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Tiga in Dubai on 18th December 2014



Fans of electronica music rejoice, renowned DJ, producer and record label owner Tiga will be in Dubai on Thursday, 18th December 2014 for the opening of O2 Night Club in Sofitel the Palm Jumeirah.


Tiga James Sontag (born 1974 in Montreal, Canada) is a Canadian musician, DJ and record producer of electronic dance music. Tiga has released two albums entitled Sexor and Ciao! Sexor won the 2007 Juno Award for Dance Recording of the Year. Tiga released a selection of compilations in the early 2000s, featuring mixes such as American Gigolo, DJ-Kicks: Tiga and, Mixed Emotions, which put him on the map as one of "the world's best mixers".

Tiga has remixed songs from the likes of The xx, LCD Soundsystem, The Kills, Cabaret Voltaire, Scissor Sisters, Peaches, Moby, Depeche Mode, Justice, Friendly Fires and Mylo.

As a solo artist, Tiga released "Sunglasses at Night" with Finnish producer Jori Hulkkonen (aka Zyntherius). The single reached number 25 in the UK Dance Chart. 


More info about the night can be found here. To get you in the mood, here are some of my favourite Tiga remixes. 







Event details
Date: Thursday, 18th December 2014. Doors open at 8pm.
Ticket: AED 100 via and AED 150 on the door. 
Event page on Facebook



The Object as Mediator by Robbert&Frank/Frank&Robbert at The Mine

The Mine
is an art space which opened last year in Dubai which exhibits work ranging from video and audio installations to painting, photography, sculptures and fashion. 

On Tuesday, 16th December 2014, The Mine will present "The Object as Mediator" by artistsRobbert&Frank/Frank&Robbert, who incorporate visual art, video, theatre and interaction in their performance art.

For their forthcoming performance at The Mine, the pair; inspired by the space’s concept and raw industrial décor, will focus their attention on the concept of portability. The idea that an object is defined by its origin and functionality may be altered by its usage in space and time, giving the object a new context and thus distorting our very perception of it. 

They will explore the theory that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, if an object’s parts are dismantled and reassembled differently, our identification, and interpretation of the object reshapes our sensory information. R&F F&R have often re-used some of their creations, perpetuating the idea that objects are in a constant state of evolution.   

The associative performance will include the superimposition of various video projections, live installations which will see their activation as they are unveiled and manipulated to fit different interpretations and performances during which viewers will be invited to take part.  

Event details

Date: Tuesday, 16th December 2014, 6.00-9.00pm
Venue: The Mine, Street 8a (Opposite Al Serkal Avenue), Warehouse 38, Al Quoz 1, Dubai, UAE
Phone: +971 (0) 4 379 1704
Free entry.


Artscape: An Evening of Light & Music featuring Hassan Khan, Fatima Al Qadiri and Shadi Megallaa

Hassan Khan - Dom Tak Tak Dom Tak, light & sound installation (2005)

On Thursday, 11th December, Manarat Al Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi will be hosting a night of live electronic music, part of Artscape: An Evening of Light & Music. The night is part of the exhibition Seeing Through Light: Selections from the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Collection which is on till 19th January 2015. 

The night will include artist, musician and writer Hassan Khanwho is also one of the artists in Seeing Through Light exhibition (pictured above), artist and musician Fatima Al Qadiri and DJ Shaadi Megalla

The performances are scheduled between 8.00pm and midnight. But I suggest you turn up earlier, to visit Seeing Through Light exhibition. Entry is free for the exhibition and the performance (but you will need to register in advance for the performance, send an email to 

It's not often we get nights dedicated to electronic music, especially one featuring such a range. If you're in the neighbourhood, don't miss this.
Here's the program for the night:

Hassan Khan - Taraban
8.00pm - 9.00pm, Fanr Garden 

Hassan Khan will perform his piece titled ‘Taraban’. The starting point for this set are two early 20th century Egyptian songs by Youssef El Manialawy.

Khan has worked with classical Arabic musicians (oud, qanoun, violin and riqq) and singers to lay down melodic patterns developed from the modes and transitions used in the original songs to produce a new re-articulation of these pieces.

