Executive Committee Formed to advise on Inaugural National Pavilion

calendar-iconMonday, 16 February, 2009

The United Arab Emirates has established its first official UAE Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, the world’s most prestigious contemporary art event. This will be the 53rd Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition beginning June 7 through November 22, 2009.

In recognition of the emergence of the UAE as an important contributor to contemporary art, and because of the historic importance of the first national pavilion to be created by a Gulf state an executive committee has been established to advise and support the UAE Pavilion’s efforts, this committee will then advise subsequent pavilions.

The UAE Pavilion is initiated by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development, and is sponsored by the Emirates Foundation and the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (DCAA).

The Executive Committee consists of a highly respected group of individuals who have contributed to contemporary art within the UAE throughout their careers: Zaki Nusseibeh (Chairman), Sheikha Lateefa Bint Maktoum, Sheikha Maisa Al Qassimi, Mubarak Hamad Al Muhairi, Safia Saeed Al Raqbani, Yasser Hareb and Omran Al Owais held their first meeting on Wednesday 11th February, 2009. (Biographies attached below).

The development and presentation of the UAE Pavilion is being organized by Dr. Lamees Hamdan, Commissioner of the Office of the UAE Pavilion, a member of the Board of

Directors of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority.

Dr Lamees Hamdan commented:

“The Executive Committee is an essential overseer of the work that is being carried out by the UAE Pavilion Office, we are extremely privileged to have such a high a caliber of people to be a part of our very first national pavilion. Not only will the committee members bring their valuable experience to the table, they will build capacity for our future pavilions and contemporary artists.”

“The exhibition the UAE is offering in the form of a physical design, live programmes and documentation will make a challenging artistic and intellectual contribution to the Venice Biennale.”

Zaki Nusseibeh, Chairman of the Executive Committee stated:

“Being a part of the UAE pavilion’s Executive Committee is a great responsibility and privilege. It is very important to work towards nurturing the UAE Pavilion as a national treasure which we must develop and strengthen year on year. It is, of course, an honour to be associated with the very first Biennale that the UAE has taken part in and to ensure that the talent of the UAE can shine and grow in stature so as to achieve world recognition”

He went on to say:

“I am also very privileged to be given the role of Chairman, and to work alongside this very talented group of individuals who have the skills and expertise required to add real value to the growth of the pavilion.”

Serving as curator for the UAE Pavilion is Tirdad Zolghadr, who is internationally respected as a curator (7th International Sharjah Biennial; Kunsthalle, Geneva; Cubitt Gallery, London), critic (frieze, Parkett, Bidoun), professor (Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, New York) and filmmaker (Tropical Modernism). The UAE Pavilion will be designed through a partnership of Rami Farook (founder of the UAE’s Traffic design gallery) and the exciting young Belgian architectural collective of D’haeseleer & Kimpe & Poelaert, known for its collaborations with visual artists.