Louvre Abu Dhabi is coming up for its first anniversary, and three days of celebrations have been announced. The standout is a gig from Dua Lipa, but there’s also a series of pop-up spoken word performances directed by Dorian Paul Rogers: a new animated digital work by Emirati designer Salem Al Mansoori: and an architecture weekend for the family.
“Louvre Abu Dhabi’s anniversary celebration is the perfect moment to thank all visitors for making our first year a success and invite them to experience the museum through poetry, music, architecture, design and much more,” said Louvre AD Director Manuel Rabaté. “The essence of this museum is to nurture the world’s vibrant cross-cultural connections in all their forms, and what better opportunity than a week-long get together as we turn one.“
Dua Lipa is the surprise package, of course. She would have been a good bet for one of the F1 concerts; instead the pop breakout artist of 2017 is performing for one night only (11 November) at Louvre Abu Dhabi’s concert village.
Dua Lipa has not hitherto been noted for her love of art, but the 22-year-old is a great live performer – soaring vocals with energetic dance moves – and her debut (self-titled) album was full of gritty hook-laden pop gems like “Hotter Than Hell”, “New Rules’ and “Blow Your Mind (Mwah)”. She’s also said all the right things about female empowerment and being involved in every aspect of the creative process when it comes to her music.
Tickets for the 11 November show are AED 200, which includes free entry to the museum from 2pm to 6pm. The concert village doors will open from 6pm with DJ sets before Dua Lipa’s show.
From 9 to 10 November, a series of pop-up performances under the title Spoken Art will see seven spoken-word poets perform from 1-6 PM across the museum. Directed by Dorian Paul Rogers, founder of Rooftop Rhythms and granddaddy of spoken word performance in the UAE, the poets are taking inspiration from artworks in the Louvre AD galleries; Jayzus Zain and Qutouf Yahia from Sudan, Safwa Mohammed and Jorge Monterrosa from the USA, Chamma AlBastaki from the UAE, Aathma Dious from India and Danabelle Gutierrez from the Philippines.
Access to Spoken Art is included with the standard AED 60 museum admission fee.
There is no additional charge either to see the new animated digital work by Salem Al Mansoori (left) that will be unveiled in the museum’s entrance lobby. Al Mansoori makes generative, data-driven, narrative-based works that cross disciplines and vary from digital fabrication to data visualisation to algorithm-based visual art installations; this one is titled Constellations, and will use Louvre Abu Dhabi visitor data to create interactive, distinctly shaped constellations. Each ‘star’ will represent one nationality; the size of the star will reflect the number of visitors of that nationality.
For the pop-up architecture weekend (9 and 10 November, 10am to 7pm), Louvre Abu Dhabi will host free activities for all ages in the park in front of the museum – learn about Jean Nouvel’s design, get hands-on with your own constructions by using large-scale geometric shapes. Those workshops are run by the award-winning Noa Haim of Collective Paper Aesthetics, a really quite brilliant exponent of hands-on and pop-up activities in museums and similar places.
There will also be a 30-minute discovery tour of the buildings (at 11am, 1pm, 3pm, and 5pm on both days).
While you’re at the Louvre AD, check out the new additions and the major rehang of the modern and contemporary art galleries. The current temporary exhibition is the interesting Japanese Connections: The Birth of Modern Décor, showcasing 19th and 20th century artworks that demonstrate the artistic and cultural dialogue between Japan and France and in particular the influence of the colourful ukiyo-e aesthetics on French modern décor. That’s due to close on 24 November.
The museum is open 10am to 8pm Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday; 10am to 10pm on Thursday and Friday; closed on Mondays.
More information about the anniversary programmes is here.