Fatima Al Qadiri - 
21:15-22:00, Fanr Garden 


Fatima Al Qadiri’s performance will include her debut album titled Asiatisch, which is an homage to that quietly influential sub-strain of grime, often loosely termed ‘sinogrime’, due to its preoccupation with Asian motifs and melodies.

The music on Asiatisch revolves around the fantasies of east Asia as refracted through pulpy Western pop culture, in particular, Hollywood, literary fiction, music, cartoons and advertising.

Here's one of the tracks from Asiatisch:

Shadi Megallaa - Reflections of Light 
22:15-00:00, Fanr Garden 


Shadi Megallaa will perform his set titled Reflections of Light that is comprised of elements and sounds derived from nature.

Here's one of the tracks: 





Event details
Date: Thursday, 11th December 2014 from 8.00pm till midnight
Venue: Manarat Al Saadiyat, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi (location map)
Free entry, but prior registration is required, send an email to   



My Top 25 Picks of Films for Dubai International Film Festival 2014

The 11th edition of Dubai International Film Festival is back this month from 10th-17th December 2014. Last year's 10th anniversary edition was one of it's strongest and was curious to see how the festival would top itself in 2014.

But amidst rumours of downsizing and budget cuts during the past year, DIFF recently announced the budgets of the festival have been redistributed to focus on new initiatives, shifting from funding films to finding new distribution channels for films to be seen outside beyond the festival circuit, as reported  here and here

"We’ve been discussing this change for three years. We would have done it last year but because it was our 10th year we decided to go big, then relook at the entire strategy of the festival. We’re all really excited about where we’re going now. 

We want to focus on the business base of the industry. Up until now we’ve done a lot of work on the development side and that isn’t really a festival’s job.

We’re working on building links with all the main regional distributors, we’re expanding our Cinetech arm, where the industry can watch, buy and sell films online. We want to be a business destination for films, that’s where we’re headed.  Shivani Pandya, DIFF Managing Director  (via The National)


If the festival budget cuts means there will be a focus on bringing a wider range of films to our cinemas, television and even online, then I'm not complaining.

This year's edition is smaller with 118 films (compared to 174 last year) from 48 countries. Overall, the choice of films do feel toned down, opening with The Theory of Everything and closing with Into the Woods

Venues this year include the usual, Madinat Arena and Madinat Theatre (in Madinat Jumeirah) and VOX Cinemas in Mall of the Emirates, plus a new venue, free open air screenings (one film every evening) outside The Beach mall in Dubai Marina

Lots of the sreenings start later in the day, with too many screening at the same time, making it difficult for film festival nerds like me to pack in as many as we can. Looking at the schedule, on most days, I will only be able to see two films, sometime three (compared to previous editions where I'd watch four, sometimes five a day). 

But maybe this year's edition isn't targetting the film festival nerds. The film selection definitely feels more commercial cinema and less arthouse cinema. I was hoping Jean-Luc Godard's Goodye to LanguagePawel Pawlikowski's IdaPaul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice or Mike Leigh's Mr Turner would be included in this year's line up, but alas...  

After going through this year's line up, here's my list of top 25 picks in alphabetical order and why I selected them. The list covers films from all the categories, (except the short films). I hope I get to see as many as I can. The complete line of films can be found here and the schedule can be found here


Beats of the Antonov

About how the people of the Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains in Sudan are dealing with civil war and the role of traditional music. 

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

This film has been receiving rave reviews since its its premiere at the Venice Film Festival this summer. It recently won best feature and best actor at the Gotham Independent Film Award. Most importantly, it has Michael Keaton as a "washed-up actor who once played an iconic superhero must overcome his ego and family trouble as he mounts a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim his past glory". 


Coffee For All Nations

Abed set up a coffee shop in Al-Walaja village near Bethlehem, in a spot surrounded by settlements but could still be reached by Palestinians, Israelis and foreigners. Through his coffee shop, "Abed turned his own tragedy into a transformative project..." 

The Crow's Egg

Two young brothers living in the slums of Chennai in India on a mission to taste pizza from the newly opened chanin "Pizza Stop". A commentary on consumerism, globalisation and class.  



