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Residency + Research

The sun-drenched studio spaces at Alserkal Avenue — based in the Foundation’s headquarters and designed by the UAE architectural collective ‘a hypothetical office’— host two residency cycles per year. The residency is research-led, focusing on generating discursive exchange and allowing local engagement with artistic and scholarly research and practice. Working closely with residents, we design each cycle based on shared interest, affinities and research goals, conceiving of the residency as an introduction to the region with the potential for longer-term engagement. Participants contribute to our community by developing and hosting programming accessible to wider publics. Residencies are open to researchers, writers, and artists, and are not limited to visual production. We welcome researchers from all fields of academic or practice-led enquiry with an interest in knowledge production and interdisciplinary collaboration. Alserkal Arts Foundation's residency programme is currently by nomination only. Residents are selected by the Foundation Selection Committee.


Hylozoic / Desires
Artist-duo | Spring 2024
Christian Sleiman
Artist | Fall 2023
Marika Sardar
Art Historian | Fall 2023
Smita Rajmane
Artist and Educator | Fall 2023
Vipin Vijay
Film-maker and Academic | Fall 2023
Shada Safadi
Artist | Spring 2023
Mhamad Safa
Musician, architect and researcher | Spring 2023
Jalila Haider
Lawyer and Researcher | Spring 2023
Masaru Iwai
Artist | Spring 2023
Iram Ghufran
Filmmaker | Spring 2022
Anahi Alviso-Marino
Researcher | Spring 2022
Sophie Cundale
Artist | Spring 2022
Skye Arundhati Thomas
Writer | Spring 2022
Wilf Speller
Artist | Spring 2021
Dorota Gawęda and Eglė Kulbokaitė
Artist Duo | Spring 2021
Liao Fei
Artist | Spring 2020
Heaven Baek
Artist | Spring 2020
Vitalij Strigunkov
Artist | Spring 2020
Michela de Mattei
Artist | Fall 2019
Artist duo | Fall 2019 Cycle
Aarti Sunder
Artist, writer, curator | Summer 2019
Sashikanth Thavudoz
Artist | Summer 2019
Balqis Al Rashed
Artist | Summer 2019
Mahan Moalemi
Writer and Curator | Spring 2019
Željka Blakšić
Artist | Spring 2019
Artists, curators, coordinators | Spring 2019
Yaminay Chaudhri
Artist | Fall 2018
Artist | Fall 2018
Lama Altakruri
Artist | Fall 2018
Laura Metzler
Curator | Summer 2018
Mandy Merzaban
Artist, Curator and Writer | Summer 2018
Civil Architecture
Architects | Summer 2018
Suzy Halajian
Curator and Writer | Spring 2018
Kosmas Nikolaou
Artist | Spring 2018
Michael John Whelan
Artist | Spring 2018
Mona Ayyash
Artist | Fall 2017
Ali El-Darsa
Artist | Fall 2017
Jaret Vadera
Artist | Fall 2017
Franziska Pierwoss
Artist | Fall 2017

Hylozoic / Desires

Hylozoic/Desires (Himali Singh Soin & David Soin Tappeser) is an artist duo whose work combines poetry and music to conjure speculative futures and multiverses. H/D aspire toward a flat ontological ether in which all forms of life—stone, spirit, machine or human—are equal. They skew the linear imagination of time and space to produce divergences that elicit critical wonder. H/D’s research orbits around (non)place and histories of migration, transnationalism and environmental cosmism to learn from the multiple materialities of contemporary existence. They are concerned with the (poly)rhythms of love and the bea(s)t of belonging. Hylozoic/Desires use metaphor as an event, as a force of attraction that holds otherwise distant entities together.

Research Focus

At Alserkal Arts Foundation, Hylozoic/Desires extend their research on the materiality and metaphysics of salt and its deviant role in our now postnatural world.

They will explore our emerging relationships to the new natural: wetlands as sites of biomimicry, artificial islands as novel habitats and laboratories for outer space research as centres for techno-spiritual reconfiguration; they will learn from cloud-seeding experts, mangrove ecologists and astronomers, listening for the metaphors and music of where we came from and imagining how we might reroute our aspirations towards a collective, trans-species liberation.

Selection committee:

Maya El Khalil
2022 - 2024 | Curator and Art Advisor
Lawrence Abu Hamdan
2022 - 2024 | Independent Investigator and Private Ear
Rupali Gupte
2022 - 2024 | Architect, Urbanist and Artist
Shandana Khan Mohmand
2022 - 2024 | Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex
iLiana Fokanaki
2018 - 2021 | Curator, Writer and Educator
Uzma Z. Rizvi
2018 - 2021 | Associate Professor of Anthropology and Urban Studies at the Pratt Institute
César García-Alvarez
2018 - 2021 | Founding Executive and Artistic Director of The Mistake Room (TMR)
Filipa Ramos
2018 - 2021 | Writer and Editor
Raja‘a Khalid
2019 - 2020 | Artist
Monica Narula
2018 - 2020 | Member of Raqs Media Collective
Pierre Bélanger
2018 - 2020 | Landscape Architect and Urban Planner

Maya El Khalil

Maya El Khalil is an independent curator and art advisor, based in Oxford, UK. As founding director of Athr Gallery in Jeddah from 2009 - 2016 , she pioneered exhibition approaches and cultural exchange in the absence of local public art institutions, making significant contributions to the establishment and development of a contemporary art scene in Saudi Arabia. For the last decade, she has continued to work with artists, collectors and institutions to develop the identity and ideas that have defined an art scene, participating in multiple artist mentorship programs in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

El Khalil is currently collaborating with international institutions on progressive socially engaged exhibitions, developing multidisciplinary conversations that address the environmental and climate emergency, including the ongoing digital platform Take Me to the River https://takemetotheriver.net //, in collaboration with Goethe Institut and Prince Claus Fund. Other recent curatorial projects include Portrait of a Nation II: Beyond Narratives, ADMAF Abu Dhabi ( 2022 ); Take Me to the River, Hamburger Bahnhof Museum of Contemporary Art, Berlin ( 2021 ); I Love You, Urgently, 7 th edition 21,39 Jeddah Arts ( 2020 ); Architecture of Tomorrow: Frei Otto s Legacy in Saudi Arabia, co curated with Prof. Georg Vrachliotis ; The Clocks Are Striking Thirteen, Athr Gallery, Jeddah ( 2018 ); Amma Baad , Nasser Al Salem s first international solo show at the Delfina Foundation, London ( 2019 ) and Casa Arabe , Madrid 2019 ).

El Khalil holds a Bachelor s degree in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA from the American University of Beirut. She is enrolled in MA Art and Politics at Goldsmiths College, University of London.

Feeling inspired by our programmes or want to participate in our events? We’re interested in learning more about your projects. Get in touch or learn about eligibility here.