Yang Fudong and Feng Mengbo featured in the 2013 Guggenheim Abu Dhabi: Talking Art Series

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Contemporary artists, whose work forms part of Guggenheim Abu Dhabi permanent collection, in Abu Dhabi for public programs

Open to everyone, last week’s interactive programming provided the opportunity to engage with international artists through panels, workshops and demonstrations and shared the museum’s curatorial vision.

Last week’s kick-off of the 2013 Guggenheim Abu Dhabi: Talking Art Series (6–8 May) featured a dynamic public programme of panels, screenings, art installations, workshops and demonstrations by several leading contemporary artists whose works form part of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi collection. Held at Manarat Al Saadiyat, the exhibition centre on Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island, these programmes will also take place 20–23 November, again enabling attendees to engage with artists and their works, in the context of the museum’s growing collection.

Featuring personal insight from El Anatsui, , Youssef Nabil, James Rosenquist and Adel El-Siwi, the programme unfolded over the course of three days. Youssef Nabil was joined on stage by his special guests: the actresses Youssra and Rossy de Palma. This May programme reflected several of the curatorial narratives which structure the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi’s collection, including Popular Culture and the Mediated Image and History, Memory, Narrative. The visiting artists also held successful workshops for Emirati artists and University students from the field.

An exhibition of an interactive video game installation by Feng Mengbo, Long March: Restart (2008), which is related to Feng’s earlier painting series Game Over: Long March (1994) acquired for the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, was also opened following the artist’s conversation on 7 May and will remain on view at Manarat Al Saadiyat until 8 June. This immersive work is a fully functioning video game that viewers can actually play.

The November programme will take place during the days of Abu Dhabi Art and is expected to feature artists Angela Bulloch, Heinz Mack, Marwan, Hassan Sharif, Monika Sosnowska, Jacques Villeglé, and , whose works have also been confirmed as part of the collection.

In addition to the conversations, the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi: Talking Art Series features family art workshops focused on the work of artists from the collection.

About Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority
Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority conserves and promotes the heritage and culture of Abu Dhabi emirate and leverages them in the development of a world-class, sustainable destination of distinction, which enriches the lives of visitors and residents alike. The authority manages the emirate’s tourism sector and markets the destination internationally through a wide range of activities aimed at attracting visitors and investment. Its policies, plans and programmes relate to the preservation of heritage and culture, including protecting archaeological and historical sites and to developing museums, including the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. TCA Abu Dhabi supports intellectual and artistic activities and cultural events to nurture a rich cultural environment and honour the emirate’s heritage. A key authority role is to create synergy in the destination’s development through close coordination with its wide-ranging stakeholder base.

About Guggenheim Abu Dhabi
Guggenheim Abu Dhabi will be a museum that promotes the understanding and appreciation of contemporary art, architecture, and other manifestations of modern and contemporary visual culture from an international perspective. The museum will support a transnational curatorial programme of art and visual culture from the 1960s to the present with a strong focus on art from the Middle East exploring the specific identity derived from the cultural traditions of Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates. The museum and its growing permanent collection is owned by the Government of Abu Dhabi.

About the Talking Art programme
The Talking Art programme is a series of public discussions to engage audiences with each of the forthcoming museums in the Saadiyat Cultural District, where representatives from the curatorial departments of each of the partner institutions join other expert panellists to examine issues pertaining to the growing collections and museum developments.

Specifically, the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi: Talking Art Series provides an introduction to the curatorial vision for the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. It creates a dynamic platform for sharing with the public insight into the types of art and ideas that they can expect to encounter in the future museum. The series sheds light on artworks that have been acquired by the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi to date, individual artistic vision and practice; key themes and approaches in contemporary art; and the curatorial narratives that constitute a defining framework for the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Collection including: (1) Popular Culture & the Mediated Image, (2) Abstractions, (3) History, Memory, Narrative, (4) System, Process, Concept, and (5) Global Perspectives.

This edition follows the November 2012 panel in the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi: Talking Art Series with Richard Armstrong (Director of Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation), Frank Gehry (architect of Guggenheim Abu Dhabi) and H.E. Zaki Nusseibeh (Adviser to the UAE’s Ministry of Presidential Affairs) during Abu Dhabi Art where a progress update was given and select acquisitions for the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Collection were revealed, including works by Monir Farmanfarmaian, Subodh Gupta, Rachid Koraïchi, Jacques Villeglé and Ai Weiwei.