You will need tissues for this. Based on true events that took place in Shenzen, China, about child abduction, the aftermath of parents dealing with a missing child and never giving up on searching. The third act in this film was unexpected. It's heartbreaking on so many levels. I watched this at a press screening yesterday, so I strongly recommend you don't miss this. 


Waleed Al Shehhi's film covers stories told over the course of 24 hours, about "three separate worlds that are ostensibly intertwined deep within one social community: femininity, masculinity and childhood", I am curious to see how this gets translated onto the big screen. 


This is Pakistan's entry for the 87th Academy Awards Best Foreign Film. It's about child marriage and a mother trying to protect her daughter. I suspect there will be lots of heartache in this film.



Loosely based on the life of director Mia Hansen-Løve's brother Sven, the film follows the developmemt of French electronic music in the 1990s. Great soundtrack guaranteed for all lovers of French electro. 

A Few Cubic Meters of Love 

Inspired by a true story, this film is set in the outskirts of Tehran. It's a love story and a look at relations between asylum seekers from Afghanistan and Iranians. 

Force Majeure (Turist)  


About a Swedish family on a skiing holiday in the French Alps. A decision made by the father during an avalanche that had diners from a mountainside diner running for their lives will effect his family, leading to some unwanted consequences. The film won the Jury Prize in Un Certain Regard earlier this year at the Cannes Film Festival. 



This film has been receiving high praise ever since it was first screened at Cannes where it won Best Director. I've been itching to watch it ever since. 

I am Nujoom, Age 10 and Divorced 


A second film about child marriage, this one is set in Yemen and is about the child going to a lawyer and asking for a divorce. Can't wait to see this. 


Letter to the King


Five stories about a group of refugees set in a day in Oslo, Norway. I've read good things about this film, so curious to see it. And it is set in Norway. Anything set in the Nordic region is usually a must see for me. 



A look at the Ukrainian civil uprising in the winter of 2013/14. There are no talking heads here, just its director Sergei Loznitsa's combination of "classical filmmaking and documentary urgency". 



A fiesty widowed single mother, her 15 year old son that suffers from ADHD and the ex-teacher neighbour. It looks chaortic, crazy, funny and touching. Mommy won the Jury Prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival. 

A Most Violent Year

It was named best film by National Board of Review a couple of days ago. Will be released in the US on 31st December 2014 and the UK will get it in January 2015, so this will be its international premiere.  


Nearby Sky


Nujoom Alghanem's documentary about Fatima Ali Alhameli, the first Emirati female camel owner to enter her camel in the UAE's camel beauty pageant competition and participate in Abu Dhabi’s camel auctions. Standing up to her male counterparts, she looks like a strong and determined woman. High five to her. 


Our Metropolis 


A portrait of Bangalore that is being reshaped to be a "world class metropolis". This documentary looks at how this change is impacting the lives of people living there, their relationship to the city and what does the transformation mean to them. It reminded me of what's happening in Dubai, so curious to see how the people in Bangalore are dealing with these issues.  


The film synopsis says it all: 

Nelly Lenz, a concentration camp survivor, has been left severely injured with a disfigured face. Following facial re-construction surgery, Nelly begins the search for her husband Johnny. When she finally does find him, Johnny does not recognise her. Nevertheless he approaches her with a proposal.

Since she resembles his wife, whom he believes to be dead, he asks her to help him claim his wife's considerable inheritance. Nelly agrees, and becomes her own doppelganger. She needs to know if Johnny ever loved her, or if he betrayed her. The more she reveals similarities to her dead counterpart, the more desperate and confusing their relationship becomes. 

Red Army 

About the Red Army ice hockey team, the Soviet Union and the "most successful dynasty in sports history". About the team's captain, Slava Fetisov who was transformed from national hero to political enemy. The Cold War played out on the ice rink.  


The Sea is Behind  

Another film where the synopsis intrigued me.

Tarik lives in a land without colour, a land where water is contaminated by a strange phenomenon of “water bugs”. Tarik wears make-up and dresses up as a woman. He dances on a cart that is drawn by a dying horse and his father has practically abandoned him.

