Culture
1 June 2022

The Technological Body

Nadine Khalil

Share

This third and final installment of the curatorial narrative linking corporeal depictions by young GCC-based artists will consider how technology expands, projects and amplifies the artist’s body. Mediation becomes a means of re-materializing the body and the negative spaces it inhabits in virtual space. Through distortions, duplications, glitches, and the act of voicing the machinic, the body moves beyond digital circuitry—deconstructed into a language of gestures, and forms.

Digital Ghosts

Riyadh-based performance artist Sarah Brahim has been working on a body language of grief ever since her mother passed away. She has deep interests in unseen or hidden aspects of how we store and externalise the pain that resides in the body, as well as epigenetics and the burden of life experience carried across generations. This research stems from her studies in medical anthropology in Portland during the second Gulf War and her subsequent training as a dancer in San Francisco and London. In the performance Our Cup is Broken (2021), she articulates the mediated body in collaboration with Portland-based video artist Fernanda D’Agostino. A commission for London’s Shubbak Festival, Brahim performs live in Riyadh through a webcam, prompting questions such as: what are the ways in which the body can express itself through the machine? How does the body get outside of itself? What does a self-estrangement look like when cast in a digital space?

Our Cup is Broken 2021

Our Cup is Broken explores the possibilities of presence in 15 different digital rooms using the software Isadora, a hyper-performance tool that multiplies Brahim’s body in a world of mirrors and shadows. Each room is activated by live movement and programmed to live sound. The work marks a collapse between interiority—a landscape of vulnerability created through live improvisation—and the subject, or persona projected through dance. The results are hallucinatory. By isolating parts of her body through movement, Brahim draws on a vocabulary of hand gestures—praying, pleading, ecstatic. These independently moving parts are part of a larger study on signs of grief and collective mourning in communities, in which gesture becomes the vessel for inquiry.

Our Cup is Broken 2021

In some rooms, Brahim forms electronic doubles, transforming against a landscape of ruins. In others, she appears like an X-ray vision, a disappearing outline in chalk, drawing the monochrome room with the surface of her skin. She uses her own body to index constant metamorphosis, tracing the edge of movement between multiple selves. In this technological environment, Brahim’s phantom figure becomes a body unbounded, fluctuating between physical and virtual space.

Our Cup is Broken 2021

Body-as-text

Emirati-American artist Aliyah Alawadhi’s modes of performing the body are of a distortionary nature, and employ digital manipulation, forms of fragmentation and dissolution. Her interest in glitch art emerges from a background in 3D-modeling and game design; but where her visuals have often focused on found footage and animation, recently she has been featuring her body in digital work, usually in environments only accessible to the viewer through a screen.

Rhythmic Eating 2021

In her video Rhythmic Eating (2021), Alawadhi zeroes in on her mouth biting into an onion. As she chews openly, the effect is visceral and meant to be repulsive. The work is inspired by a childhood memory of scarcity and staking a claim in a first-come, first-served environment. Onions were a vegetable no one else wanted in her household and Rhythmic Eating powerfully subverts a child’s anxiety about nourishment.

https://vimeo.com/592651144

Using the program Pixelsynth, Alawadhi transformed the image of a text into a harmonious sound that contrasts with the intensity of ingesting a raw onion. Both text and body here are redacted—cut with solid black geometric shapes—the mouth extricated from the rest of the body. But while the text is abstracted visually in Rhythmic Eating, her skin close-ups are hyperreal.

Three Devourings of an Onion 2021

This aforementioned text, which comprises three short stories by Alawadhi, is voiced from the perspective of the onion in relation to different family members/aggressors. It is read out in her film, Three Devourings of an Onion (2021), where she creates an ad hoc environment of mobile walls, a floor mattress, a chair, and a single potted plant. She reads nonchalantly, never directly facing the camera, in a language that has a sci-fi apocalyptic feel and a non-human-centered point of view. Her body becomes the container of the violence she orates in a scripted space.

https://vimeo.com/591660190

When it comes to other bodies, Alawadhi’s use of the glitch blurs the boundaries between the subject and its surroundings, warping the sense of time. In her series Science of Man (2020), one clip entitled Master of Destiny excerpts from the 1954 French film Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, where the torso of the belly dancer (Samia Gamal) dissolves into pixels, losing hold of any kind of figurative coherence. Performativity is equated with textuality as Alawadhi juxtaposes these illegible, seemingly censored visuals with a poem by Abu Nuwas on love and intoxication. The poetry references a time of eroticism in Middle Eastern dance, before the religious dictates that came with the rise of Wahhabism. The splicing of body-as-image into body-as-text uses a post-internet vocabulary to disorient, dislocate and reappropriate cultural forms associated with the golden age of Egyptian cinema. By resisting representation through forms of digital decay, Alawadhi asserts a kind of bodily autonomy in her work.

