With artists coming from across the globe to exhibit at this influential art fair, it is no wonder that this is one of the most important art events in the region. Embracing Bahrain’s cultural heritage as an intimate marketplace, this international art fair is a place to interact with contemporary art from all over the world.
ArtBAB aims to strengthen the base of their arts economy by empowering and educating local artists, giving them the opportunity to showcase their unique skills through a sponsored Pavilion which will this year host more than 35 Bahraini artists, exhibiting over 100 works.
Now in its third edition, ArtBAB presents an impressive line-up of 15 galleries and 13 independent artists from 11 countries. Alon Zakaim Fine Art from the UK will be showcasing works including Mauro Peruchetti’s Arab Jelly Baby; this cartoon-like work mirrors the modern social environment, strongly reflecting the natural dialogue between civilisations directly relating to the exhibition space. Located in the heart of Gujarat, India, Samara Art Gallery will be bringing over a combination of Indian and international artworks. Their gallery is curated similarly to that of the Guggenheim giving the art the freedom to thrive in its own space, which they hope to mirror in the space at ArtBAB.
Also exhibiting is Tsekh Art Gallery, one of the most respected art galleries in Ukraine; they work to break the boundaries normally associated with Ukrainian installation art. Galerie Bruno
Massa, USA, operates at the forefront of the most dynamic international markets. Based in New York and Paris, they will be bringing to Bahrain the very latest cultural evolutions.
The renowned Italian artist collective Antonello Ghezzi will be presenting Blow Against the Walls – for this performance, visitors will blow bubbles against barriers that represent universal divides. As the bubbles impact the wall and go through it, a canvas will capture the expressions of these people and their breath. The performance is part of the on-going project BLOW, which has been shown in Paris, Athens for DOCUMENTA 14, Bologna and Beirut.
The fair’s 2018 programme will also include a series of significant educational talks. Curated by Amal Khalaf, ArtBAB Conversations will present talks, performances and panels that explore recent initiatives and projects by artists, curators and institutions, looking at contexts, exchange, modes of production and collaboration in their work.
Tamadher Al Fahal (Designer, TEDx Speaker and Co-founder of Ulafa’s Initiative) will take to the stage to speak about Curatorial Exchange, shedding light on areas of cultural conflict and religious misconceptions influenced by her upbringing in the Arab world. Valeria Mariani, head of projects for the Crossway Foundation, will also be hosting an informal session on the Foundations alumni and alternative education models in the region. Paul-Gordon Chandler, an author, interfaith advocate and renowned art curator will also be speaking about the international perspective beyond the region, more specifically the works of Khalil Gibran.
Beyond the exhibitors of this versatile and inclusive fair, ArtBAB will include the work of Hasan Hujairi, a Bahraini composer, sound artist and independent researcher. Hujairi’s work builds on his academic interest in Historiography and Ethnomusicology which he has presented all over the world. He will be debuting a sound performance translating John Cage’s Lecture on Something Lecture on Nothing into Arabic. This stimulating live performance will adapt the space of ArtBAB, embracing the culture of the exhibition experience as a performance space.
The fair will also collaborate with not-for-profit organisations and, for the first time, the kids@artbab workshop will focus on developing skills and creating a foundation for Bahraini artists in the future.
ArtBAB reinforces Bahrain’s position in the Gulf as a regional arts hub, inspiring entrepreneurship, art education and local skills development. Alongside the fair, ArtBAB continues its highly successful international Artist Development Programme which focuses on connecting the art of Bahrain to the global art community and vice versa. Launched at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2016, ArtBAB’s programme has since been to India and will continue with an event in Russia in 2018/9.
Fair and Programme Director, Kaneka Subberwal comments, The theme this year is education, education that leads to collaboration, education in technique and different forms of art. It is this focus that has brought together our selection of exhibitors, speakers and focal topic. The more we learn, the more we grow. Our selection of galleries and artists this year complements, enhances and strengthens the focus; we look forward to a very successful edition.
Artists and curators are developing alternative models of collaboration, production, archiving and education that rethink the conventional arts institutions and art industry. Often small in scale, in places that are not seen as art centres, what do these conditions offer the organisers, participants, artists and audiences? ART BAB Conversations presents talks, performances and panels that explore recent initiatives and projects by artists, curators and institutions, that explore different contexts, exchange, modes of production, and collaboration in their work. – 3pm Introduction by Amal Khalaf with summary of the day.
Exhibitors & Artists
Faika Al Hasan, Bahrain Nabeela Al Khayer, Bahrain Rotislav Romanoff Maryam Nass, Bahrain Mariam Fakro, Bahrain Lulwa Al Khalifa, Bahrain Seema Baqi, Bahrain Lobna Al Amin, Bahrain Sh Marwa, Bahrain Jaideep Mehrotra, India Jamal Abdulrahim, Bahrain David Breuer Weil, UK Chryssa Verghi, Greece Baghdad Art Gallery, Bahrain IDEA4MI, Italy
Nitanjali Art Gallery, India Tsekh, Lithuania Samara Art Gallery, India, Trade Art, Italy, Amina Gallery, Bahrain, Art Lounge, Portugal, Alon Zakaim Fine Art, UK, NK Gallery, Austria, Bruno Massa, Ukraine Sconsi, Italy, Giorgio Persano, Italy, My Drim Art Gallery, Nigeria
Building Bridges by Jaideep and Seema, India Khalil Gibran: A Guide For Our Time, Lebanon
ArtBAB Bahrain International Exhibition & Convention Center Thursday 15th – Sunday 18th March 2018
Source Credit: Artlyst