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Dubai, where the theme is more, More, MORE!

Lalla A. Essaydi. Harem #1, Triptych, Chromogenic Print, 2000.

Lalla A. Essaydi. Harem #1, Triptych, Chromogenic Print, 2000.

Alright, here’s a less lazy post about the past two days of running around to final Art Dubai events and the start of the first annual Dubai Festival of Lights. I managed to hit the second hall of galleries at Art Dubai that I missed the first time around when I got distracted by opulence and booze. Some great photo-based works were on view (see below). I also attended the Global Art Forum discussion 1955-2055: A Documenta Century. I was pretty pumped for this talk as the conversants on the panel was impressive:

Catherine David (Art historian and independent curator), Okwui Enwezor (Director, Haus der Kunst and Director of the Visual Arts Sector of the 56th Biennale di Venezia, 2015), Adam Szymczyk (Director, Kunsthalle Basel and Artistic Director of documenta 14, 2017). Hosted by Hans Ulrich Obrist (Curator, Co-director of Exhibitions and Programmes and Director of International Projects, Serpentine Gallery).” For description of talk go here.

Getting ready for some art talk at the Global Art Forum, Art Dubai 2014.

Getting ready for some art talk at the Global Art Forum, Art Dubai 2014.

My enthusiasm, however, dissipated pretty quickly. The topic of discussion was totally appropriate to the Fair and the subject of global art exhibitions has been of great interest to me since I was an undergrad. The problem for me was Hans Ulrich Obrist’s facilitation style. His introduction was over-long and it wasn’t so much a discussion as interview segments with a group of people on stage. It was clear that each  curator (including Hans) has their own unique personality and style. There were momentary glimpses of Catherine David’s French intellectual haughtiness (which was amusing and bemusing), Okwui Enwezor’s wit and sense of humour, and Adam Szymczyk‘s thoughtfulness. It could have been a great discussion if the participants were given the opportunity to actually discuss and respond to each other in a more organic conversational style. What resulted was, in my view, a rather convoluted dialogue about each individual’s experience of Documenta. The take away was basically, Documenta is important and interesting, but so are a lot of things. *shrugs shoulders*

Art Dubai 2014 – Round 2

Here’s my most recent image dump of things I saw at the Fair and a couple from the Festival of Lights, just because.

Loved this series of works on display at the Experimenter Kolkata booth by Hajra Waheed. Really simple, but innovative display style brought the images to life.

Hajra Waheed, 2014

Hajra Waheed, 2014

Hajra Waheed, 2014

Hajra Waheed, 2014

Hajra Waheed, 2014

Hajra Waheed, 2014

 

I also enjoyed the work at the Kalfayan Galleries booth by Lebanese artist Raed Yassin. His embroidered “photographs” are created from memories of family photographs that were lost or destroyed over years of upheaval in Lebanon. An interesting exploration of memory, loss and nostalgia.

Raed Yassin

Raed Yassin

I’ve seen Yassin’s Chinese porcelain works previously in random art publications and really love the amount of detail he puts into each scene. I liked the tension created between the polished surface of the delicate vessels and the images of violence depicted on them.

Raed Yassin

Raed Yassin

Raed Yassin

Raed Yassin

 

These large scale photographs by Atta Kim are part of the Korean artists On-Air project series. They were taken with long exposures on a large format 8 x 10 camera. It’s a simple technique, but the prints are beautiful and the images are quite elegant with traces of movement here and there.

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Atta Kim, On-Air Projects – Prague

Atta Kim, On-Air Projects - New York (detail)

Atta Kim, On-Air Projects – New York (detail)

 

And last, but in now way the least, the big excitement of the day was when H.H. Sheikh Mohammed, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai appeared to check out some of the art.

HH Sheikh Mohammed touring Art Dubai 2014.

HH Sheikh Mohammed touring Art Dubai 2014.

 

Oh, and this is a nice scene from Dubai Festival of Lights. Basically it’s eye candy for people roaming around Downtown Dubai. Think giant light fixtures and projection mapping on buildings.

