Monday, September 16, 2013

thejamjar 3rd Mondays on public art

Can malls be considered a "public space" in Dubai? This and other fascinating questions were discussed at thejamjar's 3rd Mondays event in September. Public art in the UAE, as many artists here will testify, is rare (especially for what is supposed to be a regional art hub), and and fraught with complications in implementation. We watched a short documentary about a Brick Lane public art project, which provided some food for thought about potential locations for placing public art (the idea of using rooftops for the purpose in a city of skyscrapers was intriguing).

As a slideshow of various public art installations from around the world ran on the projects, we discussed the issues surrounding "graffiti permits", cultural/religious influences on the kinds of art that can be displayed in public, commercialization of public art, and the concept of public space in Dubai in light of the climate and mall culture in Dubai.

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