Sunday 26 April 2020

'Open Call' for $7,500 art prize

In its third year, Dubai UAE-based Art Jameel Centre just launched a new art competition, which replaces the drawing and painting version of the previous editions. The new competition called Art Jameel Commissions: Digital, said to have been generated amid the current global "exceptional circumstance" has requested entries from artists across the world.

The Art Jameel Commissions: Digital prize include "USD 7,500, in addition to a dedicated production budget for their project, which will be hosted and promoted on or via Jameel Arts Centre website." Also included in the prize is a curatorial support, both during the production and launch.

"Through an Open Call, Art Jameel is inviting artists to respond to the brief for this exciting opportunity – specifically, artists from or based in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey and those around the world (regardless of nationality) who have sustained and demonstrable links to, and a meaningful understanding of, the wider ‘Middle East region’." The Open Call, which started from April 13, ends on June 10, 2020.

The information also request artists to propose projects and artworks of "engaging" contents that inspire "interactive experiences for online audiences." Excerpts from a press statement reads: "The commission focuses on the theme of ‘Time’ – thinking through how our usual concept of time has been challenged by technology and circumstance, and even at times appeared to be cancelled, lost or frozen."

Winning work from Art Jameel Commissions: Digital will be selected by what the organisers described as "an esteemed jury." The process goes through the summer period, with the work to be launched and exhibited online for at least six months from 2020-21. List of jury includes: Nadim Samman, Curator for the Digital Sphere at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; Finnish word, living media and sound artist Jenna Sutela; Ben Vickers, publisher and Chief Technology Officer at the Serpentine Galleries, London; and members of Art Jameel’s curatorial team.

Antonia Carver, Director at Art Jameel Centre, Dubai, UAE, explained the focus of the competition: “Today’s announcement reflects both a continuation of Art Jameel’s longstanding interest in supporting practitioners to make new works, often for the public realm, and an inherent innovation in approach." Carver, a former director at Art Dubai said the commission also encourages artists to challenge existing concepts of digital art, the impact of our daily online lives and the temporal nature of the human experience.”

Apart from the monetary prize for Art Jameel Commissions: Digital, a "dedicated production budget" is included to be promoted online for the project. "The winner will also receive curatorial support, during the production process and launch, with technical mentorship as well as support in collaboration with MIT J-WEL." The prize winning work, according to the details, "will enter the collection of Art Jameel."

The Centre serves as a hub for educational and research initiatives for diverse audiences. Its wider programming embraces partnerships with local, regional and international artists, curators and organisations.

Art Jameel supports artists and creative communities. Current initiatives include running heritage institutes and restoration programmes, plus a broad range of arts and educational initiatives for all ages.

The organisation’s programmes foster the role of the arts in building open, connected communities; at a time of flux and dramatic societal shifts, this role is understood as more crucial than ever.

Jameel Arts Centre, an innovative contemporary institution in Dubai, UAE, opened on November 11, 2018; Hayy: Creative Hub, a major complex for the creative industries in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is set to launch in 2021.

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