Sunday, May 15, 2011

Dubai: Second Trip

Only a couple of weeks after returning from the Dubai trip I found out our show would be included in the Sharjah Biennial. Horray! That meant I would be going back. So me and Lauren McCarty left in early March for two more weeks of fun and art. This time instead of staying at a hotel we were able to stay at the Flying House in an art residency type of situation.
Our first event was Art Dubai. This is Dubai's art fair with many galleries representing even more artists. There was lots of buying and selling going on, with gallery owners running back and forth talking about their latest sales. It was very exciting with all the people and great works of art. Then, outside on the patio, we hung out talking and listening to music enjoying free drinks. In the morning Hassan as well as Mohammed Kazam and Catherine David, the two curators of Hassan's show, had a few interviews to take care of before brunch on the beach. There were a number of good talks commending Hassan and the Flying House. After the talks as I was sitting at the table a woman walked by and said she had been watching me and wanted to "shove that toothpick down my throat!", it was very odd.
Then we traveled to Abu Dhabi for a few days to be at the opening of Hassan Sharif and surrounding events. The show was spectacular, very well organized and did justice to Hassan's work. After the show we went to dinner with a bunch of people. I ended up talking to Saad Juma, Senior Journalist in Abu Dhabi, whose English is slightly better than my Arabic. Everyone was tired around 3 am, but not me and Saad, he took me out to the African dance clubs and showed me a good time. Then 4:30 am rolled around, all the clubs were closing so it was time to grab a cab, hit a gas station for some Popeye's Chicken and call it a night.
Rounds of interviews and visiting collectors followed Hassan from his show in Abu Dhabi back to the Flying House in Dubai the following week. We had another great dinner at Carolin Kropff's house, this time prepared by Mohammed with the rest of us helping out. A huge fish and mixed seafood soup, delicious. That's about all I can type and Lauren is going to cover what I missed.