Interview with Reem Fadda
We have sat down with Reem Fadda, the co-curator of the Biennial spoken about in the interview, Public Art Abu Dhabi Biennial.
Rima Nasser: How long have you been working on this project?
Reem Fadda: Since nearly a year,
RN: And what is your curatorial process?
RF: So as of now, choosing the artist obviously goes through a curatorial process. For the biennial we will work on developing a kind of concept at large and then from there, have conversations based on research with a larger artistic team to see where this kind of direction goes and how it fits and how we can begin the commissioning process. And talk to stakeholders and community members and develop it alongside that kind of aspect. So, it’s a long process, but hopefully leads us to the right results.
RM: Does the artist choose the location?
RF: Yes, I mean, this is the whole idea is that we bring artists we explore the landscape with them, the city scape, the entire emirate. They go on visitations they are able to really kind of dream up their ideas and make it happen where it makes sense to them. It’s not going to be up to us entirely. We will of course guide because we have historic sites, we have cultural sites, we have modern heritage map beautiful areas that have resonances and histories and stories. So, we wanted to also kind of bounce off that, too. And make sure that you know, it can push it further through contemporary art through the voice of the artist.
RN: Does the production have to be in the UAE?
RF No, it doesn’t but we are hoping that the end of the day this is an industry that would find its place in the UAE as well. And build from there. I mean, you see all around you there’s all the museums coming up very fast actually. And they will be up and running in no time.
So basically, these industries will be essential for the entire cultural and artistic landscape that we have here in Abu Dhabi.
RN: Will the desert installations involve local artists or will you be inviting International artists to express their dialogue?
RF: Actually, funnily enough you’re asking this question, I had a conversation with a specific wonderful artist Mohamad Ahmad Ibrahim, who said he’s always he’s always done land art and in the desert too, and so has Hassan Sharif. So, no, it’s not going to be only the internationals, there are aspirations for our land artists and our conceptual artists to do things in these landscapes.
RN: Can artists pitch their work or will you be sending an open call for artists?
RF: No, it’ll be direct. It’ll be conversations, meetings, explorations and research. And it’s not just me myself. There’s going to be entire teams involved. So, we were going to work like various octopuses, right and the sea will swim around and we will, you know, reach far and near to broaden the aspect of the discussion as much as possible.
RN: And where do you see this going in the future?
RF: I see that in 50 years’, time, we will have had 25 editions of the Biennial and numerous and countless, aspects of installations of art alongside beautiful architectural feats of museums and content. That’s unlike anywhere else. And it will tell of a real Renaissance for our entire region.