This is a repost of an article of the same name on www.artforum.com
The Louvre Abu Dhabi has unveiled a radio-guided highway gallery comprising billboards featuring ten artworks from the museum’s collection that have been installed along the E/11 Sheikh Zayed road from Dubai to Abu Dhabi.
The initiative—a partnership with Abu Dhabi Media Company, Radio 1 FM (100.5 FM), Classic FM (91.6 FM), and Emarat FM (95.8 FM)—will engage drivers by transmitting a thirty-second narrative about each piece as they approach the billboards. Among the works on display are the Mari-Cha lion, an ancient Islamic work from the Mediterranean region; the Egyptian sarcophagus of Princess Henuttawy; Leonardo da Vinci’s Portrait of a Woman, La Belle Ferronnière (a loan from Musée du Louvre); Van Gogh’s Self Portrait, 1887, (on loan from the Musée d’Orsay); and Piet Mondrian’s iconic Composition with Blue, Red, Yellow and Black.
“This exhibition puts Abu Dhabi on the map of global innovations that underpin its axes of art, culture and information,” Noura Al Kaabi, the minister of culture and knowledge development and chair of Abu Dhabi Media, said. “In alignment with the national strategy of innovation that aims to position the UAE among the most innovative countries in the world over the next seven years. We have built an advanced platform that provides the public with a variety of categories and interests, by providing them with rich and diverse content that contributes to our mission in transferring culture and knowledge.”
The museum has also recently announced that Souraya Noujaim has been appointed as the institution’s first scientific, curatorial and collections management director. Noujaim has been working on the Louvre Abu Dhabi project as curator for Islamic art at Agence France-Muséums over the past four years. She first began her career at the Louvre where was involved in the opening of its first Islamic art galleries. She has also taught at the École du Louvre for several years, and in 2013, she held the Islamic art history chair.
“Souraya Noujaim has been instrumental not only during Louvre Abu Dhabi’s path to the opening but also for the conception of the scientific and cultural project,” Louvre Abu Dhabi director Manuel Rabaté said. “We are confident that she will also contribute substantially to the museum’s future success.”