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Art Dubai Commissions, as part of the extensive not-for-profit programme, gives regional and international artists the opportunity to develop dynamic site-specific works for the grounds of the fair. The projects are developed with local and international partner organisations creating a collaborative model that is designed to extend the life and influence of the project beyond the fair in March.

Art Dubai Commissions 2015 was curated by Lara Khaldi, and featured artists Jumana Emil Abboud, Maria Thereza Alves, Fari Bradley & Chris Weaver, Mehreen Murtaza, and the collective Umashankar and the Earchaeologists. Running alongside the residency and projects programme A.i.R Dubai.


Jumana Emil Abboud, A Happy Ending: Eyes Trapped in Jars, Dwellers in the Well, Glossary for a Happy Ending: Bodies and Beings from Magical Palestine

This project was supported by Maraya Art Centre, and included aninstallation of drawings on balloons, performance and an artist book. Abboud utilised drawings, poetry, objects and performances to create a project that reintroduced the mystical world where magical beings and bodies exist among us. The installation saw floating balloons adorned with eyes, referencing a Palestinian folk tale in which eyes and souls are released from being trapped in a jar. Other accumulated folk stories were told by performers to visitors, while an artist’s book depicted drawings of these tales. The project was also presented at Maraya Art Centre in 2015.