Nature, time and beyond — go arts event hopping
Art installations, immersive experiences
The ten-day DAZ Festival (earlier known as the Dar Al Zain Festival) is back with a nature-inspired theme and promises to be a celebration of life and nature, offering exciting and inspiring experiences for the visitors. It is organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, with the historic Al Jahili Fort as a backdrop. It is an event to enjoy traditional fairgrounds treats and global cuisine, sway to beats by regional music stars, hop on classic carnival rides, explore the giant oasis art park and indulge in retail therapy as well. A highlight at the event is the art installation, Pyramid Sphere, a harmony of technology and art. Making its UAE debut at the festival, the installation features repeated geometric shapes that expand to form pyramids. Visitors can enter the sphere through a tunnel and view the outside world through windows. With no clear entrance or exit, the installation is meant to engage the public by getting them to question their built environment. Other highlights include a choice of creating memories and Instagrammable moments at the immersive Dazzle Haus. Visitors can navigate the wonders of nature across five rooms featuring caves, avatar-like plants, creatures and an underwater world. Each room in this space is inspired by the Earth, setting the mood and vibe of your colourful, unexpected journey.
Al Jahili Park, Al Ain, until February 19
Glaciers meet AI
Refik Anadol Studio is embarking upon a journey to create a series of multisensory artworks based on an enormous dataset of glacier images from around the world. The topic was
chosen by the AI artist as a global symbol of an elixir of life and the fragility of the world. The artwork, Glacier Dreams, will unfold in multiple chapters and locations. The first chapter will be presented as an immersive room at the Julius Baer (as part of Julius Baer’s NEXT initiative) lounge during Art Dubai. The audio-visual, immersive artwork will have an olfactory component that was created with a pioneering artificial intelligence model. Anadol said, “As an artist, creating AI data paintings and sculptures based on nature-themed datasets for almost a decade, I am very excited to be taking my studio’s research to the next level by compiling a comprehensive visual dataset on the glaciers of the world.” In December 2022, Julius Baer launched NEXT, which is supported by Serpentine, London, as an initiative designed to foster collaboration between forward-thinking artists and institutions committed to new forms of cultural production at the vanguard of scientific research and technological development.
Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, 1-5 March
Where and how do we ‘read’ time?
Notations on Time, an ongoing group exhibition, explores the philosophical and political dimensions of time through the works of 20 contemporary artists from South Asia and its diaspora. Curated by Sandhini Poddar (London-based art historian and Adjunct Curator at the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Project) and Sabih Ahmed (Associate Director and Curator, Ishara Art Foundation), it stages a dialogue between artistic generations to highlight entanglements between the past, present and future. Where and how do we ‘read’ time? On bodies, skins, machines, rivers, landscapes, and stars. Within wormholes in cosmic space and underground, in unseen root systems, within site-readings from archaeological and evidentiary fieldwork, within ancestry and oral traditions, within myths, folklore, and storytelling, within science fiction and mixed realities, within long-dead stars in the cosmos viewed through powerful telescopes, and so much more. The exhibition poses questions such as, ‘what happens when residues from the past are reincarnated into the future? Where does the jurisdiction of the present end? What is the future of the past? What possibilities can the space of an exhibition offer to think through these questions?’
Until 20 May, Ishara Art Foundation, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai