October 27, 2021

Modern Excavations | Discovery Circle with Athoub N. Al Busaily

October 27, 2021 | Alserkal Arts Foundation

Starts October 27, 2021

Venue Alserkal Arts Foundation

Warehouse 50/51


I came here to become a breath within the lungs

A basket of sand

A crispy realization

A research paper

At what point does an object stop being an object and turn into an artefact? What is that invisible process of becoming? If inanimate objects are forgotten, left and buried, can their value be resurrected through ascribing meaning?

Athoub Al Busaily will introduce the research she is pursuing whilst in-residence at the Alserkal Art Foundation, examining the relationship between object and artefact through a process she calls ‘modern excavation’. This process explores the nature and properties of objects found in the desert in order to dismantle the idea of the ‘wasteland’, and to question the conventions of archaeological enquiry.

Athoub will provide examples of objects scavenged through the modern excavation process, where she collects items from the surface of the desert. The participants will be asked to choose one object from her findings, and analyse it as an object of study. Each participant will then translate their reflections in an imaginative narrative text, an autobiography that may reflect on the object’s past, what it has witnessed, what it could have been, and how it came to be in that specific location.

After the workshop, both a scanned copy of the object and their written narrative will be brought together into a single digital image which will be shared with the group as a memento. The event is open to all and no prior knowledge or experience is required, only interest and curiosity.

Athoub N. Al Busaily is a Kuwaiti artist, researcher, and art historian currently living in Dubai. Her research investigates the notion of borders, hunting, and the desert environment of Kuwait, often underlined by a tone of irony and the use of visual metaphors. Her works have been exhibited both nationally and internationally including Warehouse421 (Abu Dhabi), The Hub Gallery (Kuwait City), Art Budapest (Budapest). She is currently pursuing an MA in Art History and Museum Studies at Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi. Prior to that, she received her BA in Fine Arts from the University of Sharjah.

Spaces are limited to a maximum of 10 participants. Please email us at to confirm your place by Friday 22 October.