There is a possibility that White Cube… Literally is the result of a simple curatorial exercise that consists of gathering artworks around a common form (the cube) and colour (white) – an anthology of white cubes in an immaculate white cube gallery located within a hub of white cube spaces in Dubai. This anecdote and seemingly direct gesture addresses a rather complex and controversial ideology related to the notion of the white cube, as a form of art display stapled to modern art and exhibition-making of the last century. The curatorial challenge is to attempt to foster this debate in Dubai through a formal proposition, which is only in appearance. 

The exhibition takes the white cube form as a playful terrain to challenge the 'reduction of artworks to their formal aspects' when it comes to a display inside the white cube. This series of white cubes ranges from conceptual, post-conceptual, minimal and post-minimal works to contemporary practices, and includes newly-commissioned works and iconic contributions from the mid-20th century. A documentation space inside the gallery is dedicated to the discursive material around the notion of the white cube. 

The white cube grants an appearance of eternality and unchangingness to artworks, and has become a recurring convention of the gallery space, circumscribing its influences on the history of museum display, curatorial practice and foremost, art history. It was Alfred H. Barr in his career as Director of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and particularly with his 1936 exhibition, Cubism and Abstract Art, that the style and ideology of the white cube space was set: a formal approach toward art and exhibition development in which artworks stand autonomously and de-contextualised in a pristine environment. Since then, the white cube space has been largely criticised and accused of the elitist, commercial, out-dated and illusionary tendencies of the art world.

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