Fully Booked premiered in 2017 as the only art book fair in the United Arab Emirates. The fair serves as a platform to consider the medium of the artist book as a “multi-site”— a tactile, portable, and accessible form. This form allows for the creative and democratic dissemination of information, while simultaneously enabling intimacy with content. The intention of the fair is to foster meaningful cultural exchanges between regional and international artist publishers, as well as the cultural practitioners and visitors present in Dubai during Art Week.
March 13, 10:00–22:00
The warehouse space opened to the public as an art book fair and exhibition. The opening reception was from 18:00– 22:00 that evening. Following past years’ foot traffic, there were 9,000 visitors to Alserkal Avenue on opening day in 2017.
March 14–18, 10:00–19:00
The fair continued through the weekend, open to the public.
March 19–27, 10:00–19:00
The space remained open solely as an art book exhibition with normal gallery hours (no vendors).
Fully Booked is hosted in Warehouse i-82 at Alserkal Avenue, the region’s foremost arts hub. Situated in Dubai’s industrial quarter, the Avenue is a cluster of architect-designed warehouses.
Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (Abu Dhabi, UAE)
- ADMAF has released major bilingual publications on the arts and culture of the Arab World since its inception in 1996. As one of the leading cultural organizations in the region, its publications provide important commentary on cultural practices and practitioners. In recent years it has enhanced its focus on documenting the creative practices of UAE practitioners, particularly within the visual arts.
Alserkal Avenue Galleries Group Table (Dubai, UAE)
- A group table featuring the publications and original titles of the immediately local art galleries within Alserkal Avenue, the site of Fully Booked. Participating galleries: Ayyam Gallery, Carbon 12, Green Art Gallery, Leila Heller Gallery, and The Third Line.
- Bon-Gah is a non-profit initiative that began in 2004 as an independent art books publishing house and over the years has developed into a wider project driven by a group of artist. Since 2012, Bon-Gah has provided studio space in Keresht, a small village in the suburb of Tehran. The Studio Functions as an artists’ cooperative, providing working space for artists and researchers.
Brownbook (Dubai, UAE)
- Brownbook is a bimonthly magazine that acts as an urban guide to the Middle East and North Africa. The magazine has endured a decade within its field, researching hundreds of cities in the region and Arab diasporas around the world. The magazine focuses on three main genres; Interviews, Architecture & Cities.
- Charis ‘Dadis’ Melliza is an artist and illustrator who produces works focusing on characters and creatures from folklore and myths. She combines elements of graphite, pencil, and watercolour techniques accompanied narrative descriptions to produce handmade and collectible artist books.
- Edge of Arabia was founded by British artist Stephen Stapleton, with Saudi artists Ahmed Mater and Abdulnasser Gharem in the mountains of South Western Saudi Arabia, in March 2003. Edge of Arabia is committed to reaching new audiences and improving understanding through free exhibitions, publications and public programming. Along with Booth-Clibborn Editions, Edge of Arabia has produced artist publications for some of the leading contemporary artists from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
- Eman AlEghfeli is a graphic artist and illustrator born in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. She works predominantly with storytelling and building narratives through design. To unlock the power of possibilities and imagination is her drive to create. Her aim as a visual communicator is to fabricate magical worlds through stories that resonate and relate.
- Al Tashkeel magazine is a specialized magazine reported on Art scene in UAE and the region and issued by the Emirates Fine Arts Society.
- Fikra is a Sharjah-based multi-disciplinary design studio that focuses in developing bilingual (Arabic and English) graphic design work and investigating cultural identity through the lens of design.
- iconix was created in 2014 and was the first company in the region to produce and distribute traditional seaside deck chairs. A year later they began producing classic Hollywood movie prints having recognized a growing need by consumer’s for prewar and postwar memorabilia.
- Lost Alphabet is an international, nomadic publishing company. They are an oasis for the weird, the wacky, the nonconformist and the intellectually poignant.
- Established in 2006, Maraya Art Centre is a three-storey non-profit creative space located in Sharjah, U.A.E. Since its inception, Maraya has offered the public an innovative exhibitions programme, showcasing the work of leading Middle Eastern and international artists.
Martin Stöbich (Vienna, Austria)
- Martin Stöbich is an Austrian photographer. He is the author of self-published books printed in limited editions that encapsulate photographs gathered through-out his frequent journeys around the world.
- No LaB is a Conceptual Gallery/Hub which brings artists + emerging artists to exhibit [sell] un[labeled] un [structured] provoking and collaborative art pieces.
