The oil reserves might be running out in a couple of years, but there is no atmosphere of gloom in Dubai whatsoever. After having reinvented itself as an international hub for business, air travel and tourism, Dubai, an artificial paradise in the middle of a wider region in turmoil with a lively artistic production, wants to become the showcase of the art market in the MENASA (Middle- East, North Africa, South Asia).
With the ninth edition of Art Dubai, the emirate confirms its self- declared position of being the most globalised art fair in the world. Critics and curators from institutions worldwide are flown in, mingling with artists from Lebanon, Iran or Syria, being served non- stop floods of champagne by Asian immigrant workers, while international expats and tacky tourists from Russia stand by and watch. And that in the unlikely setting of a Disneyland for supposedly grown- ups, a halal version of Las Vegas or a mecca for hyper-capitalism. The sky is clearly still the limit.Art Dubai’s director Antonia Carver Matteo Consonni from Galleria Franco Noero (Turin), Dina Baitassova from Kazach art foundation IADA, German collector Emirati Galerie Imane Farès Kader Attia @ Galleria Continua Local art collectors Madinat Jumeirah, a “real fake” recreation of ancient Arabia, where the fair takes place Mohamed Melehi @ Loft Art Gallery – section Modern Opening night Sybille du Roy, Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, in front of a work by David Adamo The building where the Modern Section takes places and the ambitious Global Art Forum Tiffany Young’s impression of Syrian bombed cities @ Tyler Rollins Fine Art