CAD 6.0 interrogated the idea of ‘genres’ and their constituent elements—theme/format/mood/setting—as means to think through the many ways in which places like the Gulf can be envisioned. Genres, much like categories and classifications, come with their own histories and engender certain emotional responses. Most often genres are associated with film, music, literature, but we invited participants to expand that notion and consider their everyday landscapes as formal spaces of repeated affect. Positioned as technologies that allow for the articulation of multiple, simultaneous representations of contemporary life, genres including Rom-Com, Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction/Biography, Action-Adventure, Surrealist, Noir, Travelogue, Documentary, and the Western were tackled.
As genres percolate through the transdisciplinary spaces within which our daily lives unfold, the interrogation of this topic considered the ways in which theme, format, mood and setting impacted our understanding of locality/translocality/nonlocality. CAD 6.0 aimed to link and delink genre from place while still standing in that place. The focus on genre allowed us to identify experience as an iterative event that is staged and performed, through distinct but familiar affective structures. Within such frameworks, genres encouraged us to look at our contexts with lenses of our own making.
Drawing from a variety of media across literature, cinema, and sound, CAD 6.0 encouraged imaginings of Gulf as genre: the suppressed passions of a budding romance adds urgency to personal claims to public space; uncertain futures play out against the blinding lights of triumphant skylines; roads detoured daily engender déjà vu, adding suspense and mystery to everyday commutes; and five lane highways propel life in ways both fast and furious.
Campus Art Dubai 6.0 was held in partnership with Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, and Dubai Design District (d3), with Art Jameel as the 2017-18 curatorial partner.