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Armin Linke Dubai

Shot of Art: How to deal with Dubai?

With the return of school and fall in the air, Toronto's gallery scene reignites after what's usually a pretty quiet August. One of the more exciting exhibits currently running comes courtesy of Mercer Union, which is currently hosting a challenging show on Dubai's rise as a global centre for luxury and conspicuous consumption. Working in a variety of media — including photographs, video, brochures, postcards and other found materials — the artists examine the effects that this mega-building boom has had on both Dubai's culture and landscape.

Mirroring the real-world tensions that define the city and its citizens, the scale of the works that make-up the show vary widely, from Armin Linke's large-format photograph of the Palm Islands to Lamya Gargash's studies of the almost-forgotten spaces that developers have overlooked as they construct the super-city. Taken collectively, the works challenge the conventional narrative that focuses solely on Dubai "as an exclusive oasis for limitless consumption" in favour of a more nuanced consideration of the city's ascent and the costs of such rapid and grandiose development.

Changing Stakes: Contemporary Art Dialouges with Dubai runs until October 29th. For more info on the gallery, check here.

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