Science of Man 2020

Out-of-Body

Language forms a large part of Syrian-Palestinian artist Mays Albaik’s practice. In her performances, videos and installations, the elocution of Arabic words and their derivations are an attempt to pinpoint the beginnings and semantics of utterance. Tracing words back to their root verbs, Albaik offers a layered process of subtraction and addition which parallels the ways in which her body sculpts sound. It is as if she is asking, where does the voice reside? How can we locate the place from which speech emerges? What happens when place becomes a non-site?

Albaik investigates and situates speech by moving the lens in different directions. One movement projects 3D laser frontal scans of Albaik enunciating variations of the terms ‘expatriate’ and ‘resident’ in Arabic (Dictionary Utterances series, 2020)—a linguistic deconstruction of different modalities of non-citizenship in the UAE. Another provides an internal view through blinding apertures to the insides of her mouth, those moments before sound, as in her recent work for Tashkeel, (Window, 2021).

In A Cyborg Manifesto, Donna Haraway, one of the artist’s literary influences, asks why our bodies should end at the skin, indicating a disintegration of boundaries between the inside and the outside. In Dictionary Utterances, Albaik’s constantly morphing figure shifts with a technicolor gradient that indexes the distance between a LIDAR camera and points in the body, calling boundaries—between texture and skin, solid and fluid, meaning and root—into question.

Window 2021

Dictionary Utterances 2020

Screens configure the relationship to place and physicality by mediating texts in fluid, online architectures. In her recent visual essay for Darat al Funun, "قيل أنها مريضة"("It was said she was sick”), the title taken from a poem by Ibrahim Dawud: https://online.daratalfunun.org/projects/postcolonialecologies_en/maysalbaik/?fl_builder, Albaik explores the Palestinian longing for placehood through Walid Sadek’s notion of a labour of the missing. Sadek’s theory is positioned in relation to the disappeared in Lebanon during the civil war. Those who are still present seem to have ‘over-lived’ the interrupted lives of those who are absent, which linger as objects in excess.

قيل أنها مريضة It was said she was sick 2021

Window from "قيل أنها مريضة"("It was said she was sick")

Passport flips from "قيل أنها مريضة"("It was said she was sick") 2021

Teleprompter A Terranean Love Note 2021


you think of your physicality only when you cannot avoid it
you lived in your screen
in its flat
two-dimensional abyss you go to work
have fights, make friends, end relationships
but your body?
your body exists only when it bothers you
when you have to pee
when your knees cramp
physical borders might be tightening
but we, like anything in this physical world, expand and contract
and the space we need
when we cant occupy it with our bodies
we find virtually
[source: hdmi]
[no signal]
[to display help, become your paperwork.]
but you no longer want to think through distance
there is always a here in the now
even when we are simultaneously in multiple heres and nows
can we look after a corporeal here and now?
the simple, humble, here and now?
the one where i am typing this
the one where you are reading these words

[Excerpt from Teleprompter (A Terranean Love Note), Mays Albaik, courtesy of the artist]

She takes it further in her latest work commissioned by the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Awaiting Weightlessness, in which three video sculptures are again positioned on disembodied casts of her feet placed at different angles—not quite grounded. As sculptures they are screens embedded in separate aluminum bodies. Words flash to different rhythms in a world that fluctuates between timekeeping and timelessness, place and placelessness. According to Albaik, time, as a unit of measurement, reflects the body’s accumulation of experience, and its perceived stillness is in fact a dynamic spatial configuration. The act of waiting in this video is an active one similar to Sadek’s labor of the missing. Bracketing the space between her feet and the sky, she is in the constant process of relocating herself in multiple placehoods, likening the diasporic experience to the digital one. We are left with questions: What is it like not to recognize your own image? When does the ground hold you? What is a borderless space of being?

