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Art Dubai’s global art forum expands to six days: march 18-19 in doha and march 21-24 in Dubai.

The Global Art Forum, the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA) region’s leading platform for cultural debate and discussion, expands to six days in 2012, and features commissioned projects and research, as well as live debates and presentations.

Now in its sixth year, the Global Art Forum is directed by writer Shumon Basar and is characterized by a particularly innovative and dynamic approach.

Art Dubai’s Global Art Forum_6, presented by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) and in partnership with Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art (Qatar Museums Authority), starts in Doha March 18-19 before continuing to Art Dubai, Madinat Jumeirah, March 21-24.

Salem Belyouha, Projects & Events Director, Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, said: “Over the past five years, the Global Art Forum has served as a substantial platform to encourage intercultural dialogue between artists and art-enthusiasts, bringing together those that contribute to the growing cultural and artistic fabric of the city. As the only conference that debates topics surrounding the arts industry, Global Art Forum has become an integral event in Dubai’s cultural calendar. The Dubai Culture & Arts Authority is delighted to once again extend its support to the Forum.”

Entitled ‘The Medium of Media’, the Forum is re-inventing itself this year. Along with the familiar array of lectures, conversations, discussions, and workshops, it includes a new roster of commissioned projects that precede and succeed the live days. Thematically, GAF_6 looks at the double meaning of the term ‘media’, both within the art world and referring to the world of publishing and reportage. Underpinning this is a look back at the past year in the Arab world, and how fundamental events have been both produced and consumed as media. GAF_6 is, effectively, a media production about media.  

Over 50 contributors to Global Art Forum_6 include: LACMA director Michael Govan; Serpentine Gallery co-director of exhibitions and programmes and director of international projects Hans Ulrich Obrist; novelist and artist Douglas Coupland;; writer/critic Sukhdev Sandhu; art market reporter Georgina Adam; film-producer Anna Lena Vaney; artists Wael Shawky,Shezad Dawood and Michael Rakowitz; curators Jack Persekian andNat Muller; Demotix founder Turi Munthe; commentators Sultan Suood Al Qassemi and Yasmine El Rashidi; blogger Hind Mezaina;as well as filmmakerSophie Fiennes with a special screening of‘Over Your Cities the Grass will Grow’.

Commissioned projects include a series of PowerPointsTM by writers and artists, curated by Victoria Camblin, including Goldin & Senneby and Alexander Provan/Triple Canopy; a Dictionary of the Mediatized Gulf by Qatari artist-writer Sophia Al Maria; a series of publications entitled Some Medium Stories, edited by Michael Vazquez featuring Emily Dische-Becker, Tom Francis, Kristine Khouri; and a Media Archiving blog by Mariam Wissam Al Dabbagh. Two new collaborations between Art Dubai and Mathaf will be announced: an interactiveArabic Art Glossary, led by curator Lara Khaldi, and an Artist’s Residency at Al Jazeera news network, Doha. These works will be made available, in both Doha and Dubai, at the new Forum Forum resource space, which will include UAE research by Brusselssprout.

 “Over the past five years, the Global Art Forum has become a major, collaborative event in the art world calendar. This year, it reinvents itself in terms of format and subject and while rooted in the art world, delves into other disciplines,” said Antonia Carver, Art Dubai Fair Director. “The Forum is illustrative of Dubai’s propensity for debate, and the Gulf’s collaborative spirit; in 2012, it includes an array of fascinating regional and international voices from the worlds of film, journalism, economics, social media, publishing, and of course art. Most are speaking in the Gulf for the first time.”

The programme begins in Doha with presentations of the new commissioned projects as well as discussions on the relationship between news-makers and history-making in the Arab world, and the increasing phenomena of artists turning to the medium of feature film making.

The Forum subsequently moves on to Art Dubai, March 21-24. Here, continuing the theme of ‘The Medium of Media’, GAF_6 invites critics, historians and experts to discuss Marshall McLuhan’s legacy; the Beatles’ last ever concert; the past and future of ‘Net Art’; how news shapes art and financial markets; the Crusades told through the medium of puppetry; archiving Emirati TV; and much more.

The Global Art Forum is also continuing Forum Fellows for the second year. Led by art-critic Kaelen Wilson-Goldie, the programme invites exceptional young writers from the Middle East, Asia and the UAE to interact with the rich themes, personalities and subtexts of the Fair and the region.

The Global Art Forum is part of Art Dubai’s discussion programme that includes Terrace Talks, a series of conversations on the relationship between the Gulf and wider Asia, and the fourth edition of The Big Idea, a dynamic, fast-paced forum for young UAE-based artists and designers.

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