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ArtBAB 2019 – Art Bahrain Across Borders
6 March - 10 Marchtbc
The fourth edition of Bahrain’s international art fair has as is stated aim is “to attract leading international galleries to the Kingdom, so powering the expansion of the art market whilst facilitating the development of local Bahraini artists”. We don’t know how successful this will be, and we don’t know who has signed up for this year; the 2018 edition had 15 galleries plus 16 independent artists “from various countries”.
In any case ArtBAB probably won’t look or feel like a conventional art fair. We understand the theme for 2019 is ‘Legacies’ and there will be a focus on the rich art and crafts tradition of the country via an ‘Artisans Across Borders’ initiative – installations that promise to explore contemporary Bahraini crafts, presenting Bahrain as “a country which is open to modern thought without losing the essence of its timeless traditions”.
It’s not entirely clear how this works with the multi-dimensional experience that should be provided through ArtBAB’ss Virtual Reality Corner, the first of its kind in the region;visitors will be able to enter the private virtual museums of the DsL Collection from Paris the first VR private museum, and The Kremer Collection of Amsterdam. Visitors can experience VR works by prominent contemporary artists, shown by Khora Contemporary, the world’s first VR and augmented reality (AR) production house, created as a collaboration between Khora VR and Copenhagen’s Faurschou Foundation.
The second annual UNFOLD Art XChange will also take place during ArtBAB (7-9 March) as part of the fair’s talks programme. UNFOLD Art XChange reckons to be “the first contemporary art summit to be launched in the global art market at the intersection of where Culture meets Technology”, which is a bold claim. A group of “over 40” names from culture, Fintech, AI and VR will engage in panel discussions, interviews and debates “to foster greater knowledge-sharing and future collaborations”.
The full talks programme and more information on the speakers is available here.