GLOBAL ART FORUM 11: Trading Places



Trade is at the heart of humankind. Trade connects people to one another in a myriad of ways, seen and unseen. Trade can fuel civilizations and empires. It can dictate time itself. The end of trade turns somewhere suddenly into nowhere.

– Shumon Basar


The eleventh edition of the Global Art Forum will focus on the trade of goods and ideas that shape and reshape the world. Titled Trading Places, the Forum is conceived by Shumon Basar as Commissioner, with Antonia Carver and Oscar Guardiola-Rivera as Co-directors. The Forum kicks off in January 2017 and culminates at Art Dubai, March 15-17 2017. The full programme and list of participants will be announced in the coming months.


Global Art Forum 11: Trading Places will explore the relationship between the economy of goods and ideas that constantly shape who and where we are. From ancient ports to the “New Silk Road” to algorithmic financial markets, the infrastructure of trade is also a geography of imagination and invention. It is also the foundation upon which Dubai and sibling Gulf cities have forged their pasts and their futures, from pearls to airports.


The Forum will convene the most compelling minds from the fields of art, history, economics, philosophy, urbanism, literature and more to tell untold histories and stories of the making and remaking of the world through trade.


Art Dubai partners with the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, and Dubai Design District (d3) to present the Global Art Forum.



ABOUT THE GLOBAL ART FORUM



Each year, the Global Art Forum brings together a diverse line-up of artists, curators, musicians, writers and thought leaders. The Forum is recognised for its collaborative, innovative approach to the art world and draws on other disciplines and experiences to take a broad ‘helicopter view’. It includes performance, music, commissioned research and projects alongside live talks.


Over the years, the Forum has toured to Qatar, Kuwait, France and the UK, and grown to include publications, workshops and other educational initiatives.



2017 PROJECT

DRAGON!

Dragon Mart, located in Dubai and shaped like a dragon, is the largest trading hub for Chinese products outside mainland China. For over a decade, it has been a gateway to Middle East and North African markets. Farah Al Qasimi has produced a specially commissioned photographic study of this special cultural and economic zone, whose slogan is, ‘Where you can find one in a million or a million of one.’ Surely, today’s version of Jorge Luis Borges’ famous Chinese encyclopaedia would look like Dragon Mart.



GLOBAL ART FORUM 11: CONTRIBUTORS

COMMISSIONER

Shumon Basar has overseen the creative direction of the Global Art Forum since 2011, becoming Commissioner in 2013. He is a writer, whose last book was The Age of Earthquakes: A Guide to the Extreme Present, co-authored with Douglas Coupland and Hans Ulrich Obrist. He holds editorial positions at Bidoun and Tank magazines; directs the FORMAT program at the Architectural Association, London; and is ­a founding member of ­Fondazione Prada’s Thought Council@shumonbasar

CO-DIRECTORS

Based in the UAE since 2001, Antonia Carver is Director of Art Jameel and oversees the development of the foundation’s work in heritage, education and the arts. She was previously Director of Art Dubai (2010-2016), spearheading the development of both the commercial and not-for-profit sectors of the fair. Carver has written extensively—and often on Middle Eastern art and film—as a correspondent for The Art Newspaper and Screen International, among other publications, and edited books and journals. She joined Bidoun as an editor in 2004 and later became the director of the Middle Eastern arts organisation’s projects division. Before moving to Dubai in 2001, Carver was based in London and worked as an editor at Phaidon; in development and projects at the Institute of International Visual Arts (Iniva); and in publishing at G+B Arts International. @antcarver


Oscar Guardiola-Rivera is a London-based Colombian writer, art critic and philosopher. He is the author of the award-winning What If Latin America Ruled the World? (Bloomsbury, 2010) and the Top-Ten Guardian best-selling Story of a Death Foretold (Bloomsbury, 2013) also shortlisted for the Bread & Roses Award in 2014. Both were included on the Books of the Year list in 2010 and 2013, respectively, by the Financial Times and the Observer, having received critical acclaim by reviewers in the Washington Post, the Nation, the Observer, Kirkus, Guardian, Booklist, and star-reviews in Publisher’s Weekly. Guardiola-Rivera is a regular in the literary festival circuit, with appearances in London, Hay, Bath, Edinburgh and Jaipur Literary festivals, among others. He has widespread media presence, writing as a columnist for the Guardian and El Espectador, Monocle, Kindle Magazine India and teleSUR English. He lectures on Philosophy and Law at Birkbeck College, University of London.

PREVIOUS GLOBAL ART FORUMS