x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Three fruitful months of art and exchange in Bastakiya culminate in film

A new documentary chronicles the experience of three international and three Emirati artists as they worked together for a collective show in Dubai.

The artists in residence. Antonie Robertson/The National
The artists in residence. Antonie Robertson/The National

For three months at the start of the year, three international artists were holed up in Dubai's heritage Bastakiya district on the invitation of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, the Delfina Foundation and Art Dubai.

They worked alongside three Emirati artists, sharing ideas, methods of working and reflections on the city while preparing for a collective show during the art fair in March.

The final few weeks of this creative period were documented by the Lebanese filmmaker Mahmoud Kaabour (Teta, Alf Marra; Being Osama) and the result, A.i.R. Dubai 2012, screens on Tuesday night at Satellite in Alserkal Avenue, Dubai.

Commissioned by the art hub Tashkeel, the film aims to capture the hectic lead-up to their exhibition and the lengthy production process behind each of the works.

The Turkish artist Deniz Üster, the Egyptian sound artist Magdi Mostafa and the Algerian concept-driven artist Fayçal Baghriche lived and worked in the Bastakiya throughout. Zeinab Al Hashemi, Hadeyeh Badri and Nasir Nasrallah joined them for studio work in Tashkeel, with the final exhibition stretched around Bastakiya during the Sikka Art Fair, which ran throughout March.

Baghriche, for instance, enlisted the help of Dubai's artisans to create his work by design, while Mostafa assembled a sound-based response to the industry, heat and constant thump of economy that he found in Dubai Creek. Al Hashemi reconstituted the tubes used to carry fabric around the Creek's textile souq and Badri furthered her photographic practice.

The film captures this fruitful period as well as conversations with the curator of the project, Alexandra MacGilp. This is a detailed record of one of the first residencies of this scale held in the UAE.

A.i.R. Dubai 2012 screens at Satellite in Alserkal Avenue, Dubai, Tuesday, 7.30pm, free