At the centre of Art Dubai’s not-for-profit programme is Art Dubai Commissions, a platform that invites artists to produce site-specific works, as a means to support artistic production by local and international artists and further enhance the cultural landscape.
Complementing Art Dubai’s Bawwaba gallery section, and curated by Emiliano Valdes under the theme ‘Sanación/Healing’, this year’s Art Dubai Commissions will feature a series of new performances and activations focusing on ideas of introspection, spirituality, community and the power of art to help us navigate challenging times.
Participating artists, including Mirna Bamieh, Cecilia Bengolea, Hashel Al Lamki, Sajan Mani, Debashish Paul and Mithu Sen will explore various aspects of the healing process, creating spaces for contemplation and introspection, socially oriented practices that engage with local communities as well as creating nurturing and liberating experiences.
Mirna Bamieh explores the politics of disappearance and memory in Palestinian communities amid contemporary challenges. Since 2019, she has integrated fermentation into her art using text, ceramics, and video in interactive installations. With a culinary arts degree, she combines food and storytelling in socially engaged work. Featuring dinner performances and interventions inspired by food practices and generational recipes, Bamieh aims to revive endangered traditional Palestinian food cultures.
Buenos Aires, Argentina | Paris, France
Cecilia Bengolea was born in 1979 in Argentina. She uses dance as her primary medium for radical empathy and emotional exchange. Her art is inherently multidisciplinary, collaborating with artists, performers, DJs and dancers. Her work interprets movement, dance and performance as dynamic forms of sculpture and as a result, the boundaries between subject and object become blurred within her artistic creations.
HASHEL AL LAMKI
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Hashel Al Lamki, an acclaimed Emirati artist, delves into the interplay between humanity and its environment, addressing the contrast of Al Ain’s Bedouin culture with the swift development in the Gulf. Born near Jebel Hafeet, he navigates the complexities of social dynamics. Actively involving local artisans, Al Lamki’s multidisciplinary work contributes to local economies, fostering community connections and reflecting on the juxtaposition of traditional values and modern development.
Sajan Mani, an interdisciplinary artist from rural Keralam, South India, uses his art to amplify the voices of marginalized communities, focusing on the “Black Dalit body.” His performances, rooted in embodied presence, tackle issues of pain, shame, fear, and power. Drawing from his personal history, Mani explores the body as a socio-political metaphor. His work often incorporates water, addressing ecological concerns in Kerala’s backwaters and themes of migration.
Debashish Paul, born in 1994 in West Bengal, explores the body as a tender landscape, delving into notions of gender and identity. His performance, rooted in automatism, allows for the uninhibited expression of private emotions. Awarded the Inlaks Fine Art Award 2022 and Allegro 1st Prize 2021, Paul has also received recognition from the Prince Claus Seed Fund and the Prafulla Dahanukar Art Foundation.
Mithu Sen is a versatile artist known for her conceptual and interactive works spanning drawing, performance, poetry, moving images, sculptures, installations, and sound. She challenges societal norms, questions hierarchies, and explores tabooed identities. Award highlights include the 2020 India Today Art Awards, 2015 Prudential Eye Award, and 2011 The SKODA Prize.