Awaiting Weightlessness 2021

culture bbb
From Peace to Protest
Tavish Gunasena, a fine art and documentary photographer has built up a body of work from around his paradise island, but found himself in the middle of the frenzy, capturing the rage and bravery of his people. We chart his journey from peace to protest in this photo essay.
expression bbb
Visual Hunger
Artist Sondos Azzam explores the underbelly of our gastronomic longings
culture bbb
In Her Country
A series of portraits attempting to examine the relationship between a woman and her practice
culture bbb
Spoons Out of Water
What is sacred to the dining table is reduced to its form and colour in this photo series by Sondos Azzam
culture bbb
Fruit Scans
A photo series that challenges our perception of food by distorting the familiar
expression bbb
Abandoned: When a Crisis Allows Nature Back In
Series of photographs documenting the impacts of continual human manipulation of the UAE's natural landscapes
culture bbb
Roaming
How our urban environment shapes nature and our individual activities within these spaces
expression bbb
Precarious Existence
The Magnum Foundation commissioned these images of Dubai residents hit hardest by the pandemic
culture bbb
An Outlook on Change
Featuring: Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez (curator, educator, writer), Lara Rudar (artist, filmmaker, environmental advocate), Philip Mawn Maughan (writer, editor, co-founder, black almanac).
culture bbb
Hybrid senses - Slow Art Tour
The sound trail is from Asma Belhamar’s slow tour that took place in Custot Gallery and Green Art Gallery. The slow tour sheds light on different ways of preserving art by activating senses. The tour focuses on observational methods using tools such as art and design principals to achieve a collective experience.
culture bbb
Burning Issues
Episode 02 of Cultures in Conversation programmed by Alserkal: Preludes & Postscripts
opinion bbb
Humanising Cities
Featuring: Vilma Jurkute (Executive Director, Alserkal), Charles Landry (author and international authority on urban change),  Rupali Gupte & Prasad Shetty (co-founders Bard Studio, founding members School of Environment and Architecture), and  Hamed Bukhamseen (Co-founder, Civil Architecture). PART OF  CULTURES IN CONVERSATION: PRELUDES & POSTSCRIPTS. The brand new series with Alserkal and powered by afikra. Cultures in Conversation is commissioned by Expo2020 Dubai and programmed by Alserkal
culture bbb
A Force To Reckon With: Manal Aldowayan
A conversation with one of Saudi Arabia's most significant artists about her evolving methodologies, the shifting significance of her work, and the thought behind her practice
culture bbb
Architecture Meets Nature: While We Wait
A conversation with award-winning designers Yousef and Elias Anastas about their latest installation piece, While We Wait.
culture bbb
Alserkal Avenue | The First Decade (Part 2)
A conversation with the creative visionaries and cultural entrepreneurs who have partnered with Alserkal Avenue over the past decade.
culture bbb
Alserkal Avenue | The First Decade (Part 1)
A conversation with the creative visionaries and cultural entrepreneurs who have partnered with Alserkal Avenue over the past decade.
culture bbb
Turning The Spotlight On UAE-Based Emerging Artists
A conversation with UAE Unlimited Executive Director Shobha Shamdsani
culture bbb
Humanity as Refuge II
A conversation with Fabric(ated) Fractures curator Diana Campbell Betancourt and participating artists
culture bbb
Humanity as Refuge I
A conversation with Fabric(ated) Fractures curator Diana Campbell Betancourt and participating artists
culture bbb
Hassan Hajjaj: Carte Blanche
Fari Bradley in conversation with Hassan Hajjaj prior to his show at Paris’s Maison Européenne de la Photographie
culture bbb
Soothing the Soothsayers
A conversation with arts writer Kevin Jones, curator of the Foretold Now summer programme
opinion bbb
What is the role of the artist in society?
In the context of shifting definitions surrounding the role that the artist plays in nation building and place-making, Stephen Hobbs (Director of Johannesburg’s The Trinity Session) and Laila Binbrek (Coordinating Director of the National Pavilion UAE la Biennale di Venezia) unpack insights that reflect on current trends and possible futures.
expression bbb
A closer look with Azza Al Qubaisi
A closer look at Emirati artist Azza Al Qubaisi's multi-layered works titled 'Between the Dune Lines', which effortlessly captures the mysteries, shapes, patterns and textures of the desert landscape; as well as cultural memories, stories and motifs from the past. Using materials inspired by the deep roots of her heritage, Azza invites the observer to develop a sensory intimacy with her works and her journeys. 'Between the Dune Lines' is on display at Leila Heller Gallery until 15 December 2022. #artintothenight
