Ah, summer. Here it comes bowling along and flooring all those in its wake. One of the major posts in the British strawberries-and-cream season was marked last week with the opening of the Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition, a cultural marathon that has run annually since 1769. It's only fitting, therefore, that the UAE's art scene is punctuated this week by the opening of our own summer exhibition at Bastakiya's XVA Gallery.
From tomorrow, the gallery's Summer Exhibition 2009 will display work from four contemporary artists. The pieces drift from bright, conceptual word-art constructions by the Japanese-American artist Colleen Quigley, to humorous, near stick-figure caricature works by the Dubai-based American artist Julia Townsend. Also on show will be vivid expressionist paintings by the Saudi Arabian artist Hussein Almohasen and dark, abstract oil canvases by the Canadian painter Melanie Sarassin. Take that, London.
For some, an appearance from the French DJ Bob Sinclar at Chi on Friday will be the weekend's highlight. For film buffs, it is worth pointing out that technically, of course, he's not named after the super-spy in the French film Le Magnifique. No. In fact, he was born Christophe Le Friant, but since embarking on a musical career at the age of 18 has operated under a variety of aliases including Chris The French Kiss, The Mighty Bop and Reminiscence Quartet.
This weekend, however, I am assured he will be performing as Bob Sinclar, master remixer of the smash hit World, Hold On. For this effort, he was Grammy-nominated, and it's a track that has been filtering out on to dance floors across the world since 2007 and which, no doubt, will enjoy a spin on Friday. Along with it will be tracks from his latest album, Born in 69, which is a curious title given that he was born two years earlier. But no matter. Fans will stomp their feet to the usual combination of house and techno, and if they're lucky they might hear his new dance remix of Bob Dylan's Tambourine Man. Go on, admit it. You're intrigued.
Another curiosity can be found the following night across town at the trendy art and design hangout Shelter, in Al Quoz. Hands up all those who know what lomography is? No? Let me enlighten you. It's a kind of photography that creates blurry images, often with saturated colour or through a fish-eye. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Lomo LC-A camera, Shelter is holding a retro evening celebrating all things 1984. Birthday cake and drinks will be provided, as will 1980s music. The night will be rounded off with a screening of the BBC documentary on lomography Life Through a Lens. All you are asked to do is bring along nostalgic mementos from the year and obey the dress code: "It was acceptable in the 1980s." The mind boggles.
Back to the summery theme with the arrival of a Shakespearean troupe from Britain and a spell of performances of A Midsummer Night's Dream. School matinées begin from Wednesday, regular shows from Thursday evening. For those nervous about the mental stretch that Shakespeare often requires, fear not. A Midsummer Night's Dream takes its audience on a gentle meander through a fairy woodland, with elopements, marriage plans, magical flower potion and mistaken identities along the way.
The production is being brought here by the Northern Shakespeare Company, a cast of professional actors and actresses who have never before performed in the UAE. Expect dancing, classical music and a raft of rich costumes specifically created for their dates in Dubai.
Summer Exhibition From tomorrow until July 30. XVA Gallery, Bastakiya, Dubai. DJ Bob Sinclar Friday, Chi at The Lodge. Tickets cost Dh200 from www.boxofficeme.com Oh It's So 1984 The LC-A's 25th birthday party, Saturday, Shelter, Al Quoz, Dubai. A Midsummer Night's Dream From Thursday until Saturday. The First Group Theatre, Souq Madinat Jumeirah. Tickets from Dh200-500.