MARKER 2015



Marker is Art Dubai’s curated programme of galleries and artspaces, which focuses each year on a particular theme or geography. This section aims to exemplify the fair’s role as a site of discovery and cross-cultural exchange, and is a feature of Art Dubai’s extensive not-for-profit programming.





In 2015, Marker turned its focus to Latin America, and the connections between this region and the Arab world–from hundreds of years of migration to today’s trading relationships, via a shared sensibility and approach to art practices.


Curated by Luiza Teixeira de Freitas, Marker took – for the first time – a multidisciplinary approach, dwelling on its broad theme through honed, specific lines of enquiry. The programme, located within the Art Dubai Contemporary gallery halls, included artists’ books, sound projects, performance and film, as well as drawing, painting and installation. Teixeira de Freitas worked with artists and commercial and non-commercial organisations across the region to develop this dynamic programme.


Download the MARKER BOOKLET here.



MARKER 2015 CURATOR



Luiza Teixeira de Freitas is an independent curator working between London and Lisbon, involved in curating private collections and a range of independent projects. Recent exhibitions include: ‘An Infinite Conversation’ (Museu Berardo, Lisbon 2014); ‘Apestraction’ by Damián Ortega (Freud Museum, London, 2013); ‘In Lines and Realignments’ (Simon Lee Gallery, London, 2013); ‘The Exact Weight of Lightness’ (Travesia Quatro, Madrid, 2012); ‘Like Tears in Rain’ (Palácio das Artes, Porto, 2010); ‘The Moon is an Arrant Thief’ (David Roberts Art Foundation, London, 2010). She is also actively involved in artists’ books and independent publishing projects. Freitas was Development Organiser for Chisenhale Gallery, London (2011-13); worked on special projects at Alexander and Bonin, NY (2006-12); and on curatorial projects at Marrakech Biennial ‘Works and Places’ (2009) and at Tate Modern (2008).



CURATORIAL STATEMENT



Marker 2015 takes a broad and open look into what it is to produce and work with art in Latin America today. It then goes on to imagine, build and realise bridges between the Arab world and Latin America – never claiming to be comprehensive nor exhaustive, but instead aiming to bring together strong and meaningful insights on a common platform.


Even for those familiar with these two very distant regions of the world, it is astonishing to realise how the apparent distance between the two is in fact diminished through cultural, visual and physical traits. The Arab diaspora in Latin America was vast by the end of the nineteen century and even more so into the twentieth – so much so that it’s often calculated that there are more Lebanese descendants in Brazil than in Lebanon, while Chile hosts one of the largest Palestinian communities in the world. Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Dominican Republic are all these countries that have been a destination for thousands of Arabs. One simply sees, feels – even smells – similarities when thinking of and experiencing both regions, be it in the food, the people, the language – and of course, the art.



ARTIST BOOKS



TIJUANA


Sao Paulo, Brazil

Editor: Ana Luiza Da Fonseca

cargocollective.com/tijuana


Opened in 2007, Tijuana started as an initiative by Galeria Vermelho to form a space to show works, specifically artist books, that didn’t necessarily fit in the more traditional exhibition spaces. In 2013, Tijuana transformed into a newsstand, highlighting the contrast between artists’ books and the ‘white cube’. This newsstand distributes books published by Tijuana, including 400 artist books, and also features around 18 Latin American publishers.


The artist books selected for Art Dubai 2015 are part of Tijuana’s history with eleven publishers originating from Brasil, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Venezuela and Mexico, many of which have previously participated in Tijuanas Printed Art Fair. Tijuana encourages partnerships between these publishers to attend the same fairs, collaborating on projects and exchanging experiences.


Exhibiting Publications

SOUND



SONIDO


Sao Paulo, Brazil / Bogota, Colombia

Curators: Marina Buendia, Maria Quiroga


When thinking about the connections and distances between Latin America and the Arab World, language is one of the elements that come to mind. Sound precedes oral language, so what is heard requires translation to transform acoustics into meaning. ‘Sonido’, the Spanish word for sound, gives title to this survey of artists from Latin America whose practice explores the narrative, aesthetical and experimental force of sound. The works featured in Sonido include Vinyl LPs, sound pieces in MP3 format, acoustic sculptures and even a radio station for the duration of the fair. Given that the works are time based, Argentinian artist Nicolás Robbio designs an exhibition display of modular furniture that not only invites the audience to dwell on the show, but also brings the works together.

PERFORMANCE



OBJECT – SUBJECT


Bogota, Colombia

Lead-Artist: Maria Jose Arjona


Object-Subject delineates a relationship between the body and the world, where subjectivity as we understand it, is transformed into a plane or site specific/territory from where to relate to something located outside of it. The body conceived as connector, generates different narratives and poetics, always thriving to multiply its capacity to create, react and enact.

GROUP EXHIBITION



BUILDING IMAGINARY BRIDGES OVER HARD GROUND


Pan-Latin America

Curated by Luiza Teixeira de Freitas

 


Marker 2015 also includes an exhibition that brings together works that in some way–whether intentional or not–build bridges and make connections between Latin America and the Arab World.


The exhibition references Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius by Jorge Luis Borges, the most respected author of literary fiction from Argentina. As with many of Borges’ writings, this short story features parallel yet intertwined narratives, that gift the reader many possible encounters and finales – just like the works in this exhibition.

LA ENE



ARENA


Buenos Aires, Argentina

Director: Gala Berger

laene.org


‘Solidaridad Obrera’ is an exhibition about La Ene and its collection. Founded in 2010, La Ene is a museum based in Argentina as a platform for institutional critique in response to Buenos Aires lack of a proper contemporary arts museum. The ‘Solidaridad Obrera’ slogan comes from a Catalan anarchist newspaper published in 1907; it is based on the notion of “mutual support as a means for the working class to seize power”, and was used by Esteban Valdés in a recent piece for La Ene’s art archives. The pieces in La Ene’s collection are not stored in their physical form but as a signed contract between La Ene and the artists who give them reproduction permissions of their work. This collection is stored in a hard drive. This doesn’t mean the works are exclusively conformed by a medium, but that they can acquire a digital form of storage. It’s a hybrid set combining traditional notions of collection and filing with information technologies. The pieces can be reproduced according to the space to be filled: some exist in memory, some are printed, and others re-made or projected. A pixel is a pixel everywhere, a memory is expanded beyond a building.

SADUD A RAGUL



Water Terrace


Cali, Colombia

Director: Óscar Muñoz

Chefs: Steven and Joel Rozen

lugaradudas.org


Sadud a Ragul, the inverted name of Lugar a Dudas, is the organisation where this Arab food kiosk is located, preserving and disseminating flavours and aromas brought by the first generations who came via the Pacific from Syria and Turkey in the early and mid-twentieth century. These new inhabitants of Colombian cities like Cali and Popayán, eventually influenced the local cuisine by adapting their knowledge and food culture to this new environment.