One day, Tarik’s horse Larbi stops in the middle of a procession and refuses to take another step forward. Tarik will have to learn to live again and surrender to the colours of his life, which is the only way to escape the dullness of the world around him.


The Sleeping Tree 


An estranged couple with a sense of loss, but also looking for hope. Curious to know the role of the mysterious tree the film is named after. 

Trip Along Exodus 

In this documentary, its director Hind Shoufani traces her father's life and to understand some of the choices he made. He abandoned his life in US as an academic to join the Palestinian revolution of the 1970s, to create an opposition to Arafat’s mainstream policies of settlement.

Covering the period between 1948 and today's war-torn Syria, it includes interviews, archival footage and found material. It also includes some scathing commentary about the politics and the state of the Arab world. 

What we do in the Shadows 

A mockumentary about three vampires trying to get by in modern society. I love mockumentaries. 


Wild Tales 

A black comedy about six people who are stressed or depressed by "the drive for success, competition and the inequality of the world we live in". It's also Argentina’s submission to the 87th Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Film category. 



[image via] 



UAE National Day 2014

I've just come back from a two week trip (Paris and Amsterdam), so I missed out on all the UAE National Day activities leading to today. It feels the celebrations get bigger and bigger each year. 

There's a lot online about UAE's 43rd National Day, but here are two links I recommend you look at.  


1. Ten things you probably didn't nknow about the United Arab Emirates by Alexander McNabb is worth a read. Not only is it informative, it's an enjoyable read. One of my favourite parts: 

The founding of the UAE required a window exit.
The UAE’s independence and status as a nation were confirmed by the signing of a treaty on the 2nd December 1971 in the round building located in Jumeirah One known today as ‘Union House’. Because of the press of the crowd, the signatories (The British Political Resident and the Sheikhs of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Qawain and Fujairah - Ras Al Khaimah didn’t join the UAE until the 10th February 1972) had to leave for lunch after the signing by exiting through a window.

Read the full post here


2. The National Archives of the United Arab Emirates has partnered with Google Cultural Institute for an online exhibition of photos and videos about the establishment of the United Arab Emirates. There are some good photos, but not enough detailed and informative text. 



When I returned to Dubai last night, the Immigration Officers at the airport were giving out flowers to celebrate the occasion. I thought it was a cute gesture. 






Happy 43nd National Day to the UAE. If in the country, enjoy the holiday. 


Film screening: Björk: Biophilia Live and When Bjork met Attenborough


DUCTAC in Dubai is hosting a free screening of Björk's concert film Biophilia Live and the documentary When Bjork met Attenborough on Friday, 5th December at 5pm. 

The screening will take place in Kilachand Studio Theatre and admission is free, but you must register to attend (send an email to 

I must say it's a missed opportunity not to screen the films in DUCTAC's main hall, Centrepoint Theatre which I personally think is more suited for a film like Biophilia Live. Nevertheless, it's great the film will be screened here. It's received very good reviews and whether you're a Bjork fan or not (and how could you not be), don't miss the film and the documentary. 


Biophilia (duration: 97 mins) 


Biophilia Live is a concert film directed by Peter Strickland and Nick Fenton and produced by Jacqui Edenbrow that captures the human element of björk’s multi-disciplinary multimedia project: Biophilia.

Recorded live at Björk’s show at London’s Alexandra Palace in 2013, the film features Björk and her band performing every song on ‘biophilia’ and more using a broad variety of instruments – some digital, some traditional, and some completely unclassifiable.

The film has already been hailed as “a captivating record of an artist in full command of her idiosyncratic powers” (Variety) and “an imaginative stand-alone artwork” (Hollywood Reporter) and is a vital piece of the grand mosaic that is ‘Biophilia.’



When Bjork met Attenbourough (duration: 48mins)

Björk and Sir David Attenborough have long admired each other's work. In this remarkable documentary they explore our relationship with music and how it exists in the natural world.


