A bona-fide “creative space” in Dubai. An old Emaar sales office in Old Town Dubai — which is neither “old” nor a “town,” but that’s another story — was converted into the Pavilion earlier this year and I have to say, I was impressed. N.G. and I visited Friday and we both agreed it was a nice change of pace from the usual Dubai scene.
Outside is an installation by Lebanese interior designer Pierre Abboud and is composed of intertwining wood mirroring muscles of the hands that Abboud says came together to build and form the multicultural nation of the U.A.E.
There are two galleries, both of which currently feature photography that illustrate the unfettered growth of Dubai in recent years. “Constructakons” by Sami Al Turki, a Saudi photographer, focuses on the objects of construction: “It is through their excavating, moving and lifting that such a place has emerged as a global city.” Dubai, he says, is the only place on earth that consumes and produces absolutely nothing.
I wasn’t able to photograph the exhibit – there was too much glare in the room. But the adjoining exhibition by Dutch photographer Charlie Koolhaas featured stenciled quotes about Dubai which played nicely into Al Turki’s theme.
Here’s another view of the Abboud installation with the Burj Khalifa in the background.
N.G. snapped this one of me pointing at my old apartment in JLT. I found it interesting that of all the developments Al Turki chose JLT to shoot. I always thought the ongoing construction, the duel between family car and tractors on the roads around it and the dearth of “community” outside of the buildings made for an especially bleak urban landscape.