Dubai Festival of Lights, 2014

Dubai Festival of Lights, 2014

 

Laneway Festival Detroit – One for the Ages

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This past weekend we busted ass down to the inaugural Laneway Festival Detroit. Since this was the first time the festival was staged in North America we thought that there’d inevitably be the annoying hiccups and operational problems associated with planning and executing events of this scale. We were oh-so-wrong and the festival was oh-so-good. Everything went off without a hitch. The weather was amazing and the festival staff friendly and quick with the light-hearted banter that Americans seem to master so well. Phosphorescent was tight. Solange was sweet. Run the Jewels bumpin’. Sigur Ros epic.

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Laneway left us wanting more and we’ll definitely be back again next year for another taste of Indian summer sun in Auburn Hills. Copious amounts of beer. Corndogs and other junk. Friendly Michiganders (shouts to Dave, Mike, Steve I & Steve II). And above all – glorious glorious music.

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Photo-Bombing Brendan Canning?! — Part II

Here’s a follow-up to my last post about playing the tambourines. At first I had no idea WTH I was doing and couldn’t catch the beat (Tambourines ain’t easy!). But then, as I often do in times of need, I thought of Homer in Homerpalooza when he said:

“When I listen to a really good song, I start nodding my head like I’m saying yes to every beat. YES! YES! YES! This rocks! And then sometimes I switch it up like No! No! No! Don’t stop rockin’!”

Then everything just sorta happened. So, please enjoy a series of ridik animated GIFs courtesy of Vesna – my long time friend and nemesis…JK FRIENDS! All photos courtesy of Jacqueline Tang!

 

tambourine-man

photo-bomb

you-go-girl

the-big-lift

Site Maintenance & Bad Food

Site Maintenance & Bad Food

True to the spirit of this blog of providing much needed commentary on things you might not have thought required commentary — I’m currently messing around with the theme and layout so if it looks a bit like ass please excuse me, or better yet provided some much needed commentary in the comments below.

In the meantime, I’ve an update on my eating of MREs. So far I’ve eaten:

– 1 maple muffin top. Verdict = too sweet/gross, and;

– 1 wheat snack bread with grape jelly. Verdict = smelled like raw dough, was mealy in the mouth, jelly was pure sugar. Gross.

Anyways, stay tuned as I continue to mess with the site, eat random things, and add to the general din that is the glory of the “information superhighway”.

Happy Thursday.

 

 

The Art of Talk

The day has just begun and already I’m mourning the end of this long weekend. But, it’s OK because tomorrow night is the first meeting of Misha Glouberman’s negotiation and communications course entitled, “How to Talk to People About Things”.

As an artist there’s nothing more comforting than taking a time-out from the constant banter of the world and locking yourself up in the studio. As a consultant, sometimes I have to talk whether I feel like it or not. I’m not often at a loss for words, but I’m def. looking forward to meeting some new people and learning some new ways of taking the art of conversation (and negotiation) to the next level.

The Globe and Mail recently interviewed Misha about the upcoming course. Check it out here.

Let’s all get happy with Stefan Sagmeister.

Took a break today from the slog to hit up the Design Exchange and Stefan Sagmeister’s The Happy Show. I wasn’t too sure what to expect. On the one hand, Sagmeister = automatic high expectations. On the other, a thematic show about happiness? Could go either way.

My friend probably summed it up best: “If it doesn’t make me happy I’m gonna punch Sagmeister in the throat!”

True to form it was a nicely designed show utilizing environmental graphics to full effect. It wasn’t so much a philosophical treatise on the nature of happiness (a good thing) as a light musing on the subject. Social scientific facts punctuated by Sagmeister’s perspective on work, creativity and what he’s learned about how to be happy. I think this exhibition will especially resonate with designers, artists and other creative types (I def. overheard a lot of murmurs of agreement), namely those who put their hearts on the line for a project/pay cheque.

It’s a good looking exhibit, there’s candy involved, and there’s a bike-powered interactive. Why the hell not? It runs until March 3, 2013.