14 November 2022

Navigate with The Follower | Tour + Conversation

Alserkal Arts Foundation

Join us for a tour of Alserkal Arts Foundation's Public Art Commissions with curator Nada Raza

Starts 4:30 pm

Ends 6:00 pm

Venue Alserkal Arts Foundation

Warehouse 50/51

Register Now


New site-specific commissions by Fahd Burki (Grey Noise), Ala Ebtekar and Sahand Hesamiyan (The Third Line) have taken shape within the public realm at Alserkal Avenue. Their ideas inspired a wider curatorial framework, The Follower, which encourages keener observation of the natural elements - the wind, the sun and the stars - as a means of wayfinding and regaining cultural knowledge.

Join us for a tour and conversation with the artists Ala and Sahand and curator Nada Raza, illuminating the thinking behind each artwork. We are joined by artist Timo Nasseri (Lawrie Shabibi), whose commission will activate in 2023.

The tour will start in The Yard


Ala Ebtekar (b. 1978 Berkeley, CA) is an artist who has situated his art practice as a relentless leveling, exploding, and collapsing of time and space to bring steadying attention to the contemporary moment.

His vast transnational background in studio practice, public and street art, has led to being the founder and director of Stanford University’s Art, Social Space and Public Discourse, an ongoing Stanford global initiative on art that investigates the multiple contexts that shift and define changing ideas of public space. This ongoing critical framework of conversations, newly commissioned art projects, and exploration of various cultural productions and intellectual traditions looks at recent transformations of civic life. Furthermore, he has more than a dozen public and civic art commissions, most recently produced by Facebook, SFO/San Francisco International Airport, and the Asian Art Museum.

Sahand Hesamiyan (b. 1977, Tehran, Iran) holds a Bachelor of Sculpture from the University of Tehran. The artist's versatile practice is informed by a profound understanding of construction techniques, culminating in larger-than-life metal sculptures and small elaborate works on paper. By creating interactive pieces that eclipse the mere repetition and reflection of these traditional forms, Hesamiyan is able to convey his acute technical abilities while taking inspiration from years of craftsmanship and historical concepts.

Embracing the close ties between geometry, mythology, and philosophy, Hesamiyan is focused on extracting traditional elements from these ancient sciences and adapting them for the present and future. His explorations often manifest in the form of complex sculptures, whether they be freestanding objects or multifaceted wall installations. As a master of designing structural systems, Hesamiyan reinterprets architecture and its elements in Persian architecture.

Nada Raza is a curator and researcher whose work focuses on contemporary art from Southwest Asia. Raza is the director of Alserkal Arts Foundation and the founding artistic director of Ishara Art Foundation in Dubai, where her curatorial projects include Altered Inheritances: Home is a Foreign Place (2019); and Body Building, a thematic exhibition of lens-based work (2019).

Prior to this, Raza was Research Curator at Tate Research Centre: Asia, with a particular focus on South Asian art. She co-curated Bhupen Khakhar: You Can’t Please All (2016) and organised presentations of work by international artists, including Meshac Gaba, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Zarina Hashmi, Sheela Gowda, Amar Kanwar and Mrinalini Mukherjee. She was guest curator of the Abraaj Capital Art Prize (2014) and curated The Missing One, for the Dhaka Art Summit and the Office for Contemporary Art Norway (2016).

She has also worked on international art at the Institute for International Visual Art (Iniva) and at Green Cardamom in London. Raza holds an MA from the Chelsea College of Art and Design and is a doctoral candidate at the Courtauld Institute of Art.

Timo Nasseri (b. 1972, Berlin, Germany) lives and works in Berlin. He received his diploma in photography from the Lette-Verein, Berlin in 1997. Nasseri explores themes such as geometry, mathematics, architecture, calligraphy, and most recently, camouflage. Combining Islamic and Western cultural heritages, his work is inspired as much by specific memories and religious references as by universal archetypes described by mathematics and language, and the inner truths of form and rhythm. His work uses the means of natural science to open up a perspective for the poetic and fantastic. Nasseri takes his inspiration from mathematics, geometry and patterns and underlines their interconnectedness in terms of repetition and aesthetics in his drawings and sculptures. His practice is one that tackles the subject of infinity and that aims to solve puzzles, whether they are historical mysteries or the explorations via mathematical theorems to discover an overarching order in the chaos of existence.

He has participated in several group and solo exhibitions including Mercedes-Benz Contemporary (2022); Museum Konkrete Kunst Ingolstadt (2022); The British Museum, London (2021); The Victoria & Albert Museum, London (2021); Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich (2022, 2019); ZKM, Karlsruhe (2019); Sfeir-Semler Gallery (2009,12,15,19); CCA Andratx (2019); Stichting Kunstfort bij Vijfhuizen (2018);the Aga Khan Museum, Toronto (2017); the Melbourne Triennale (2017); Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah (2017);Museum Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt (2016); AK Vienna (2016); KW-Kunstwerke, Berlin (2015); and the Drawing Room Biennial, London (2021,2019, 2015). He was also the winner of the Abraaj Capital Art Prize in 2011.

Image: Installation view of Zenith by Ala Ebtekar as part of The Follower, supported by Alserkal Arts Foundation. Photo credit: Ismail Noor / Seeing Things
For more information on the complete Majlis Talks program, click here.