Art Dubai: Meet the Residents
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.”
“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 the resident artists 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.”
Meet the artists
Based At Dubai Design District, Dubai
Nicanor Aráoz (represented by Barro, Buenos Aires)
Nicanor Aráoz (b.1981 Argentina) produces objects, installations, drawings and sculptures using as a reference images from comics, imagery from Internet and romantic mythologies taken from gothic art. In his practice, he attempts to push the boundaries of materials in search of intermediate emotional states.
Rodolpho Parigi (represented by CASA TRIÂNGULO, São Paulo)
Rodolpho Parigi’s (b. 1977, Brazil) drawings and paintings are somewhere between figurative and abstract. His vibrant compositions, defying any perspective, almost giving rise to vertigo and use a wide spectrum of visual references such as the history of art, design, advertising, pop culture, botany, zoology and anatomy.
Luiz Roque (represented by Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo/ Brussels/ New York)
Attracted by the power of image and, in particular, by sensations that stem from the sense of vision, visual artist Luiz Roque’s (b. 1979, Brazil) work crosses different territories, such as the genre of science fiction, the legacy of Modernism and pop culture, in order to understand and propose ingenious and visually sensual narratives.
Based At Tashkeel, Dubai
Alexandre da Cunha (represented by Luisa Strina, São Paulo)
Grounded in a material aesthetic and ethic, Alexandre da Cunha (b. 1969, Brazil) makes sculpture and wall-mounted work using transformed everyday or found objects. Da Cunha describes his practice as ‘pointing’, not ‘making’: pointing at existing objects in our everyday surroundings, and highlighting or revealing new and unexpected facets or meanings within them. This approach has allowed him to unpick our preconceptions and instinctive responses to things and shift our perspective to new ways of seeing and understanding.
Laura Lima (represented by A Gentil Carioca Gallery, Rio de Janeiro)
Laura Lima (b. 1971, Brazil) works are experimental arrangements that explore the margins of our perception along the boundaries between reality, illusion, and fiction. Working across mediums, Laura Lima frequently subjects the body to surprising juxtapositions with objects and architectures. With each installation, Lima consistently reinvents the viewer’s encounter with her work, skillfully considering the nature of perception, social relationships, and human behavior, while creating profound and startling aesthetic experiences.
Luis Enrique López-Chávez (represented by Galeria Servando, Havana)
In his work, Luis Enrique López-Chávez (b.1988, Cuba) has been conducting a research exercise on the development of the plastic form and on the frictions that such form generates by introducing itself as an affirmation in the logical space of the world. From this contact with the socio-historical context, with language or with art itself, he proposes an image contained between a conceptual methodology and an un- conscious pulse, between a philosophical proposition and a poetic image.
Based At BAIT15, Abu Dhabi
Luciana Lamothe (represented by Ruth Benzacar Galeria De Arte, Buenos Aires)
Luciana Lamothe (b.1975, Buenos Aires) works with sculpture, assemblage and installation to interrogate the dialectical relationship between construction and destruction, the social and the anti-social. The ambivalence of the materials she works with, in terms of strength and ductility, soft and hard, can be clearly perceived in her pieces.
Mazenett Quiroga (represented by Instituto de Visión, Bogota)
Mazenett Quiroga are interested in exploring the interrelationship between organisms and the misnamed “resources” of our environment. Their distribution and resignification through culture. They strive to blur the distinction between the concepts of nature and culture. The duo have developed a practice based on an oscillation between past and present, science and mythology, Amerindian cultures and western influence, finding interstices between these apparent polarities.
Based At Warehouse421, Abu Dhabi
Jerry B. Martin (represented by Revolver Galeria, Lima/ Buenos Aires)
For over two decades, Jerry B. Martin (b. 1976, Colombia) has been using a typewriter as the main tool for his practice: a private performance based on transcription as a means for cognition. By typing and over-typing sentences, paragraphs, texts and even complete books, the artist creates lights and shadows that end up translating information into an image on paper that establishes links between author, material, content, process and itself.
José Manuel Mesías (represented by Galeria Continua, San Gimignano/ Beijing/ Les Moulins/ Havana)
José Manuel Mesías (b.1990, Cuba) takes notable moments from history and re-contextualises them, combining them with contemporary moments and more intimate occurrences. Mesías aims to capture urban beauty and simultaneous deterioration in his works; he seeks to portray the same anxiety and marvel he experiences through his everyday life and that, he argues, the world provokes in equal amounts.
Flora Rebollo (represented by Galeria Pilar, São Paulo)
In her most recurring practice, Flora Rebollo‘s (b.1983, Brazil) creates dynamic large-scale colourful compositions which employs a number of graphic features and are intriguing by both their profuse use of electric and muddy colors and their elusive shapes that appear to rebuild themselves incessantly.
Verónica Vázquez (represented by Piero Atchugarry, Pueblo Garzón/ Miami)
Through a process of finding and collecting materials, Verónica Vázquez (b.1970, Uruguay) repurposes discarded objects to create visually striking sculptures and wall reliefs. Her work references both the history of Uruguayan Constructivism as well as the legacy of the Italian Arte Povera.