Plants that make sweet music at the Abu Dhabi Art
Plants usually light up a room, or bring a smile to that special persons face, but at this month’s Abu Dhabi Art (ADA), plants will be making sweet music.
No gimmicks and no twists. At this year’s international art fair, unfolding at Manarat Al Saadiyat and the UAE Pavilion from today to November 23, a permanent installation of plants that “sing” will adorn the blue outdoor stage.
The mastermind behind the magic is Fabrice Bousteau who, every year, pushes the boundaries of creativity and imagination at the ADA.
“You can touch them, but I must ask you to be careful because every human being has different electromagnetism, and you might be surprised how the plants react to your touch,” Bousteau, the artistic director of Arts, Talks and Sensations, said.
Now a tradition at ADA, the Arts, Talks and Sensations showcase will have three components this year. The Dunes and Waves, which includes the musical plants, will also present live music performance interacting with video installations.
The Artists’ Waves, another new concept, is showcasing 11 artists with 53 artworks, meant to showcase artists and their creations, as opposed to art galleries, which book the spaces of ADA, exhibiting what they deem appropriate.
Small Is Beautiful, also part of Arts, Talks and Sensations, is an art exhibition with a difference, and was inspired by the theory with the same name published in 1974 by the British economist E.F. Schumacher.
“It is the smallest art fair in the world; a fair within a fair,” said Bousteau.
Arts, Talks and Sensations aside, ADA 2013 has an extraordinary busy programme, packed in just three days, to celebrate art, creativity and the fair’s fifth anniversary.
“No, we are not shifting towards an art show, rather than an art fair. We are hoping the programme and the art galleries will attract key art collectors, and we are also inviting not just major collectors, but also about 20 presidents and curators of important museums and galleries worldwide,” Rita Aoun-Abdo, executive director of the Culture Sector at Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, organiser of ADA, told Khaleej Times.
This November, the art fair has 50 national, regional and international art galleries, 91 per cent of them being returning ones.
For the first time in ADA’s five years history, the Bidaya, (meaning “beginning” in Arabic), an art exhibition space awarded to a young, under three years old gallery, was offered to a UAE art gallery, the Lawrie Shabibi from Dubai.
Founded in 2011, Lawrie Shabibi is promoting the works of relevant and innovative contemporary artists from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.
Another “first” this year is the Architecture Statement, part of the Abu Dhabi Art Design programme.
“Every year we will commission an architect to design a structure that will be exhibited somewhere in the emirate, expanding ADA outside Saadiyat island,” said Aoun-Abdo.
To start with, ADA has commissioned Japanese architect Shegiru Ban, most famous for his works with recycled cardboard. He has designed here a traditional Emirati village souk that will house the projects and works of Emirati designers and craftsmen and women, representing ADA Design.
Poetry, dance, film, community and educational programmes, talks, lectures and workshops will complete this year’s ADA.
Full programme is available on www.abudhabiart.ae.