If you can't make it, or not in Dubai, you can download/stream the film and the documentary here



Event details
Date: Friday, 5th December 2014 at 5pm (there will be a 20min break between the two films)
Venue: Kilachand Studio Theatre, DUCTAC, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai
Free admission, but registartion in advance is necessary. Send an email to  


My Top 25 Picks for IDFA 2014 

The 27th edition of IDFA (International Documentary and Film Festival in Amsterdam) will take place from 19th-30th November 2014. I will be there for most of it (my first time attending this festival) and looking forward to marathon documentary viewing sessions.  

This year's edition includes around 300 films, and special themed sections including DocLab: Immersive Reality, The Female Gaze, Of Media and Men and Heddy Honigmann Restrospective.
Here are my top 25 picks: 

Act and Wind
Marcelo Masagão, Brazil, 2014, colour / black and white, DCP, 72

The Act of Killing and The Look of Silence 
Joshua Oppenheimer, Denmark / England / Norway, 2012, colour, DCP, 159'
Joshua Oppenheimer, Denmark / England / Indonesia / Norway / Finland, 2014, colour, DCP, 98' 


These two films go hand in hand, and if you get a chance, try to see them back to back.  

Laura Poitras, USA / Germany, 2014, colour, DCP, 112' 

F for Fake
Orson Welles, France / Germany / Iran, 1974, colour, DCP, 89' 

Finding Fela
Alex Gibney, USA, 2014, colour, DCP, 119' 

Focus on Infinity
Joerg Burger, Austria, 2014, colour, DCP, 80' 


From Caligari to Hitler 
Rüdiger Suchsland, Germany, 2014, colour / black and white, DCP, 115' 

This richly illustrated film essay presents the Weimar Republic (1918-1933) as an exciting period in which the young art of film underwent reveloutionary developments. 

The Great Museum
Johannes Holzhausen, Austria, 2014, colour, DCP, 94'

The Green Prince
Nadav Schirman, England / Israel / Germany, 2014, colour / black and white, DCP, 95'

In the Basement
Ulrich Seidl, Austria, 2014, colour, DCP, 81'

In the Basement seeks to depict Austrian's relationships with their basements and to define the specificities of Austrian basements – and if in fact such specificities exist. A filmic exploration of the daily lives of Austrian basements, the film will both unearth answers and throw up new questions, thereby shedding light on the hidden underground. 

Love is All: 100 Years of Love and Courtship
Kim Longinotto, England, 2014, colour / black and white, DCP, 70'

Me Girl, Me Princess
María Aramburú, Valeria Pavan, Argentina, 2014, color, DCP, 47'

Night Will Fall 
Andre Singer, USA / England / Israel, 2014, colour / black and white, DCP, 85' 

A powerful reconstruction of the creation of a documentary about the German concentration camps. Edited by Hitchcock, the film was never shown. 

Our City 
Maria Tarantino, Belgium / The Netherlands, 2014, colour, DCP, 83'


Paris is Burning
Jennie Livingston, USA, 1990, colour, 35mm, 71' 
A gorgeous portrait of ball culture in 1980s New York. 

The Possibilities are Endless 
Edward Lovelace, James Hall, England, 2014, colour, DCP, 83' 

Profession: Documentarist
Farahnaz Sharifi, Firouzeh Khosrovani, Mina Keshavarz, Nahid Rezaei, Sahar Salahshoor, Sepideh Abtahi, Shirin Barghnavard, Iran, 2014, colour, DCP, 80'

La Rabbia 
Pier Paolo Pasolini, Italy, 1963, black and white, 35mm, 52' 

In this poetic film essay, the first installment of a two-part project, the Marxist Pasolini analyes modern life and offers a scathing critique of Europe. 

Regarding Susan Sontag
Nancy Kates, USA, 2014, colour / black and white, DCP, 100'

Salaam Cinema
Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Iran, 1995, colour, video, 75'

Mohsen Makhmalbaf's comical look at a hidden part of Iranian culture, in the form of a series of real casting calls with wannabe actors. 

The Salt of the Earth
Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, Wim Wenders, Italy / France, 2013, colour, DCP, 110' 

Story of Night
Clemens Klopfenstein, Switzerland / Germany, 1979, black and white, 16mm, 63' 

An experimental ode to the city, a visual poem without text or narrative, composed of night scenes from 150 cities.  

