‘Floating World’ to wow visitors at ArtBAb-2017

Manama : Bahrain’s second contemporary art fair, Art Bahrain Across Borders (ArtBAB 2017), will be held at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Conference Centre from March 22 to 26. To be held under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, Wife of His Majesty the King and President of the Supreme Council for Women, the expo is set to wow visitors with a unique video installation, embracing over half of the exhibitor hall, and showcasing thirty-two international art videos alongside excerpts from Bahraini documentaries. Like a forest of moving imagery, the ‘Floating World’ installation will feature thirty-two large scale suspended projections – 6 meters wide – screening video films by internationally renowned artists, such as Marcel Dzama (Canada), Cristina Lucas (Spain), John Stezaker (UK), Beat Streuli (Switzerland), Gillian Wearing (UK), Ming Wong (Singapore), Maha Maamoun (Egypt), Flo Kasearu (Estonia), Marko Maetamm (Estonia), Nilbar Gures (Turkey), Ebtisam Abdulaziz (Sharjah), Raqs (India), Cao Fei (China), Neha Chosky (India/USA), Jan Toomik (Estonia), Iv Toshain (Bulgaria), Michel Francois (Belgium), Graham Gussin (UK), Alice Cattaneo (Italy), Dean Kelland (UK), Shi Jong (China), Shimabuku (Japan), Fiona Banner (UK) and Cornelia Parker (UK). Jonathan Watkins (Director of the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham and Chairman of artist selection, ArtBAB International Selection Committee) with support from Alistair Hicks (former Senior Curator at Deutsche Bank for nearly twenty years, author of The Global Art Compass (2014) and a member of the ArtBAB International Selection Committee) will be curating this video exhibition. Jonathan Watkins, Chairman of artist selection, ArtBAB International Selection Committee, says: “The idea for Floating World was inspired by Bahrain, and more specifically by the venue itself. The BIECC is an extraordinary place. Vast in size, with windows and skylights that can be easily covered, it’s the perfect environment for largescale video projections. A forest of moving images, we’re turning the fair itself into unforgettable artistic experience; an immersive event like no other. It’s very exciting.” “Floating World promises to be a key attraction at ArtBAB 2017. Alistair and I are thinking of it as a sea of moving imagery that combines international artist videos with Bahraini documentaries. It is an intriguing foil for the ArtBAB exhibition space which entails a dedicated Bahraini art pavilion, a gallery arena, individual artist stands and a merchandise section with cafes. We are also inviting some of the international artists taking part in Floating World to participate in the educational arts programme, Talks@ArtBAB, which will be a vital part of the fair.” Kaneka Subberwal, Founder of Art Select and Fair Director of ArtBAB 2017 says: “We wanted to bring something new to the ArtBAB fair this year, something that would serve to further merge the global arts scene with its local counterparts and the Floating World installation achieves just that. It is a moving theatre that combines the local and global arts worlds; it is a visual stimulant for visitors where they can get a rounded glimpse of what is happening in the global arts world while also feeling the local artistic pulse dominant in Bahrain”. The fair will host acclaimed artists and galleries from all over the world and has been designed to embrace and highlight excellence in the local arts sector while uniting the local and global art communities and providing a stage for exchange of ideas.
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