#AnaDubai: Challenging the Meaning of Art

AnaDubai_Xische_Dubai Culture_City Is Your Canvas

The City Is Your Canvas

This year, Dubai Culture & Art Authority and Dubai-based design boutique Xpoze approached us to be a part of their outdoor art initiative The City Is Your Canvas – commissioning local artists to intervene and create unexpected urban surfaces across the JBR Walk promenade. Back in 2011, we had produced a crowdsourced bench painted with tweets hashtagged #IfIWereABench. This year we’re hoping to push the boundary of the art experience further with an immersive installation titled #AnaDubai.

The Big Idea

We decided to reinterpret the central theme of the project by transforming a public staircase at JBR into a living and evolving canvas that is inclusive rather than exclusive. The piece is called #AnaDubai – inspired by the incredulous diversity of citizens, who together make Dubai the inimitable city only it can be, which in turn defines who they are. The symbiotic relationship between citizen and city is visually articulated by an evolving spectrum of individual colors that form a canvas on the staircase. People are encouraged pick a spot on the staircase and submit their photographs via a Facebook app, and watch their picture transormed into a dot illustration on the colourful stairs.

The idea of art as an exclusive experience limited to a segment of society has always been repulsive to us. #AnaDubai challenges that notion by converting a public space into something unexpected, prompting action, reaction and conversation. The addition of Facebook as a means to become a part of the evolving art piece closes the loop by giving control to the audience to impact what the installation ends up becoming over time. The excited tweets and Instagrams (see below for a glimpse) close the loop of the cycle by making each captured image and reaction a part of #AnaDubai too.

Join the Movement

Stay tuned as the installation comes to fruition in the next few days. Join in and have your photograph featured on the steps at JBR via the #AnaDubai Facebook app. Keep up with the conversation hashtagged #anadubai and #cityurcanvas on Twitter and Instagram. More information about Xpoze and Dubai Culture’s The City Is Your Canvas project can be found on their official website.


Leave a Reply