to our newsletter


CAD 6.0: Theme, Format, Mood, Setting

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.


Campus Art Dubai is a highly competitive membership open to applications from artists, writers, curators, designers, architects, thinkers, scholars, and cultural producers. CAD 6.0 was led by Murtaza ValiUzma Z Rizvi and Lantian Xie, with an invited group of international and local guest tutors.

Skills: developing and articulating the practices of locally-based artists / writers / curators, through discussions, talks, presentations and mentoring, all informed by regular readings, plus group outings to exhibitions and artists’ studios.

Feedback: presenting work and learning strategies for group and one-on-one critiques, self-critique and self-motivated practice; all participants present their work and discuss it with the group at least twice over the five-month period as well as one-on-one critiques with lead and visiting tutors.

Access: to international, regional, and local tutors, perspectives and audiences.

Projects: participants develop their own projects, and also work collaboratively on a project with the CAD group.


Murtaza Vali is a Brooklyn and Sharjah-based critic and curator. He regularly publishes in various international art periodicals and has presented exhibitions at and contributed to publications for non-profit institutions, art fairs and commercial galleries around the globe. He is a Visiting Instructor at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, and a member of Art Jameel’s Curatorial Council.

Uzma Z. Rizvi is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Urban Studies at the Pratt Institute of Art and Design, Brooklyn, where she teaches anthropology, ancient urbanism, critical heritage studies, memory and war/trauma studies, art and social change and the postcolonial critique. Rizvi is currently a Visiting Faculty in the Department of International Studies at the American University of Sharjah. Rizvi (w/ Amal Khalaf) directed Art Dubai’s 2016 Global Art Forum, The Future Was. Recent publications include Crafting Resonance: Empathy and Belonging in Ancient Rajasthan(2015); Decolonizing Archaeology: On the Global Heritage of Epistemic Laziness(2015); and The World Archaeological Congress Research Handbook on Postcolonial Archaeology(2010).

Lantian Xie is an artist from Dubai who makes images, objects, stories, and situations. Xie holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is editor-at-large at Dubai-based publishing practice THE STATE.


CAD 6.0 Guest Tutors

Temi Odumosu is an art historian, creative educator, and postdoctoral researcher for the Living Archives Research Project at Malmö University in Sweden. Her international research and curatorial practice is concerned with the visual politics of slavery and colonialism, Afro-Diaspora aesthetics, decolonising the museum, critical use of AR/MR, embodied memory and archival re-enactment.

Ho Rui An is an artist and writer working in the intersections of contemporary art, cinema, performance and theory. He writes, talks and thinks around images, with an interest in investigating their emergence, transmission and disappearance within contexts of globalism and governance. He has presented projects at Jakarta Biennale (2017), Sharjah Biennial 13 (2017), Kochi-Muziris Biennale (2014), Haus de Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2017), Jorge B. Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center, Manila (2017), NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (2017), NUS Museum, Singapore (2016), Para Site, Hong Kong (2015), Hessel Museum of Art and CCS Bard Galleries, Annandale-on-Hudson (2015) and Witte de With, Rotterdam (2014). He is the Singapore desk editor for ArtAsiaPacific and has contributed to numerous publications. He lives and works in Singapore.

Past Guest Tutors Include:

Cuauhtémoc Medina / Riason Naidoo / Shaina Anand / Raja’a Khalid / Vikram Divecha / Todd Reisz / Deepak Unnikrishnan / Hassan Sharif / Amit Chaudhuri / Len Chapman / Pankaj Mishra / Chris Waver / Scott Fitzgerald / Abbas Akhavan / Tarek Atoui / Shumon Basar / Umer Butt / Aaron Cezar / Mary Evans / Isabella Ellaheh Hughes / Amanda Abi Khalil / H.G. Masters / Salwa Mikdadi / Mona El-Mousfy / Hoor Al-Qasimi / Sunny Rahbar / Tirdad Zolghadr