- People of Print LTD was established in May 2013. We have a team of art directors, project managers, graphic designers, illustrators, developers and printmakers based in our London office and across the globe. We act as a daily source of inspiration whereby we uncover and share all things print related, both creatively and industriously.
- Roman Nvmerals is a serial imprint based in New York City dedicated to publishing small high quality artist books. All of our publications are printed in the USA at Meridian printing.
- Illustrator and graphic designer Sarah Alfarhan works primarily on book design and risograph production. She utilizes her bilingualism (English + Arabic) in her creative process. Since 2015, Alfarhan is based in Dubai, UAE, working for the arts organization Tashkeel where she established and developed their Risograph program.
- Established in 2008 by Lateefa bint Maktoum, Tashkeel is a contemporary art organisation based in Dubai committed to facilitating art and design practice, creative experimentation and cross-cultural dialogue.
- A quarterly publication that is devoted to art photography & new media from the Arab world.
WTD Magazine (Dubai, UAE)
- WTD is an independent publication that uses narratives, conversations and visual essays to reflect on the built environment of the present-day Middle East. These temporary parameters represent an attempt to initiate a discourse that highlights architecture, urban thought processes and their relationship to the societies in which they are created.
- Yusef Alahmad (USA/KSA)
- Yusef Alahmad is a Saudi graphic designer and artist based in San Francisco, California, having completed his MFA degree in graphic design at the Academy of Art University in December 2016, where his thesis explored ‘Elevating Graphic Design Standards in Saudi Arabia’.
- Ahmed Mater (KSA)
- Al Braithwaite (UK)
- Alice Taranto (New York City, USA)
- ALL-IN (New York City, USA)
- Arts & Sciences Projects (New York City, USA)
- BEBA Editions (Cairo, Egypt)
- Blind Arch (Tucson, USA)
- Book of Palms (New York City, USA)
- Brianna Burk (Fairfax, USA)
- David Puig and Manar Moursi (Cairo, Egypt)
- Draw Down (Gilford, USA)
- Elfi Seidel (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
- Eman AlHashemi (Dubai, UAE)
- Endless Editions (New York City, USA)
- Floki Gauvry (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
- Geoffrey Owen Miller (New York City, USA)
- Georgie Weedon (UK) -Gerhardt Rubio Swaneck, Adolfo Bimer (Valparaiso, Chile)
- Gharem Studio (KSA)
- Ghadah Alkandari (Kuwait)
- GRRRR (Zurich, Switzerland)
- Han Yun Liang (Taipei, Taiwan)
- Hauser & Wirth Publishers (Zurich, Switzerland)
- Henry Hemming (UK)
- Hudam al-Sayed (Palestine)
- Inverses (Vancouver, Canada)
- Jaffat El Aqlam (Abu Dhabi, UAE)
- Jiwon Song (New York City, USA)
- Journal of Art Criticism (New York City, USA)
- Kahlil Irving (Saint Louis, USA)
- Khaled Jarrar (Palestine)
- Khalid Albaih (Sudan)
- Lal Bahcecioglu (Chicago, USA)
- Lesley Wamsley (New York City, USA)
- Locale (Abu Dhabi, UAE)
- Lujiam Abulfaraj (UAE)
- Metrodogs Publications (Highland USA)
- Moaza Matar (Dubai, UAE)
- Moniker Press (Vancouver, Canada)
- Nasser Alzayani (UAE)
- Natalia Nakazawa (New York City, USA)
- Nouf Alhimiary (KSA)
- Nugamshi (KSA)
- Pacific (New York City, USA)
- Papersafe (Saint Louis, USA)
- Salar (Iran)
- Same Paper (Shanghai, China)
- Sara Ouhaddou (Morocco)
- Selina Doroshenko (Baltimore, USA)
- Shamma Buhazza (Abu Dhabi, UAE)
- Shannon LaRue (Brooklyn, USA)
- Siwar Kraytem (Beirut, Lebanon)
- Sophie-Therese Trenka-Dalton (Berlin, Germany)
- Stephen Stapleton (UK)
- Steve Sabella (Berlin, Germany)
- Tarek Rafaat (Cairo, Egypt)
- Till Cremer (Berlin, Germany)
- Tom Baggaley (Dubai, UAE)
- Tse Tse Fly Middle East (Dubai, UAE)
- Tulip Hazbar (UAE)
- Tyma Hezam (Syria)
- Will Ferguson (New York City, USA)
- WORK/PLAY (Saint Louis, USA)
- Zatara Press (Richmond, USA)
Fair programming, including artwork, film screenings, workshops and talks was developed in partnership with the UK-based Crossway Foundation and the British Council, with a special focus on UAE-UK artists (to coincide with the UK-UAE Year of Culture) who work on the intersection of art, travel and cultural exchange.
