Alserkal Avenue to celebrate art, design, and architecture during November through special exhibitions, public art commissions and more, as part of a UAE-wide discourse

October 13, 2019

Dubai’s leading cultural district will celebrate the crossroads of art, design, and architecture during November in Alserkal Avenue, a month of curated public programming in keeping with a UAE-wide focus on design and architecture, including the inaugural Sharjah Architecture Triennial and Dubai Design Week.

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Dubai’s leading cultural district will celebrate the crossroads of art, design, and architecture during November in Alserkal Avenue, a month of curated public programming in keeping with a UAE-wide focus on design and architecture, including the inaugural Sharjah Architecture Triennial and Dubai Design Week.

Alserkal Avenue invites audiences to delve into the rich confluence of art, design, and architecture through groundbreaking original programming, including:

  • The landmark exhibition Is This Tomorrow?, a collaboration between Alserkal Arts Foundation and Whitechapel Gallery, which will be presented in the Aga Khan Award for Architecture shortlisted building Concrete, and will showcase five interdisciplinary installations that offer speculative visions of the future through pairings between leading artists and architects, including a site-specific installation by Rana Begum and Aga Khan Award for Architecture winner Marina Tabassum;

  • we were building sand castles_but the wind blew them away_FINALFINAL3.psd, an Alserkal Arts Foundation public art commission in the warehouse formerly known as Nadi Al Quoz by urban collective METASITU;

  • Absolem, an inaugural design commission by Jeddah-based Bricklab studio that will transform the public realm of Alserkal Avenue;

  • A programme of Majlis Talks curated by FOLIO, Alserkal’s digital publication, featuring speakers from across the art, design, and architecture disciplines;
  • Temporary Spaces: Exchanges in Art, Architecture and Photography in the UAE, South Asia and Beyond, a symposium exploring critical perspectives on shared histories, ongoing exchanges, and connections, organised by Alserkal Arts Foundation and Hyundai Tate Research Centre: Transnational, in collaboration with Ishara Art Foundation;

  • New art exhibitions at Alserkal Avenue’s contemporary art galleries and not-for-profit foundations: 1x1 Art Gallery, Ayyam Gallery, Carbon 12, Custot Gallery Dubai, Elmarsa Gallery, Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Green Art Gallery, Grey Noise, Ishara Art Foundation, Lawrie Shabibi, Leila Heller Gallery, Jean-Paul Najar Foundation, Showcase Gallery, SVENM, and The Third Line.

Vilma Jurkute, Director of Alserkal, says “As Alserkal, we continue to actively participate in the UAE’s cultural dialogue both from the heart of our cultural district Alserkal Avenue, and as Alserkal Arts Foundation by curating an experimental programme at the crossroads of art, architecture and design for both our local community and international audiences.”

All activities are free and open to the public. Full details are below.

Symposium | Temporary Spaces: Exchanges in Art, Architecture and Photography in the UAE, South Asia and Beyond
1 November, 10AM – 6.30PM
Alserkal Arts Foundation Project Space

Organised by Hyundai Tate Research Centre: Transnational and Alserkal Arts Foundation in collaboration with Ishara Art Foundation, invited speakers, including scholars and practitioners from the MEASA and beyond will discuss critical perspectives on shared histories, ongoing exchanges, and connections.

The symposium will look at the rapid growth of the city and its impact on artistic practice through the work of artists, architects, photographers, filmmakers and scholars whose research encompasses urban development and transnational exchanges from the 20th century to the present. Participants will share regional perspectives on cities and the representation of urban space, particularly in the visual arts, and how these contribute to, and reflect upon the complex and on-going making of place and identity.

Public art commission | we were building sand castles_but the wind blew them away_FINALFINAL3.psd by METASITU
6 November – 25 January 2020
Warehouse 90

In this public art commission presented by Alserkal Arts Foundation, METASITU, an artist collective (and former residents of Alserkal Residency) is inviting the sand back in. METASITU will transform the building previously known as Nadi Al Quoz into a ruin. In an attempt to return the building’s materials to their ‘original state’, different parts will be repurposed and reused. In the spring of 2020, the space will be further deconstructed into a landscaped environment for the public.

Exhibition | Is This Tomorrow?
6-23 November, 10AM – 7PM
Concrete

Alserkal Arts Foundation brings the landmark exhibition Is This Tomorrow? to Concrete from 6-23 November in collaboration with Whitechapel Gallery, London. The exhibition, curated by Whitechapel Gallery chief curator Lydia Yee, responds to timely contemporary issues and offers speculative visions of the future through five pairings between leading artists and architects, including a new site-specific commission by visual artist Rana Begum and architect Marina Tabassum, winner of the 2016 Aga Khan Award for Architecture, which will be unveiled in The Yard.

The interdisciplinary installations, environments, and pavilions by Amalia Pica and 6a, Cao Fei and mono office, Mariana Castillo Deball and Tatiana Bilbao Estudio, Rana Begum and Marina Tabassum Architects, and Hardeep Pandhal and APPARATA reveal the expansive potential of collaboration between art and architecture, in line with the wider November programme in Alserkal Avenue.

Rana Begum and Marina Tabassum will collaborate on a new iteration of Phoenix Will Rise, originally presented at Whitechapel. The installation is ‘focused on hope’ and will be created specifically for The Yard in Alserkal Avenue. Tabassum says: “It is a place of refuge - a space for reflection - contemplation. The highlight of the installation is Rana Begum’s beautiful art piece around the central oculus that catches the light and frames the sky. The architecture builds around it to create a setting and atmosphere of repose, all the while appropriating the context of Alserkal Avenue.”

