Dates: 8 - 11 November 2017
Location: Auditorium and Abu Dhabi Art Pavilion, Manarat Al Saadiyat
Talks programme: "GCC Art Histories & Narratives"
Curated by Munira Al Sayegh
Abu Dhabi Art 2017 Talks highlighted the different currents of the contemporary art scene in the Arabian Peninsula, from the 1970’s to the present day. The programme of talks investigated and mine the nuanced similarities and differences in the roles of individuals and institutions over time and place. The study of the discourses between creative communities and across the region allowed for the defining and highlighting of the intricate web that connects them. In particular, the role of collectors, collectives, artists, institutions, curators and writers been brought to the forefront. Drawing on the links between these key forces at play will allow for a depth of knowledge to the surface and for a tying together of the region through an art historical discourse. Personal narratives privileged, alongside the academic debate on architecture and space, perception and social evolution. Through the Talks programme, and the affiliated publication, a language specific to this landscape has emerged. The Talks and publication outlined the traces and eccentricity found in regional contemporary transformations, thus dissecting, redefining, and reclaiming the narrative given to the region.