May 22, 2009 - ADACH Platform for Visual Arts - 53rd Venice Biennale
May 22, 2009

53rd Venice Biennale

7th June – 15th October, 2009

Official opening 4th June, 2009

The ADACH Platform for Visual Arts in Venice will be designed as a meeting point for discourse and artistic production, and as a survey and analysis of the conditions in which contemporary visual art is emerging in Abu Dhabi / UAE today. It is an official collateral event of the 53rd Venice Arts Biennale.

The ADACH Platform for Visual Arts in Venice is a project created under the artistic direction of Catherine David.

A dynamic dispositive of presentations and exchanges will introduce, through a visual narrative, the conditions in which contemporary culture and visual art are emerging in Abu Dhabi / UAE today. These conditions are mainly an amazing urban development framework, a multi-ethnic and multi-national population inventing new lifestyles, a reorganization of the region and its economical and geo-political dynamics and exchanges with the world, and development process engaged with an unprecedented phenomenon of time acceleration.

Through a thoroughly heterogeneous ensemble of discourse, moving and still images, architectural forms and artworks the audience will be introduced to a less ingenuous and/or cynical vision through an original body of archival and recent photography, as well as artworks realized by photographers and artists from the region and abroad. The dispositif articulates the deconstruction of the simplistic idea or binary clichés (Futuristic dream and paradise or Late capital nightmare) many people still have about the region and its recent developments.

Within the framework of the dispositive, the presence of the omnipresent billboard, its significance and visual impact within urban space will be introduced and questioned. Further, the Laboratory will point out the working process, the experimental space and exchange of ideas and imagery, where a number of artistic proposals may co-exist and combine to suggest a broader view on contemporary art in the region. Beyond this, a temporary ‘cultural lounge’ will focus on what could emerge from the UAE laboratory and cultural hub. In this context the role of ADACH Platform for Visual Arts would be to respond to new cultural needs and situations over passing the museum project and context, and invent new relevant models for the region by offering the conditions for research, education and esthetic discourse to develop.

In a separate initiative, the United Arab Emirates will establish the official UAE Pavilion at the 2009 Venice Biennale, making it the first Gulf nation to participate in this pre-eminent cultural event. The UAE Pavilion is initiated and supported by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development and is sponsored by the Emirates Foundation and the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority. Curated by Tirdad Zolghadr under the stewardship of Commissioner Dr Lamees Hamdan, the pavilion entitled ‘Its not you its me’ is reflecting the very act of national showcasing, artistic documentation and curatorial testimony.

For more information, please contact Brunswick Arts
Tel: +44 207 936 1271

**Interviews and images available**

Notes to Editors

- ADACH Platform for Visual Arts
in Venice

Venue Arsenale Novissimo – Thetis, Capannone 108

Access from Arsenale by shuttle boat
Public Boat Station Bacini – Public lines 41 – 42 – 51 – 52

Inauguration Period 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th
Opening Hours 10 am to 8 pm
Events Free Admission

3rd of June
from 3 to 4.30 pm : Preview – Discussion with the artistic director Catherine David and the participants of the pavilion
4th of June
from 2.15 to 16:00 pm : Vernissage

Opening Period: 7th June – 15th October, 2009
Opening hours 10 am to 6 pm
Opening days Closed on Tuesday (With the exception of June 9)

Organizers and producers: The Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH)

Participants: Ebtisam Abdul Aziz, Abdallah Al Saadi, Sami Al Turki, Philippe Chancel, Donuts (graphic design/ Brussels), Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim, Mohamed Kazem, Dr. Abdelrahman Makhlouf, Ahmed Matter, Kaiwan Mehta, Waël Noureddine, Juan Lucas Young and Carlos Alarcon Allen (Sauerbruch Huttons architects/ Berlin),Hassan Sharif.

- Catherine David, Artistic Director ADACH Platform for Venice, 53rd Venice Art Biennale
Catherine David is a Paris based art historian and curator. She studied Linguistics and History of Art at the Université de la Sorbonne and Ecole du Louvre in Paris.

From 1982 to 1990 she was Curator at the Musée national d’art moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou and from 1990 to 1994 she was Curator at Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, both in Paris, where she organized several monographs and group exhibitions including: Lothar Baumgarten; Passages de L’Image; Stan Douglas:Monodramas and Television Spots; Marcel Broodthaers; Helio Oiticica; Robert Gober; Jeff Wall and Chantal Ackerman: D’Est, among others.

From 1994 to 1997 David served as Artistic Director for documenta X in Kassel, Germany, and from 1998 on is Director of the long-term project Contemporary Arab Representations produced by Tàpies Foundation in Barcelona.

In 2000 she organized The State of Things for Kunst Werke, Berlin. Between 2002 and 2004 David was Director of the Witte de With Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

In 2005-2006 she was fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin

In 2007 she organized a monograph exhibition of Bahman Jalali at Tàpies Fondation in Barcelona and an interdisciplinary event: Di/Visions: Culture and Politics of the Middle East at Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin.

Last spring she received the 2008 Bard Award for curatorial excellence.

She is currently conservateur en chef à l’inspection générale des Musées de France

- The ADACH Platform for Visual Art
The ADACH Platform for Visual Art was recently created in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates and is the result of a vision and master plan aiming at the development of a network drafted on a rhizome of people and ideas through concrete projects: The creation of a research centre to study, preserve, archive and publish the cultural heritage of Arab modern art; to develop programs that support artists and curatorial projects.

The Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) is the institution in charge of conserving and promoting the heritage and culture of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. It was established in October 2005 as an authority of the Government of Abu Dhabi.

ADACH is an organization with far-sighted aspirations – to harness the pride of the people of the UAE through the development of its cultural heritage, and to be the leading cultural development organization in the region acting as a catalyst for reviving and promoting Arab identity and cultural values. Internationally it is contributing to the strengthening of intercultural dialogue and the appreciation of different cultures by developing projects that encourage the sharing of cultural traditions and experience.

ADACH Platform for Visual Arts
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