Tristia - A Black Sea Odyssey 
Stanislaw Mucha, Germany, 2014, colour, DCP, 98' 

A journey along the banks of the Black Sea gives a kaleidoscopic impression of how the populations of seven adjoining countries see the world.  

We Come as Friends
Hubert Sauper, France / Austria, 2014, colour, DCP, 105'

QUOZ Arts Festival 2014


The third edition of QUOZ Arts Festival is on this Saturday, 8th November 2014 from 10am - 10pm. The all day event will include exhibition tours, performances, talks and film screenings - all free to enter. The complete schedule and map can be downloaded from here

The community-based event returns with an expanded programme, which will offer public events spanning design, music, art and film, across 45 creative spaces in Al Quoz’s arts district. Running from 10am till 10pm, the festival is free to attend and is open to all, making it a great initiative for the community to get involved in the local arts scene.

This year’s line-up will include live art and public murals by local artists, workshops, film screenings, gallery openings, live music performances and a street food market. Dedicated family-friendly events and workshops will take place through the day catering to children and parents alike.


Whilst most of the participating spaces are within walking distances, there are a few that aren't. There will be free QUOZ branded shuttle buses available for pick up and drop off from Times Square Mall and First Gulf Bank Metro Station to the various Quoz Arts Festival participating spaces.   


I won't highlight any specific exhibitions because they are all worth visiting (complete list of galleries can be found here), but I will highlight some of the events and spaces that are worth checking out. 


Satellite (10.00 am - 10.00 pm)
You will find a selection of art, publications, music and t-shirts by Barbu, Digital Gravel DXB, LovePrint. Satellite can be found in Alserkal Avenue.

Film screenings at Art Sawa (11.00am - 8.00pm) 
Art Sawa will sreen 3 artist-based film screenings throughout the day.

Pollock at 11.00am 

Basquiat at 4.40pm 

Love is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon at 8.00pm  

Sound Art Performance with Fari Bradley and Chris Weaver at Gallery Ward (4.30pm - 5.00pm)

Demo at Gulf Photo Plus of tintype portraits by Antonie Robertson (5.00pm - 6.00pm) 
Exhibiting artist Antonie Robertson will walk viewers through the tintype photography process by capturing portraits live on site at Gulf Photo Plus. You will also get a chance to see his solo exhibition, The Slow Portrait - UAE Tintype Photography.

Artist Talk at A4 Space (5.00pm - 6.00pm)  
Artists Lynne Heller and Jackie Calderwood will present a talk on ‘Engines of Difference’, a site-responsive project using tourist transportation and the geography of Dubai. 

Improv Theatre at The Courtyard Playhouse (6.30pm - 9.00pm)
Drama fans are invited to watch a showcase by the Geoffrey Dolan workshop participants from 6.00pm - 7.30pm, and the interactive and unpredictable show "Maestro" from 8.00pm. 

Film screening at A4 Space (7.00pm - 10.00pm)   
Dubai International Film Festival present ‘Hopper Stories’, a unique series of short fiction films inspired by the extraordinary work of American painter Edward Hopper.  




Event details
Date: Saturday, 8th November 2014 from - 10.00pm
Venue: Al Quoz, Dubai (location map
Detailed map and schedule of events. Free branded shuttles will be available for pick up and drop off from Times Square Mall and First Gulf Bank Metro Station to various Quoz Arts Festival participating spaces in Alserkal Avenue and Al Quoz.




QUOZ Arts Festival 2014 




Abu Dhabi Art 2014 

Dan Flavin, untitled (to Virginia Dwan) 2, 1971. blue, yellow, pink, and red fluorescent light. 8 ft. (244 cm) wide across a corner. CL no. 278

The sixth edition of Abu Dhabi Art is on this week from 5th-8th November 2014. The fair will include international and local galleries, a series of talks, performances, large scale installations and a first look at artworks acquired specifically for Guggenheim Abu Dhabi collection. The complete schedule of events can be found here.

I missed Abu Dhabi Art last year, so I'm looking forward to attending this year, especially the talks and performances.

Here's what to expect: 


Art Talks

This year the programme is inspired by the “life” of Modern Museums, including the future museums of Saadiyat Island, as spaces of education, performance and experience. 

