A.i.R Dubai 2013 documentary screening and interactive panel discussion
Every year, the A.i.R (Artists-in-Residence) Dubai programme gathers a mix of local and international artists and a curator-in-residence, to provide a platform for collaborative work and exchange over a three month period.
Ahead of the Sikka Art Fair and Art Dubai, where the A.i.R 2014 participants are set to showcase their work, guests gathered at Alserkal Avenue, in Al Quoz yesterday evening to attend a screening of A.i.R Dubai 2013: the documentary, which also offered an opportunity to learn more about some of the artists participating this year via an interactive panel discussion.
The event commenced with a Tashkeel commissioned documentary shot by award-winning filmmaker Mahmoud Kaabour. A.i.R 2013 Dubai: the documentary explores the work of the A.i.R 2013 participants including Ebtisam Abdulaziz, Reem Falaknaz, Ammar al Attar, Joe Namy, Dina Danish, and Yudi Noor, who worked alongside curator Bérénice Saliou. As well as featuring each artists' personal experiences, the film provides commentary from Tashkeel, Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, Art Dubai and Delfina Foundation (London), who are all amongst the partners for the annual A.i.R. Dubai residency programme.
Offering further insight into the unique programme that fosters collaborative efforts between emerging artists across the world, three artists taking part in this year's programme, including Maitha Demithan, Sara Al Haddad and Maryam Al Qassimi, talked about their experiences in a panel discussion following the documentary. During this discussion, İpek Ulusoy Akgül, the curator-in-residence for 2014, questioned the artists on their work ethic and aspirations.
Maryam Al Qassimi from Sharjah talked about her experiences, revealing how her work typically references material and imagery found in the local community. Via her work, Al Qassimi aims to explore the beauty of the vernacular of the United Arab Emirates and how its interchange of societies has shaped its 'pop culture'. As well as talking about the A.i.R. programme, Al Qassimi voiced her thoughts on the subject of paradoxes in the UAE.
Dubai-based Maitha Demithan, who is currently exhibiting 'Mutajadid' at Tashkeel until February 27, mainly works with digital scans, photography and painting. Demithan noted that at this year's Sikka Art Fair and Art Dubai, she will be stepping away from her comfort zone when she engages with the general public through her work using digital scans.
Finally, Sara Al Haddad, who was shortlisted for the Sheikha Manal Young Artists Award (2011), and whose solo exhibitions include 'Bursting at the Seams' (2012) and 'I know, I knew' (2013), acknowledged that her upcoming projects for Sikka Art Fair and Art Dubai, are different to what she is used to, as she is exploring her creativity through use of the material plastic.