THE EYE OF DUBAI
The Pavilion Downtown Dubai is proud to present Christian Jankowski’s video installation The Eye of Dubai – a black and white film that recalls Jankowski’s first trip to Dubai, and is accompanied by a television documentary from the BBC World News series ‘Collaboration Culture’ which chronicled the making of the film. Upon their arrival in Dubai, the artist and his film crew were led by their local guide, Rami Farook, who took them to various destinations throughout the city where they remained blindfolded until the last night of their trip when they viewed their film for the first time.
The starting point for the work was an invitation by the BBC to participate in their Collaboration Culture series. For this project, two films were produced: one was created by Jankowski’s Berlin-based film crew, which consisted of a director (Jankowski), a cinematographer and a sound recordist and the other film, directed and produced by the BBC, is a documentation of Jankowski’s project.
Throughout their stay in Dubai, the film crew remained blindfolded and relied solely on a local collaborator to lead them though the city. Under the Collaboration Culture series, the BBC connected Jankowski to Dubai-based curator Rami Farook, who became an emblematic figure in the process. By being blindfolded, the artist was not influenced by his sense of sight, and handed responsibility to Farook to guide them around the city. Farook’s personal tour of Dubai started at Burj Khalifa and continued on to a number of destinations that included amongst others an artist studio, a gallery, and Ski Dubai. Upon arrival at each destination, Farook refrained from revealing the location and instead left the film crew entirely unaware of their surroundings.
The initial edit of the film also took place blindfolded in Dubai. On the last night of the crews trip and a few seconds before the presentation of the film, Farook removed Jankowski’s blindfold so that the artist – and later his crew – could finally see the result of their work, as well as the faces of their Emirati guide and the BBC team. Only then were they able to compare their inner images and their non-visual impressions to the images of their film.
ABOUT CHRISTIAN JANKOWSKI
Christian Jankowski was born in 1968 in Göttingen, Germany and lives and works in Berlin. His work is a performance which engages collaborators to collude with him. The collaborative nature of Jankowski’s practice is paramount, as each participant unintentionally contributes his or her own texture to the experience. His videos, films, and installations have been exhibited nationally and internationally in places such as Sala de Arte Publico Siqueiros, Mexico City, MX (2012), MACRO, Rome, IT (2012), Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden, DE (2009), Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, DE (2008), Miami Art Museum, Miami, FL (2007), and MIT List Visual Art Center, Massachusetts (2005). He has participated in numerous Biennials, including the Venice Biennial in 1999, the Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York in 2002 and the Taipei and Sydney Biennials in 2010.