Art Dubai announced today the full March 2016 programme and list of contributors for the tenth edition of the Global Art Forum—the annual five-day arts conference known internationally as a particularly innovative platform for contemporary cultural debate.
Titled “The Future Was,” the 2016 Global Art Forum explores the ways in which artists, writers, technologists, historians, musicians and thinkers have imagined—and are shaping—the future, with its customary series of live talks, panels, performances and commissioned projects.
The diverse roster of contributors participating in the March programme includes, among others, curators Glenn Lowry (director of New York’s Museum of Modern Art), Prada Foundation director Germano Celant, the Serpentine’s Hans Ulrich Obrist and João Ribas of the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art; artists Christine Sun Kim, Sophia Al Maria, Monira Al Qadiri, eL Seed, Hito Steyerl and Francesco Vezzoli; Emirati science fiction writers Noura Al Noman and Mohammad Al Hammadi.
Taking place on Madinat Jumeirah’s newly expanded Fort Island during Art Dubai, the Global Art Forum’s March series of live talks examines subjects as various as how museums and artists are working with “the future of the past”; why deserts are the typical landscapes of fictional futures; the archaeology of space; the relationship between the futures and art markets; Swiss-French architectural legend Le Corbusier’s forgotten masterplan for Dubai; our relationship with technology and the cloud; and much more.
“The future isn’t what it used to be, which is why the tenth edition of the Global Art Forum is called ‘The Future Was’,” said Commissioner Shumon Basar. “How did different parts of the world imagine their future fates? Technologically? Culturally? Creatively? Ideas can be time machines—so we’re inviting some of the brightest minds to share their ideas and take us backwards and forwards through time and place.”
Artists play a particular role in the tenth Global Art Forum, and the programme features new commissions, including short films by Qatari writer and artist Sophia Al Maria that speculate on the future of our environment, and a new performance work by Monira Al Qadiri dwelling on the role of oil in all of our futures.
A further new Global Art Forum commission sees the UAE collective WTD reproduce a slideshow of real estate advertisements from Dubai in 2006–7, when Art Dubai and the Global Art Forum began. Christine Sun Kim will present a special performance, while artist eL Seed discusses his new project, exploring the topic of perception in Cairo’s Zabaleen community, with MoMA Director Glenn D. Lowry.
Other contributors, illustrative of the Forum’s typical eclecticism and its capacity to take a “helicopter view” of the arts, include the economist (and co-founder of ITO 33) Elie Ayache giving a talk on “The Future Was The Market”; urbanists and Brownbook founders Ahmed and Rashid bin Shabib; space archaeologist Alice Gorman; writer Sohrab Mahdavi; plus the award-winning South African novelist Lauren Beukes.
The 2016 Global Art Forum launched in January with heavily over-subscribed events at Dubai Design District (d3) and in London in partnership with the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), with 16 speakers—from the Emirati scientists leading the UAE 2020 mission to Mars, to renowned artist John Gerrard, and musicians Hasan Hujairi and André Vida.
Art Dubai’s Global Art Forum is presented by the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) and supported by Dubai Design District (d3). The British Council has kindly supported the appearance of UK-based speakers at the 2016 Forum.
All Global Art Forum programming is free and open to the public.