Reflecting on these themes will be a Louvre Abu Dhabi: Talking Art Series panel featuring Jean NouvelErnesto Neto and Vincent Pomarede titled “Museums as Sites for New Experiences”, and a playful lecture-performance by Martin Creed titled “What is Art?”.

Artist and artwork engagement with wider audiences is also explored in talks by world-renowned artists such as the legendary Richard Long, one of the founders of the “land art” movement, as well as inspiring talks by Hassan Hajjaj and Job Smeets of the design collective Studio Job, whose works represent different perspectives on popular culture. 

The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi collection will be discussed and part of it will be on display for audiences to experience in the exhibition Seeing Through Light: Selections from the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Collection, which opens in parallel with Abu Dhabi ArtFeaturing interactive and engaging artworks that use light as a medium and a muse, the exhibition is enhanced by a public panel that introduces audiences to three artists in the exhibition and collection: Angela BullochRachid Koraichi and Shirazeh Houshiary.  

Artists' Waves

Xing Danwen, Urban Fiction19, 2004, C-Print on D-Bond, 80cm x 115.7cm. Courtesy the artist.

Curated by Fabrice Bousteau, Artists’ Waves reflects Abu Dhabi Art’s role as a crossroads for established and emerging artists and a melting pot of contemporary art forms and practices capturing the spirit of transversality.

Works by Ahmed Kassem, Ahmed Khaled, Alessandro Cannistrà, Andrzej Zielinski, Christine Boillat, Francisco Sierra, Habib Farajabadi, Huber.Huber: Reto and Markus Huber, Luc Andrié, Luca Cervini, Nagla Samir, Shadi Ghadirian and Xing Danwen will be featured.



Mohammed Kazem - Directions (Circle) 2014 White acrylic, aluminum and LED light 123 x 298 x 10 cm

Francois Morellet, Pier and Ocean, 2014 38 blue argon neon tubes and wooden pier, variable dimensions

Beyond aims to introduce art to public spaces and this year's edition features large–scale installations and will be on display in public areas throughout the city for six months. 

Together these works form a series of autonomous artworks in dialogue with each other culminating in a presentation of unity in diversity revealing the dynamism of public art.  Inspired by the character of Abu Dhabi and its changing urban landscape Beyond creates a conceptual line to guide the development of even greater moves to introduce and promote “art in public space.”

Beyond features works by 14 artists including Ai Weiwei (Lisson Gallery), Bita Fayyazi (Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde), Choi Jeong Hwa (Park Ryu Sook Gallery), Feryel Lakhdar (Elmarsa), François Morellet (kamel mennour), Hanaa Malallah (The Park Gallery), Ilya Kabakov (Galerie Brigitte Schenk), Mohammed Kazem (Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde), Sahand Hesamiyan (The Third Line), Sherin Guirguis (The Third Line), Shilpa Gupta (Galleria Continua), Subodh Gupta (Hauser & Wirth), Virginie Yassef (Galerie GP & N Vallois).

Performing Arts

Amala Dianor, NIOUN REC (Only Us), Performance, 30 minutes. Music: François Przybylski

The art performances this year will include imusic, dance, song and sound presented within a "particular coloured ambiance" titled Hours and Colours, curated by Fabrice Bousteau. Hours of each day will be associated with a particular colour (blue, orange and violet) and its correlating symbols. At these times, visitors will gather for art performances with interrelated forms of content presented within a particular coloured ambiance. 

Inspired by the French Gothic manuscript Les Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry (c.1410) (The very Rich Hours of the Duke of Berry), which references the  techniques of illumination and calligraphy that are common points in both Islamic and Occidental Art, Hours and Colours will articulate these connections in a programme that includes: 

“Blue, a true color in Art”, a video screening with music by Nils Frahm, featuring works of art from Ancient Egypt to the modern day

“Killer Road” by legendary artist and musician Patti SmithJesse Smith and Soundwalk Collectives, a sound exploration and meditation on the idea of perpetual motion and the cycle of life and death

“Nioun Rec” (Only us)  by Amala Dianor, an improvised dialogue between music and dance

“Rising Carpet” an activated art-installation by Moussa Sarr


Still from Paper Music

The Performing Arts programme will also include Durub Al Tawaya which will showcase a variety of artistic and cultural collaborations between local and international institutions focusing on performances and publishing projects that will launch during Abu Dhabi Art and extend to spring 2015. 


