A world-renowned platform for art and artists from the Middle East and surrounding region, Art Dubai returns this year for its 16th edition. Presenting more than 130 works from 43 countries, the showcase is one of the most diverse and expansive art selections in the world. With a display across four gallery sections, including Contemporary, Modern, Bawwaba, and Art Dubai Digital, this year the event will host 30 first-time participants. More than 60% of its gallery program from March 1-5 will be drawn from the region, Asia, Africa, and Latin America, all housed at the fair’s main venue in Dubai’s Madinat Jumeirah.
“Art Dubai is a global fair, and the strength of the applications we received for our 2023 edition reflects its increasing importance as the region’s premier art event, and the maturing of the art market here in Dubai,” says the fair’s artistic director Pablo del Val. “We’re particularly pleased to welcome so many first-time exhibitors into our family.” What makes the fair truly distinctive is its focus on local and regional talents, notably those from the UAE, providing a platform for both established and up-and-coming creatives alike to present a wide array of disciplines from across the diverse fields of art. This year, four Emirati artists in particular are using the platform to spotlight their work – Moza Almatrooshi, Aisha Juma, Asma Belhamar, and Nujoom AlGhanem.
Based in Sharjah, Moza Almatrooshi has used her passion for food research to bring together a wide variety of disciplines and media. Across audio, video, performance, food, land art, ceramics, and screenprinting, Almatrooshi works to best articulate her message. At this year’s fair, the artist will participate with a new performance within Bawwaba, a section of the fair that comprises solo presentations by various artists, exhibiting works made in the past year or specifically for Art Dubai. “The curator of this year’s edition, Vipash Purichanont, was interested in my practice and research on food politics and approached the gallery that represents my work, Hunna Art, to propose being part of this section,” Almatrooshi says. “The performance that I will present is a continuation of a moving image work called Glaze that was presented in Lahore Biennial 2020. Curated by Hoor Al Qasimi, it documented the hands and movements of bakery workers across the emirate of Sharjah.” Her work later inspired a series of performances – both live and recorded – that looked at creating alphabets out of the recorded gestures of the various bakery workers. At Art Dubai this year, the alphabets will be materialized into bread and baked goods, and will be available for visitors to enjoy throughout the fair. “My practice relies on food research and thinking, namely food politics, which includes rituals, histories, food work, and workers, and agricultural practices,” the artist says. “From there, the work unfolds in various mediums that communicate the research more appropriately – including performance, moving image, and other image making media, such as audio, text, and naturally, culinary activations.” Almatrooshi’s The Agricultural School and Journey to Salsabeel are currently displayed in Sharjah Biennial 15 and 421 Abu Dhabi respectively. “Being able to show different works across the UAE around the same time casts light on just how wide my research continues to expand and the myriad of ways it takes shape,” she adds.
Continue reading on Vogue Arabia.