Special Artists’ Projects
"The Desire to Not Exist" Photo Tex Wall Mural.
A presentation of screenprint designs from "Pixelated Kingdom."
The Offscreen Collages
The first ever display of all 68 panels made during an original artists’ expedition through various countries in the Middle-East between 2002-2003 included in the book "Offscreen: Four Young Artists in the Middle East."
The Road Tapes
A sneak preview of Al Braithwaite’s mesmerizing video work stitched together from over 100 hours of road footage from Eastern Europe, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, the UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Israel and Palestine.
Monday, March 13 (Opening Day)
Sound and Vision Curated by sound-art and experimental music platform Tse Tse Fly Middle East
- 12:00 – 15:00
- Featuring Tarew Abu Rahmeh, Sruti, Elias Rahbani, Pie Are Squared, Moslem Rasouli, Ziad Rahbani with Fairuz, Arabs with Synthesizers, Youmna Saba, Phaylaq, Rasasawt, Asifeh, Assa’d Khoury, Mostafa Onsy, Baligh Hamdi, Omrr, Spuntic, Rayan Haïdar, Teddy Lane, Rhéa Dally, Asifeh, ZuLI, Rachid Taha, Khaled and Faudel, Omar Khorshid, Ziad Rahbani, Sharif Sehnaoui, Ruba Shamshoum, Arash Akbari, Karkhana, Kamilya Jubran, Eyeless In Demascus, Malikah, Fadi Tabbal, Khaled Nweiran & Amjad Shahrour, Tamer Abu Ghazaleh, Ziad Rahbani.
- Video Art Screening: "The Road Tapes," by Al Braithwaite
- 16:00 – 18:00
Zine-Making Workshop with Tulip Hazbar
12:00 – 15:00, Free of Charge
No. of Participants: 10 max, Age Limit: 16+
In this workshop, participants drew inspiration from their surrounding environment, Alserkal Avenue, and were asked to collaborate to create fictional scenarios and narratives. These explorations manifested in the form of a printed zine.
‘Everyone Can Draw": Blind Drawing with Nasser Al Zayani
12:00 – 14:00, Free of Charge
No. of Participants: 14 max, All Ages
When Nasser embarks on any journey, he is always accompanied by his sketchbook. More than a companion, the pages of these sketchbooks hold a record of every place he visits. They serve as a tool of documentation as well as a process of crossing borders, bridging his senses with the world around him. One of the most direct forms of drawing found in his sketchbooks are his blind portraits.
Featuring 26 vendors and over 60 exhibiting artists, designers, publishers, and film-makers, Fully Booked 2017 was a unique contribution to that most active time for Dubai’s art culture. Fully Booked effectively acted as a satellite event to the eleventh edition of the Art Dubai fair and the thirteenth Sharjah Biennial. Fully Booked creates a free, alternative art space for the public to engage with tactile artworks that can be easily collected, sparking dialogue within a diverse group.
Alserkal Avenue is home to interspersed public spaces that bring together collaborators from diverse artistic disciplines, encouraging open dialogue, sharing of ideas, and a collaborative work ethic that can see these creative ideas come to life.
Anthony Tino is a curator based in New York City. In 2013, Tino co-founded Endless Editions, a publishing imprint which publishes titles with both emerging and established artists. With Endless Editions and independently, Tino has produced performances, exhibitions, and educational programming at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts, and The Thomas J. Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Daphne Taranto is an independent curator who has worked with contemporary galleries in New York’s Chelsea and Lower East Side. After working with the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Taranto worked with Carbon 12 in Dubai and New York during the Art Dubai and NADA art fairs. She was a finalist for a Fulbright Arts Research grant to the UAE following her related thesis research. Taranto focuses on curating and producing multi-format publications, group exhibitions, and live events.
Sara Al Haddad is a Dubai-based artist and is a consultant and collaborator for Fully Booked. As a Fulbright scholar, she earned her MFA in Sculpture from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in 2016. She has exhibited both nationally and internationally. Al Haddad will represent the UAE in the group exhibition at the 57th Venice Biennale national pavilion in 2017. Additional exhibitions include “Bayn: The in-Between” in Abu Dhabi’s Warehouse421 in February, 2017.