Complex Made Simple

Absolut and Art Dubai announce commissioning of Yazan Khalili for Art bar

Following a long tradition of creative commissions and support of the arts, Absolut has selected artist Yazan Khalili to deliver a large-scale bar installation at Art Dubai 2015.

The installation, located on Madinat Jumeirah’s Fort Island is being devised under the working title of ‘The Island’ and will be themed around the concept of past futures, questioning his ideas of reality, of belonging and of the theatrical nature of life itself.

Khalili who lives and works in and out of Palestine, was one of the founding members of Zan Design Studio (2005) and a finalist in the A.M. Qattan Foundation’s Young Artists Award (2006), as well as an artist-in-residence at Delfina Foundation in London (2008) and The Danish Film School (2006). He was the production Coordinator for Sharjah Biennials 9 & 10.

Khalili’s Art Bar vision will permeate every part of the installation from concept to the design and programming of the space. He commented: “When developing the installation I was inspired by the architecture of Dubai. The city’s skyline incites the questioning of imagined futures and of created pasts.”

Art Bar by Absolut is Art Dubai’s social hub, attracting fair visitors, artists, gallerists and collectors who want to network and enjoy themselves after-hours in a truly unique, cosmopolitan, nightlife destination. Using performance art to add an energetic twist to his work, Khalili’s installation plays on the concept of the fair as a stage and questions the roles that we play on it.

Yazan Khalili’s participation is part of a series of residences, projects and commissions under Art Dubai Projects, included in Art Dubai’s extensive not-for-profit progamming.

“We are very excited to be working with Yazan and to see his ideas take shape at Art Dubai 2015,” said Saskia Neuman, Global Art Manager, Absolut. “Exploring his surroundings in Dubai, at the fair and on the Fort Island itself has lead to a thought provoking and entertaining concept that will be sure to delight visitors to Art Bar,” Sasika added.

Previous iterations of Art Bar by Absolut have been created by leading contemporary artists such as Ry Rocklen, Mickalene Thomas, Adrian Wong and Los Carpinteros. At Art Dubai 2014, Absolut collaborated with UAE-based artist collective Caravan to deliver an installation entitled A Grain of Sand which transported visitors to a desert landscape made from recycled, corrugated cardboard in flowing, organic shapes. Art Bar was last seen in Hong Kong when Nadim Abbas presented Apocalypse Postponed for Art Basel in Hong Kong 2014.

Art Dubai takes place at Madinat Jumeirah from Wednesday March 18 to Saturday March 21, 2015.