This year's edition of Durub Al Tawaya is inspired by the philosophical themes and the dramatical structure of Hayy Bin Yaqzan, a 12th century novel written by Andalusian scientist and philosopher Ibn Tufail. The story illustrates the complexity of humans’ relationship to nature and to others. Ibn Tufail puts forward an early interpretation of materialism that questions human dependency on objects for the sake of life’s comforts. Durub Al Tawaya will include: 

That Night Follows Day, a rehearsed reading written by Tim Etchells, the artistic director of the acclaimed company Forced Entertainment, performed by sixteen children and young adults from Abu Dhabi

 Sound performance using cars with super modified stereo systems by Joe Namy

 An interactive performance created by Cevdet Erek mimicking the sound of the sea featuring Jana Saleh

The Middle East premiere of Paper Music, a cine-concert with video by world-renowned visual artist William Kentridge and music by Philip Miller.


Durub Al Tawaya refers to the Emirati term tawaya; points of respite where desert travellers found underground water springs. These unchanging loci were marked along paths or durub. In classical Arabic, tawaya refers to layers of meaning, ideas and values that are revealed as they unfold.

Seeing through Light: Selections from the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Collection

Otto Piene, Hängende Lichtkuge (Hanging Light Ball), 1972. Perforated and chromium-plated brass sphere, chromium-plated brass spheres, light bulbs, and electric motor, 223.5 x 68 cm. Photo © Guggenheim Abu Dhabi


Seeing through Light: Selections from the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Collection features 19 artworks acquired specifically for Guggenheim Abu Dhabi collection, as well as two key loans from its partner institution, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. This collection will be on display till 19th January 2015. 

Seeing through Light: Selections from the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Collection examines the theme of light as a primary aesthetic principle in art. This unifying thesis offers many avenues for interpretation, whether natural or artificial, directed or reflected, interior or exterior, transcendent or celestial. The theme’s richness and flexibility also has particular relevance across cultures and time periods.

The exhibition unfolds through five sections that examine light in various iterations: Activated, Celestial, Perceptual, Reflected, and Transcendent.

While the exhibition begins chronologically in the 1960s (which aligns with the start date for the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi collection), it quickly blends time and mixes established and mid-career artists, as well as assembling a diversity of media within each section.

From immersive environments that visitors can move around in and even through to video, painting, and sculpture, one will be able to experience light in all of its spatial, sensory, and perceptual phenomena.

Some of the artists included are Angela Bulloch, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Robert Irwin, Y.Z. Kami, Bharti Kher, Rachid Koraïchi, Yayoi Kusama, Otto Piene, and Douglas Wheeler.



Schedule of events can be downloaded here.


Event details
Date: Wednesday 5th - Saturday 8th November 2014
Venue: Manarat Al Saadiyat, Saadiyat Cultural District, Abu Dhabi
Free entry. All talks and events are open to the public, but registration in advance is necessary  






Film Screening: The City Dark 

To accompany its latest exhibition Darkened Cities by Thierry Cohen, East Wing will host a free film screening of The City Dark on Tuesday, 28th October 2014.


It's quite a suitable film to watch at this exhibition, since it addresses some of the issues raised in the Darkened Cities photo series, i.e. lack of visible stars in our skies due to light pollution and its impact on us physically and psychologically. It's a documentary worth watching, so if you're in the neighbiourhood, don't miss this. The exhibition is worth visiting as well. 


The City Dark chronicles the disappearance of darkness. When filmmaker Ian Cheney moves to New York City from Maine and discovers an urban sky almost completely devoid of stars. He poses a deceptively simple question, "What do we lose, when we lose the night?”



Exhibition details 
Date: Tuesday, 26th October at 7pm (Darkened Cities exhibition on till 20th November 2014)
Venue: Limestone House #12, Dubai International Financial Center (location map)
Free entry.