expression bbb
A closer look with Nathaniel Rackowe
Nathaniel Rackowe's practice spans public art, installation, sculpture, contemporary dance and painting, investigating form and materiality through his observations of light and its effect on our experiences of urban spaces. In his exhibition titled 'Fractured Landscapes', Rackowe considers the notion of light as a reflector - artificial and natural; exploring how light bounces across objects to guide our sensation of space, material and colour. 'Fractured Landscapes' is on view at Lawrie Shabibi until 4 November 2022. #artintothenight
expression bbb
A closer look with Kais Salman
Kais Salman's 'Fables in the Unknown' represents a wide expanse of powerful vivid emotions and sentiments. Charges of positive and negative thoughts, feelings, and energy are projected onto the canvas, unfolding compositions through light and finding meaning in the dark. With a sharp focus on sarcasm, the dark humour reflected in his body of work is meant to enlighten reality and envision a better place. 'Fables in the Unknown' is on show at Ayyam Gallery until 1 November 2022. #artintothenight
expression bbb
A closer look with Sarah Almehairi
In 'When the Ground Was', Sarah Almehairi takes us along for a walk. Concrete floor sculptures and works on paper and canvas become visual pathfinders, each a portal to another story. Sometimes architectural, other times cartographic, together, they toy with the notion of scale and perception. And then, somewhere, Sarah's body of work appears as a prompt - a starting point for many things - a poem, a guide, an invitation, but most significantly, a process of unlearning, where she gently nudges viewers to deconstruct things they believed to be true, sensitising them to connect with their environment in new, distinct ways. 'When the Ground Was' is on show in Carbon 12 until 1 November 2022. #artintothenight
culture bbb
Imploded, burned, turned to ash
Multiple screenings of recorded drawing and sound performance throughout Refugee Week from 20-26 June 2022
culture bbb
Sneak peak of An Outlook on Change
Episode 03 - Cultures Conversation Preludes and Postscripts: The brand new series with Alserkal and powered by afikra.
culture bbb
Concrete Closed Sessions | Nujoom Alghanem
In this third iteration of Concrete Closed Sessions, Nujoom Alghanem performs her poem "I Found My Way to You", which was part of her artistic intervention at our second Cultures in Conversation event "Never Be Lost: Learn to Read the Stars" for space week at Expo 2020
culture bbb
JAFR. The Alchemy of Signs by Nja Mahdaoui | Elmarsa Gallery
Artist Nja Mahdaoui speaks about JAFR. The Alchemy of Signs, his third solo exhibition at Elmarsa Gallery during Alserkal Art Week in March 2022
culture bbb
Sneak peak of Burning Issues
Cultures Conversation Preludes and Postscripts: The brand new series with Alserkal and powered by afikra.
culture bbb
Vikram Divecha's "El dorado"
Artist Vikram Divecha speaks about his solo exhibition on show at Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde during Alserkal Art Week in March 2022
culture bbb
Listening Pause
Intangible Cultural Heritage as a focus for Vision 2071
expression bbb
A – B = C (The image interrogated)
a triptych of projections capturing movement and time
culture bbb
Cultures in Conversation | Openness and the Path to Prosperity
An intimate and engaging conversation between two of the UAE’s leading champions of cultural and public diplomacy, hosted by the UAE Pavilion.
expression bbb
A Poem, A Garden
Watch Augustine Paredes' performance during the December Jubilee celebrations
expression bbb
The Alphabetics of the Barista Part II
Watch Moza Almatrooshi's performance at Le Guepard, Alserkal Avenue
opinion bbb
Sneak peak of Humanising Cities
Cultures Conversation Preludes and Postscripts: The brand new series with Alserkal and powered by afikra.
expression bbb
Alserkal Insider | Nightjar Coffee Roasters with Leon Surynt
We went to Nightjar for coffee but found Leon.
culture bbb
Cultures in Conversation | Never Be Lost: Learn to Read the Stars
The cultural imagination of the celestial and how important systems of knowledge have been passed down through literature, memory, and oral narratives, continuing to hold meaning as we imagine space futures.
culture bbb
Cultures in Conversation | Climate change in the classroom, living room, street and beyond
We live at the epicentre of an ecological catastrophe with unimaginable consequences.
expression bbb
Concrete Closed Sessions: Danabelle Gutierrez and Charlie119
Filipino poet Danabelle Gutierrez collaborates with all-sibling band Charlie119 on an improvisational performance of poetry.
culture bbb
Concrete Closed Sessions: Inam & Friends
A musical gathering around Qawwali music
culture bbb
Safina Radio Project: Venice
From 6-8 May 2015, Alserkal created an itinerant space on the waterways of Venice
