MESSAGE FROM MUSEUM DIRECTOR
I have held on tightly to that feeling of togetherness – a sentiment on which Louvre Abu Dhabi was in fact built. Our museum is about universal connectivity; the artworks, artists, ideas and cultural movements that have connected humanity throughout history, proving that we have far more in common than we know. I want to acknowledge all of our museum partners in the UAE and the region as well as the French museums, including the musée du Louvre, who have been incredible collaborators in telling these stories of cultural connections, presenting their artworks alongside Louvre Abu Dhabi’s collection. I believe this message is now more important than ever and we must continue to share these stories.
I also believe that art and culture play a crucial role in seeing us through these tough times.
I am not alone in this belief. The entire cultural community has jumped into action to keep bringing art into our lives. Museums have launched social media campaigns, drawing on their collections for moments of inspiration, hope and even a touch of relief through humour; art fairs are opening virtual showrooms; artists are starting digital community projects; musicians are livestreaming concerts from their living rooms; educators are bringing art classes online and the list continues.
This incredible outpouring has proven that human creativity is perhaps the most resilient in times of crisis. Even as we face unprecedented challenges and fears in this century, the show must, and will, go on.
Amid this overwhelming situation, art can be the one thing that offers us solace and peace. As the celebrated French-American sculptor Louise Bourgeois once said, “Art is restoration: the idea is to repair the damages that are inflicted in life, to make something that is fragmented – which is what fear and anxiety do to a person – into something whole.”
Art can be a true force of healing; an opportunity to centre your mind, escape into your imagination and calm your soul. Now more than ever, we need to find ways to step away from the stress of it all and give ourselves a reprieve.
This time also allows us to view art in a completely new way. As we search for inspiration to lighten our days, the digital world opens up to us, offering moments of serendipity, curiosities, learnings and exchanges that we may not have discovered before. These new circumstances make me think of Kairos, the Ancient Greek concept of time that speaks of an opportune or decisive moment. While we cannot physically attend cultural spaces, we can still seize this moment to find art that will heal us, and in doing so become the curators of our own experience.
To that end, we aim to keep bringing beauty and peace into your lives through initiatives to stay engaged and provide moments of calm, reprieve and also joy. These include digital experiences of our permanent collection and exhibitions, education materials and e-learning tools for families, online access to our catalogues and more. Visit our website to explore these programmes, with additional content to be added in the days and weeks to come.
We are also proud to take part in the exciting CulturAll initiative launched by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi and spearheaded by DCT’s Chairman HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak. This initiative brings Abu Dhabi’s cultural landmarks online for audiences to enjoy their offerings from home. Follow @abudhabiculture and #CulturAll and stay tuned for experiences from Louvre Abu Dhabi.
Louvre Abu Dhabi is an inclusive museum for everyone; it is your museum. As a young institution, we feel it is incredibly important to put these programmes in place and keep our content accessible. We hope that through the power of technology and the stories of our museum we can address this contradiction head on and become even more connected as we go through this experience together.
I wish you and your loved ones safety and health during this fragile time. I know that we will all come out of this stronger, more unified and more committed to the power of art than ever before.