Twelve artists represented by a selection of Latin America’s leading galleries have arrived in the UAE to take part in Residents, Art Dubai’s annual residency programme. Coming from Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Cuba and Colombia, invited Residents artists will spend 4-8 weeks immersing themselves in the life and culture of the Emirates, and producing new artworks which will later be exhibited at the fair.
Supported by the Office of Public and Cultural Diplomacy in the UAE, the second edition of Residents is co-curated by São Paulo–based curator and artistic director of art space Pivô, Fernanda Brenner, who explains her vision: “My idea is to bring together artists that have very different approaches to the so-called Latin American context and yet reflect the region’s most pressing issues and artistic concerns.”
Mazenett Quiroga, De más allá del mar, Waterman Butterfly Map projection, Presented by Instituto de Vision, Bogota
“I think we, as hosts, should provide interesting starting points from conversations, introductions to the local scene, promote encounters and provide them with a comfortable working environment, allowing for every artist to respond in their own way to the situation they find themselves in,” says Brenner, explaining that for this process, she will be relying on the programme’s co-curator Abu Dhabi-based curator Munira Al Sayegh.
Al Sayegh is interested in helping the visiting artists overcome any lingering preconceptions or stereotypes: “One of the biggest things is that people assume women – Emiratis and Arabs – are not empowered and I want to challenge that notion. I am also looking to show the artists beyond the institutions towards the more home-grown conversations,” she says.
This exciting programme aims to cultivate unplanned encounters and conversations, as well as stimulate artwork production that offer Residents a novel experience with unexpected and rewarding results. “Everything changes when you are producing in a new landscape,” says Al Sayegh. “And that is where I come in. I am going to help these artists map out their practice, make introductions and help to facilitate their progress.”