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  • Jul 09, 2021

Looking Ahead: Weekly News Roundup

Installation view of MONIRA AL-QADIRI

Dubai’s Expo 2020 festival has launched a public-art program featuring 11 open-air artworks. Inspired by the Book of Optics, an 11th-century CE work by the Arabic scholar Ibn Al-Haytham, the program was kick started with the debut of multimedia artist Monira Al-Qadiri’s new commission, Chimera (2021), an iridescent sculpture of an oil drill. By evoking the Gulf’s famous exports, pearls, and oil, Al-Qadiri’s massive, futuristic installation demonstrates the connections between the region’s history and economy. Alongside Al-Qadiri, the other commissioned artists include Hamra Abbas, Afra Al-Dhaheri, Shaikha Al-Mazrou, Abdullah Al-Saadi, Asma Belhamar, Olafur Eliasson, Nadia Kaabi-Linke, Khalil Rabah, Yinka Shonibare, and Haegue Yang. The 11 artworks will form a permanent exhibition in District 2020, a smart city planned to evolve from Expo 2020, which is slated to open on October 1.