With the Venice Biennale now less than six months away, the National Pavilion of the United Arab Emirates' internship programme is once again on the hunt for art-hungry Emiratis.
There are 18 places available on this year's programme, which has been run every two years since 2009 when the UAE was first invited to participate in the Venice Biennale. The programme offers interns the opportunity to spend four weeks in the Italian city as the art world converges on its canal-laden streets from May to December next year.
"They get a chance to see, first hand, 80 different participating pavilions from cities around the world and understand what is happening in contemporary art practice," says Dr Lamees Hamdan, the commissioner of the National Pavilion of the United Arab Emirates, who describes the biennial event as "the Olympics of the art world".
The UAE's participation for next year focuses on the work of the pioneering Emirati artist Mohammed Kazam and is curated by Reem Fadda. Interns have the opportunity to work closely with Fadda, get in-depth training for discussing the artworks with visitors to the event and have hands-on experience of putting together an exhibition of this calibre.
Hamdan says that a good number of those who have taken part in the past two internship programmes have since gone on to further their arts education in institutions abroad. "It somehow had the connection with their time in Venice. It's a wonderful place to make contacts."
• The internship programme is open to Emiratis who are age 21 and over, holding a bachelor of arts degree or equivalent and have a passion for contemporary art and culture. The application deadline is January 31. Visit www.uaepavilion.org.
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