culture bbb
"Under": A Video Documentation
Under is Hale Tenger’s first major public work in Dubai commissioned by Alserkal, guest curated by Mari Spirito of Protocinema
culture bbb
While We Wait
An immersive installation by Bethlehem-based architects about the cultural claim over nature in Palestine
culture bbb
Adapt to Survive: Notes from the Future
Curator Dr. Cliff Lauson and artist Youmna Chlala discuss the need of adaptation for survival
culture bbb
Noria: Circulation Of People In Systems
Investigating how societies influence and mould us through systems of social politics, particularly in South Korea
culture bbb
When the Band Comes Marching In
A work by Block Universe, supported by Alserkal, questions the power structures of the Venice Biennale
culture bbb
Curriculum II
The follow-up to 2020's Introductory Curriculum for Reparations revealed
culture bbb
Echo Holdings x Synthanatos
This edition of Echo Holdings, artist Isaac Sullivan’s context-shifting series of hybrid live sets and collaborative lecture performances, features vocals by independent researcher Dana Dawud and takes up a machinic sense of the psychoanalytic death drive. Here, an uncanny ambiguity between recorded and live speech, and a seemingly infinite field of images within images, produces an ecstatic blurring of presence and asynchrony as we negotiate a sonic palette alternately sparkling and ragged.
culture bbb
Dayanita Singh in Conversation
Dayanita Singh discusses her body of work with curator Nada Raza
expression bbb
The Street Came First
Three photographers capture life and work in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa
culture bbb
The Myth about Maths
World-renowned mathematician and author Marcus du Sautoy talks to Perspectives about how maths can help us hack life, understand AI better, and solve the riddles of the universe.
culture bbb
Questioning Sound
Can archaeology help us reassess our experience of sound?
culture bbb
Ink, Paper, Alchemy II
In an era of digital publishing, working with ink, paper, and print is a daunting art form that requires pluck, business acumen, resilience and constant funding. Small-to-medium publishers often face rising odds in curating, creating and distributing beautifully produced works of text, photography and illustration on paper. The results, however, are often breathtaking, made all the more desirable by small print runs, lack of reprints, or modest distribution channels. With a number of small publishers still holding steady against digital publishing’s onslaught in South West Asia, Africa and South Asia, Saira Ansari goes in search of the remaining alchemists of print.
opinion bbb
Turn On, Tune In
Six virtuosic albums on vinyl that capture the evolution of recorded music through the ages.
expression bbb
Saint Levant: Home-maker
Palestinian, French and Serbian rapper Saint Levant seeks home in his lyrics and music.
culture bbb
What did we gain at COP27?
Beyond its talking shop reputation, what were our key takeaways for the region at the latest climate summit?
culture bbb
Insights from Istanbul
Does the 17th Istanbul Biennial deliver on its curatorial promise?
culture bbb
Ink, Paper, Alchemy
In search of the indie alchemists of print publishing in the region
culture bbb
In Close Quarters
A photo essay by Shama Nair on the visual language of memory and belonging.
expression bbb
Fahd Burki and Ala Ebtekar Take to the Skies
Three public installations question daily rituals and time.
culture bbb
Pop Power
‘Pop South Asia’ stakes a claim to the art form
culture bbb
Dreaming Awake
The Pakistani pop-folk duo, the Justin Bibis, make a comeback.
culture bbb
Arab Cinema in One Week
Our critic takes a journey through Arab Cinema Week with Rabih El-Khoury.
expression bbb
Machining the Dream
Will AI art end the careers of human artists?
culture bbb
Mud, Minarets, and Meaningless Events | A research convening
What is multidisciplinary research in the arts? Why is it important to support projects that are imaginative and experimental, and how might they engage with a wider public?
culture bbb
Voice Notes from Venice
A journal of sights and sounds from the 59th International Art Exhibition
culture bbb
The Poetics of Partition
In a trilogy of animated films entitled Lost Migrations, a refugee crossing South Asia’s lines of 1947, transforms into a weightless paper plane.
culture bbb
Disrupting the Pattern
How practices of care can oppose the climate crisis
culture bbb
New world order
Can geo-politics in the boardroom and on the battlefield stop pop music?
culture bbb
Discomfort is the Only Constant
Seeking identity through poetry and hip-hop
culture bbb
A Reality Check for Indian Love
Mansi Choksi’s Newlyweds explores the challenges of forbidden love for India’s youth.
opinion bbb
Resistance is futile: how I learned to appreciate the e-scooter
Perspective by Troy Pieper on how he learned to appreciate the e-scooter
