From digital previews on Zoom and Instagram to socially distanced gallery walk-throughs, the last year saw the art world adapt and survive the virus surge. But 2021 already brings forth a renewed vigour and energy within the art space. The Middle East’s leading art fair, Art Dubai will stage its 14th edition in a purpose-built venue at the iconic Gate Building in Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), 29 March to 3 April 2021.
The art fair will be held at Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) in a purpose-built venue that will ensure the highest COVID-19 safety protocols, creating a secure, safe and flexible environment for participants and visitors.
Held in the strategic partnership with Dubai Culture, Art Dubai 2021 will feature 50 leading Contemporary and Modern galleries from 31 countries, showcasing a diverse selection of artworks, artists and practices, reflecting the multicultural identity of the city.
The platform aims to provide local and international artists with an outlet to express their creativity while promoting Dubai’s local art scene. Alongside galleries from major and emerging international art centres, visitors will encounter galleries from across the Middle East and South and East Asia, including from Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Palestine, Turkey, India, Vietnam and Philippines and a strong representation from across the African continent including galleries from Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco and Tunisia. Representing India, will be Kolkata’s own Experimenter.
Experimenter goes outside the expected imperatives of the Indian art market, highlighting instead an experimental international program of artists. With an ambitious and challenging multidisciplinary approach, Experimenter is an incubator for contemporary artists and mounts interactive installations, multiple channel work, live projects and political interventions that question the fraught and kinetic era we live in. Within a short span of time, Experimenter has garnered international critical acclaim and is looked upon as a pacesetter for contemporary practice from the region.
Some of the artists that will be present on location with the Experimenter are Prabhakar Pachpute, Praneet Soi, Ayesha Sultana, Radhika Khimji and Biraaj Dodiya.
About some of the artists
A Forbes 30 under 30, Biraaj Dodiya’s work involves paintings and sculpture. She is based in Mumbai, India and is interested in the ways in which human beings handle loss, memorabilia, and distance. She is the daughter of the contemporary art world’s most sought-after couple Atul and Anju Dodiya.
Prabhakar Pachpute works with a range of mediums including, drawing, light, stop-motion animation, sound, and sculptural forms. Pachpute often portrays narratives of mining and farming communities, using Maharashtra in his home country of India as a starting point and coupling it with research, to investigate historical transformations from economic, societal, and environmental perspectives. The artist will be part of Art Dubai 2021’s inaugural Remote Participation Programme.
Praneet Soi was born 1971, Kolkata, West Bengal, India. Following studies in India and the USA, Soi moved to the Netherlands in 2002, and divides his time between Amsterdam and Kolkata. His work is internationally recognised for his explorations of socio-political nuances and media representations.
Radhika Khimji’s work is at once a painting, a drawing and a collage; it is also an embroidery and a sculpture. Because it is all of these things a place between many polarities emerges. In evading identification Khimji’s work appears to arise out of identity itself, and the more she tries to escape categorisation the more she finds herself bound within it. Khimji has developed a way of working informed by the physicality and materiality of the making process to deconstruct, evade and erase constructions of formulated identities. She questions categorisation and often plays with terms and the naming of things to generate a new narrative for an object and render it abstract from its loaded history. The formal pursuit to elude and subvert the diminishments of discrete identifications elicits a work of perpetual displacements. Everything has its place, but the inexhaustible drive remains towards articulating the possibility of a kaleidoscopic shifting.