Thanks to the British Council and their ventures and persistence, I started to attend the Art in conversation sessions that they hold from time to time. I love art, love the artists, love the galleries, love those that open galleries, and love anyone who has anything to do with art (including those that manufacture the brushes, canvas, paint, thinner, pedestals, knives and sculpturing tools); I also make sure that I visit museums and galleries whenever I am abroad and when there are openings of shows in Dubai and Abu Dhabi too.  I didn’t miss the  biennial in Sharjah since its start and also whenever the Emaar Boulivard have a show going on I tend to visit it too.

Yesterday’s talk was really great, as they had curators talking about Art placed in the public realm, and how it influences the community and how the community influences what is being displayed.  Apparently in UK displaying art in public involves discussions and consultations with lawyers, police, industry, business people, some government officials, the media and anyone who can have a say on the public display.  Apparently also, the comments can be for or against, and everything is taken into account, sometimes the item is displayed even though there were more negatives than positives just because it can bring controversial dialogues in the public realm and make people think and generate interest to visit the item just to give one’s comment.  

I liked the talk of El Seed (http://www.elseed-art.com/), Tunisian street artist who painted a menarat in Tunisia soon after the revolution, he was surprised that the whole world were talking about it including the CNN, BBC and other media, but the media in his country didn’t even mention the subject. He was hurt it seems! of course the Tunisian media will not talk about art, they have a revolution to take care of, and people’s general feeling was still not too great, so why would ART be a center of the attention to a bunch of people who may not even have bread to eat. His dismay reminded me of the famous saying (let them eat cakes or Qu’ils mangent de la brioche” by Marie Antoinette).  

Sultan’s gallery Barjeel and his total involvement with the art community in UAE is to be commended, I took couple of the books he produced for the artists that he displays in his gallery, I really wish him the best, as he will certainly be known as a figure of Arts for generations to come, (http://www.barjeelartfoundation.org/)

So guys, wait for the month of March, the whole country is celebrating art; there will be Art Dubai, the Biennial in Sharjah, the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Festival I am even thinking of taking the month off to go and watch what the artists are saying. watch this space, as I will be providing you with some news. 

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