Art Prize recipient Hala Elkoussy, whose winning project will be on display at Art Dubai. Wednesday’s programme will also address an impending crisis in global arts writing, with international writers and editors exploring the very real challenges facing media today. Meanwhile, in what promises to be an inspiring discussion, three of the original movers from the vibrant art scene of 1970s Tehran, Tony Shafrazi, Fereydoun Ave and Kamran Diba will reminisce about the days of artistic energy and innovation and the legacy they exert on today's generation of Iranian artists.
Day three, Thursday 18 March, spotlights current trends in art patronage, with a keynote address entitled Building Regional Patronage in a Post-Crisis Moment by noted art patron Omar Ghobash, UAE Ambassador to Russia. Alongside Mr Ghobash’s address, Thursday also sees two panels dedicated to both public and private patronage, highlighting the latest patterns in collectors’ markets from a global array of expertise including Maria Baibakova, Moscow; Dr Farhad Farjam, Dubai; Mohammed Afkhami, Dubai; Alistair Hicks, London and Michael Danoff, New York.
The day also features a rare opportunity to witness the legendary sculptor El Anatsui discuss his astonishing work and career in an intimate conversation with curator Okwui Enwezor. This is followed by an intriguing debate over perceptions of art in Palestine, a 'Palestine Syndrome', questioning how preconceptions and prejudices affect the region's art and how artists within the country relate to each other across geographical and ethnic divides.
The fourth and final day, Friday March 19, starts with another Modernist moment, this time recalling the exciting world of 1970s New York, when artists Vito Acconci, Dennis Oppenheim and Alice Aycock collaborated at 112 Green Street, a seminal space that pioneered performance and installation art practises.
Friday’s programme revisits the notion of patronage, through a fascinating conversation with Don and Mera Rubell, regarded as two of the most prolific and prescient collectors of the past forty years. They are followed by a panel scrutinizing the relationship between patrons and institutions, and how those relationships will shape the growth of museums in the Middle East over the next few years.
The 2010 Global Art Forum will conclude with a final presentation by 5000 Friends After the Rolodex, as Shumon Basar and Haig Aivazian discuss the outcomes of their performative mapping project.
Saeed Al Nabouda, Chief Projects Officer at Dubai Culture, said the Global Art Forum serves as an effective bridge between the arts community and the public, bringing them together for meaningful dialogue.
El Anatsui, In the World But Don't Know the World detail
“Contemporary culture is defined by the arts, and in today’s interlinked world, the arts community globally faces new challenges and opportunities. The Global Art Forum will be a thought-starter in addressing current and emerging cultural realities, providing the artists and the general public with new insights into the local and global cultural scene. The Forum underscores the role of Dubai Culture in educating the community on the arts, promoting inter-cultural dialogue and encouraging creativity.”
Supported by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, the Global Art Forum is free of charge and is hosted by the Qatar Museum Authority. The National is the official media partner of the Forum.
Tickets are now on sale for Art Dubai through www.timeouttickets.com. They will also be available at the door during Art Dubai.