x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 18 October 2017

Curator Fabrice Bousteau: ‘Art has no age, it’s a philosophy of living’

Fabrice Bousteau, who has been a curator with Abu Dhabi Art for seven years, curated several sections of this year’s event.

Fabrice Bousteau. Courtesy TCA Abu Dhabi
Fabrice Bousteau. Courtesy TCA Abu Dhabi

Fabrice Bousteau, who has been a curator with Abu Dhabi Art for seven years, curated several sections of this year’s event. He describes his work as akin to a DJ.

What links the sections you curated?

The link is the theme of rebirth. I have been building the definition of the word and, in essence, I am looking at renewal – either reemergence of forgotten talent or rediscovery of elements from the past. It is a strong trend all over the world at the moment.

The Beyond section is an important part of the fair, as it engages the public with large and interactive artworks. On what basis did you make your selections?

The first priority for every curator is to find good artists and good work, and the key to good art is for audiences to question what art is and how it affects them. I think the UAE is an expression of the universal culture that characterises the world now, so I was also looking for pieces from a broad range of geographies and influences.

The exhibition (Re)Birth has a very interesting selection of artists, from emerging Emirati talent Zeinab Al Hashemi to superstar Mona Hatoum.

When I was young, I was interested in young artists but I learned quickly that every star artist was an emerging artist once, and also that some stars become forgotten and can be reborn later on. What I believe is that we need to have a dialogue of generations – art has no age, it’s a philosophy of living, and the public should also know that.

You based that exhibition on a series of questions – are you hoping for audiences to find answers?

Art never gives answers, it always just asks questions. Even if you have no art education, when you are in front of artworks, you become alive with questions but there are no definitive answers.

To what extent do you consider public interaction?

A curator is like a DJ. We have to select artworks that create a song for the audience and a rhythm. My hope is also that all the parts of the city can be involved in the art. We have to be with art in our regular days.

aseaman@thenational.ae