The Board of Art Dubai
has announced the appointment of Antonia Carver to succeed John Martin as Fair Director of Art Dubai. Antonia Carver is a writer and arts administrator, and has been widely recognized as a leading advocate of contemporary Middle Eastern art. She has been working in the arts for the past sixteen years, and brings to the fair a broad base of experience across both the commercial and not-for-profit sectors.
Based in Dubai for the past eight years, Carver has been a member of the renowned Middle Eastern arts organization Bidoun since its inception in 2004, and is currently editor-at-large of Bidoun magazine and director of Bidoun Projects, responsible for overseeing a dynamic programme of artists projects, commissions, exhibitions, talks and educational events. Bidoun Projects was the curatorial partner of Art Dubai in 2010. In these roles, Carver has worked with some of the Middle Easts best-known as well as emerging artists, complementing her knowledge of international contemporary art.
John Martin, who remains on the board of Art Dubai, commented: We are delighted that Antonia Carver has accepted the role of fair director. Her appointment underlines the Boards commitment to build on Art Dubais exceptional worldwide reputation for innovation and quality. Antonias experience internationally and in the region will strengthen the core values of the fair, ensuring it continues to be a significant driving force in the growth of the regions art scene.
The fifth edition of Art Dubai takes place in March 2011. Coinciding with Sharjah Biennial 10, the UAE will become the destination for collectors, curators and art lovers from around the world. With the deadline for gallery applications closing at the end of June, the fair has seen a surge of interest from international galleries wishing to participate, as well as applications from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, Lebanon and key art markets around the MENA region.
Commenting on the prospects of the fair next year, Carver said: Art Dubais success is built on its engagement with the MENASA region, its great roster of leading galleries and the support of dedicated collectors from the UAE and beyond. The innovative programme of artists projects and the Global Art Forum have made Art Dubai a particularly popular and dynamic event. Im delighted to be joining the fair at a time of unprecedented homegrown support for artists from the Middle East, and when international interest in the region has never been higher. Im aiming to work with galleries, collectors, artists, institutions and professionals to strengthen the role the fair can play within the region whilst continuing to develop the enormous international support that the event has always enjoyed.
Bidoun Projects programmes in 2009-10, directed by Carver, included a touring library of Middle Eastern art books and music; a course of workshops and seminars in critical writing; and curating a dynamic set of international film and video programmes, talks, and artists commissions. Recent collaborating partners include the Sharjah Art Foundation, the New Museum, TDIC, Townhouse gallery, LACMA, the Cinematheque de Tangier, Galerie Sfeir-Semler, the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), and the Emirates Foundation.
Carver was a correspondent for the Art Newspaper and has contributed to journals, newspapers and exhibition catalogues worldwide. As a film curator, she is a member of the programming teams for the Dubai International Film Festival and Edinburgh International Film Festival, specializing in Arab and Iranian cinema.
Carver graduated in 1994, and has worked in publishing and visual arts ever since in Sydney, Australia, and in London at G&B Arts International and contemporary visual arts magazine; the Institute of International Visual Arts (Iniva), and as an editor at Phaidon Press.