24 May 2023
A Feral Commons
Cycle 1 of Global Co-commission
“If our species is to move into another level of existence where we don't think of ourselves as individuals, we don't think of ourselves as cities and nations and continents, but rather this interconnected ecosystem where I can lend a hand and receive in return.”
The inaugural cycle of the Global Co-commission project, A Feral Commons, is underway and Alserkal Avenue is one of three cultural districts participating under the theme of climate change.
The concept of ‘A Feral Commons’ has been developed by curator Tairone Bastien to use public art as a vehicle for examining the often unrecognised co-dependency and open-ended collaborations between human and more-than-human beings.
Muhannad Shono in his studio. Image Credit: Bala Ochangco/Seeing Things
Our selected artist, Muhannad Shono, is studying unexpected ecologies that are thriving unnoticed in the urban environment of Al Quoz.
His multidisciplinary practice is catalysed and structured by story, harnessing the power of narrative by creating and contesting personal, collective and historical truths. In a city of constructed landscapes, Shono is interested in the wild and unplanned environments which have sprung up as a result of the urban landscape surrounding them.
Shono’s installation stems from his fascination with rebellious manifestations of the imagination, and of breaking through rigid understandings that can become doctrine and will provide a vivid example of ecological stewardship and the profound connections between art and nature.
Shono’s hope for long-term impact of this project is that it will inspire people to go home and set up something similar as home, or their places of business, and realising that there’s a potentially very valuable resource that is currently being wasted down the drain.
The participating districts are Kingston Creative in Kingston (Jamaica) and Victoria Yards in Johannesburg (South Africa).
In unison with Alserkal Avenue, the participating districts will work with their artists to develop their own responses to ‘A Feral Commons’.
At Kingston Creative, Camille Chedda will be exploring how the Jamaican Rice and Peas Bush fits into its new ecology. Meanwhile at Victoria Yards, Io Makandal will be realising her project around the Jukskei river which runs through the precinct.
As we work closely with Mohammad Shono to bring his installation to life, we will be collaborating with UAP to measure the impact of his public art on both society and the environment by auditing its CO2 emissions.
A Feral Commons kicked off on May 24 2023 and we are so excited to participate in such a forward thinking project that aims to create measures of impact for public artworks within communities and the environment.
Stay connected to get updates on Shono’s and the participating districts’ work.