Begum, who is represented by The Third Line in Alserkal Avenue, says: “We live in a world where the boundaries between disciplines are increasingly blurred, and where technology enables us to connect with each other wherever we are. This collaboration is exciting because it pushes boundaries in a playful way, while simultaneously inviting the viewer to consider space in relation to location and existing elements. I have found it interesting to engage with Marina Tabassum’s vision and experience of space, form, colour and light.”

Majlis Talks by FOLIO
6, 18, 20, 21 November
Full schedule to be released soon.

Design commission | Absolem by Bricklab
11 November 2019 – 1 November 2020
Alserkal Avenue Pedestrian Entrance (Street 6A)
Jeddah-based architects Turki and Abdulrahman Gazzaz of Bricklab studio have been commissioned by Alserkal Avenue, to create an intervention to coincide with Dubai Design Week. Located at the Pedestrian Entrance of Alserkal Avenue (from Street 6A), the design will transform how the public interacts with the physical environment through a “synthetic intervention that funnels visitors through”.

Bricklab tackles the entrance as though it were “the threshold to a French formal garden - a spatial construct that emphasises a position of apprehension and meticulous control found in the composition of an 18th century allée”. A glossy metallic grid, lined with plastic trees, constructs a forced one-point perspective for the public. By manipulating this perspective, the designers challenge the collapsibility of experience into a single, two-dimensional image, and highlight our multisensory comprehension of space.

Galleries Night
18 November
6PM – 10PM

The contemporary art galleries will open their latest exhibitions, and the creative concepts in Alserkal Avenue stay open late.

New exhibitions include:


1 x 1 Art Gallery

Madhusudhanan | Gandhi - Between Borders

Ayyam Gallery
Faisal Samra | Thriving Emotions - Immortal Moment

Carbon 12
Amba Sayal-Bennett | Every Line Makes a Cut

Custot Gallery Dubai
Group exhibition | Tales of Thread

Elmarsa Gallery
Atef Maatallah | Les bruissements de la pierre (The rustling of the stone)

Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde
Latif Al Ani | Vetera Novis Augere

Green Art Gallery
Chaouki Choukini | Solo exhibition

Grey Noise
Iqra Tanveer | Letters from the seventh cave

Ishara Art Foundation
Group exhibition | Body Building

Lawrie Shabibi
Hamra Abbas | Open Cube

Leila Heller Gallery

Jean-Paul Najar Foundation
Group exhibition | Building Bauhaus

Showcase Gallery
Group exhibition | Between Me and the Stone

SVENM
SPACE

The Third Line
Anuar Khalifi | Forever Is A Current Event
Collaboration with Kazim Rashid, presenting his film Nothing Looks the Same at Night

-ENDS-

For press enquiries:
press@alserkal.online

Editor’s Notes

About Alserkal Arts Foundation
The Alserkal Arts Foundation is a non-profit that extends Alserkal’s mission to support cultural production. The Foundation offers opportunities for research and artistic production to cultural practitioners and researchers with strong regional or contemporary relevance who challenge conventional disciplinary boundaries. Through its initiatives, which include support for artistic projects, research grants, alternative learning, and artist residencies at purpose-built studios located in the heart of Alserkal Avenue, the Foundation seeks to incubate creative thinking that contributes to the region’s cultural sphere, leading to new forms of knowledge. Alserkal Arts Foundation is supported by Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal, Ahmad Bin Eisa Alserkal and the Alserkal family.

About Alserkal
Alserkal is a socially responsible and forward-thinking cultural enterprise dedicated to developing sustainable models for homegrown initiatives and to supporting narratives and research emerging from the Global South. Founded in 2007 by Emirati businessman and patron Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal, Alserkal is renowned for its ground-breaking artistic productions, experimental approach and for the creation of culturally meaningful spaces that inspire and shape communities. Alserkal has three primary areas of activity: cultivating a creative economy in Dubai and building a collaborative network of civic cultural institutions through its renowned cultural district, Alserkal Avenue; providing advisory services to public and private sector entities; and, supporting public artist commissions, residencies, research grants and educational programmes through its non-profit, Alserkal Arts Foundation.

Alserkal has transformed the cultural landscape of Dubai and the UAE through the creation of a thriving, region-specific community of over 70 contemporary art galleries, visual and performing arts organisations, designers and entrepreneur-led businesses at Alserkal Avenue, providing an essential platform for the development of creative industries in the region.

Alserkal utilizes its collective expertise in arts initiatives and cultural production, heritage creation, community building and engagement, as well as urbanism and planning for creative industries, to guide public and private sector entities in developing sustainable and responsive business models.

About Alserkal Avenue
Alserkal Avenue is a vibrant cultural district in the Al Quoz industrial area of Dubai, and is home to a community of over 70 contemporary art galleries, visual and performing arts organisations, designers, home-grown and entrepreneur-led businesses, and community spaces across 500,000sqft and 90 warehouses. Alserkal Avenue provides an essential platform for the development of the creative industries in the United Arab Emirates. As one of the region’s foremost destinations for contemporary art, and home to Dubai’s risk-takers, makers and wide-ranging creative communities, Alserkal Avenue provides cultural experiences for local, regional and international audiences through its extensive year-round programming. Alserkal Avenue is home to Concrete, a multi-disciplinary exhibitions space conceptualised and programmed by Alserkal, as well as the artist residency program of Alserkal’s non-profit, Alserkal Arts Foundation. Alserkal Avenue was established in 2007 by Alserkal following the visionary thinking of its founder, Emirati businessman and cultural patron Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal, who sought to cultivate a vibrant creative community and support cultural production in Dubai.