Thursday, December 3, 2009

Q: did art help to add the sheen to Dubai?

A: read William Shaw on the excellent Arts and Ecology blog to see his response and that of others.

A comment left on this post by contemporary art historian Reuben Fowkes suggests the Sharijah Biennial in Dubai is perhaps an extreme example of a general trend of art biennials being hitched to the marketing goals of cities or regions, with contemporary art mobilised as branding tool to boost tourism.
The Arts and Ecology Blog is well worth investigating - it feeds from the RSA Arts and Ecology Centre which was set up in 2005 by the RSA-  the Royal Society for the encouragement of the Arts, Manufacture and Commerce  in the UK. The Centre's head, Michaela Crimmin, says "Artists have always had a powerful relationship with the natural environment. Equally artists continually question and and re-examine society's notions of progress. We need their unique perspective on the enormous challenges ahead - on the relationship between environmental issues, and not least climate change, and people."
Read Reuben and Maja Fowkes fascinating site for what looks like a very comprehensive take on contemporary art and ways it interacts with ecology. 
With a new year coming up, and time to pause, I wonder what will be thought up for 2010  that addresses the questions surrounding us at this time? 

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