culture bbb
The Technological Body
This third and final installment of the curatorial narrative linking corporeal depictions by young GCC-based artists will consider how technology expands, projects and amplifies the artist’s body. Mediation becomes a means of re-materializing the body and the negative spaces it inhabits in virtual space. Through distortions, duplications, glitches, and the act of voicing the machinic, the body moves beyond digital circuitry—deconstructed into a language of gestures, and forms.
opinion bbb
Youth and Change
Experiences from the Youth Climate Movement
culture bbb
A Tour through A Supplementary Country Called Cinema
A reflection on A Supplementary Country Called Cinema, a film programme that was a prelude to the exhibition A Slightly Curving Place, curated by Nida Ghouse and programmed by Alserkal Arts Foundation
culture bbb
Rewilding the Kitchen | Joori Wa Loomi by Moza AlMatrooshi
Curator and artist Nahla Al Tabbaa converses with conceptual artist, writer, and chef Moza AlMatrooshi
opinion bbb
On Tolerance
Tolerance in the UAE is largely owed to the country’s multiculturalism. A national virtue, it is also synonymous with the UAE’s founder, HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
culture bbb
A Slightly Curving Place
Curated by Nida Ghouse
culture bbb
Layer upon Layer
A dive into the layers behind "Wamda : A Glimpse", UAE Unlimited's retrospective exhibition showcasing the works of UAE-based artists during Alserkal Art Week
culture bbb
A Walk through ICD Brookfield
A deeper insight into the exhibition Hair Mapping Body; Body Mapping Land at ICD Brookfield Place
culture bbb
Earth to Humans
Rania Habib takes us through the presence of the Earth and Sustainability at this year's Quoz Arts Fest
culture bbb
Overheard at WCCE
Read some of the questions explored in the World Conference on Creative Economy
culture bbb
Digital Druidism
an artistic intervention
opinion bbb
Why I Don’t Blame Institutions Anymore
An argument for how to find optimism in place of frustration in the local cultural institutional landscape
expression bbb
Open Studios: Still Lives
Explore the studios of Alserkal Arts Foundation's three artists-in-residence
culture bbb
An Incomplete History of Cinema, Part 3
For the final part of this series, we look at the past decade, the current state of cinema exhibition and the ongoing mission of filling the gaps in UAE’s cinema heritage
culture bbb
Hair Mapping Body; Body Mapping Land
Hair Mapping Body; Body Mapping Land, an exhibition at ICD Brookfield Place from 10 November to 19 December 2021, Programmed by Alserkal Advisory
expression bbb
Cultures in Conversation Blog
Reflections on Cultures in Conversation, a programme Commissioned by Expo2020 and programmed by Alserkal that consists of ten theme weeks of events and interventions that challenge the typical ‘talks’ format.
culture bbb
Rewilding the Kitchen | Mastic Fizz by Salma Serry
Curator and artist Nahla Al Tabbaa converses with filmmaker and interdisciplinary foodways researcher Salma Serry about Mastic and its connections to UAE's history
style bbb
Who Owns Yoga?
The warrior poses and sun salutations practiced in yoga studios around the world aren’t mentioned in any ancient yoga text. If that disconnect is a direct result of colonial influences, should we feel anxious about the authenticity of our modern yoga practices?
expression bbb
The Tower by Wilf Speller
Compiled entirely out of footage appropriated from luxury real estate advertisements
culture bbb
The Suffering Body
Part two of a curatorial narrative around the absent, suffering and technological body in contemporary works by GCC-based artists
expression bbb
August Observations
Personal archives are fraught sites filled with memories and stories that drag us into the past. How does a writer respond to a letter he receives years after it is written? The result is an exploration of the gaps and elisions laid bare by forgotten memories and unspoken sentiments.
culture bbb
Rewilding the Kitchen | Recipe No. 1 | Barri by Namliyeh
Curator and artist Nahla Al Tabbaa savours unlearning traditional food narratives with ethnobotanists Namliyeh
culture bbb
The Wedding Project
An online / offline audiovisual trail of celebratory wedding music
culture bbb
Cultures in Conversation at Expo 2020
Shaping New Thinking on Burning Issues - Programmed by Alserkal, commissioned by Expo 2020 Dubai, Cultures in Conversation challenges the conventional talks programme with artist interventions, immersive experiences, and new thinking on critical challenges
culture bbb
On Emirati Women
An insight into the practices of Emirati women challenging notions within their professional fields
culture bbb
The Alserkal Ecology Reader | Three Lectures on Architecture and Landscape in the Gulf
The Alserkal Ecology Reader is a compilation of three lectures held in 2018 and 2019 in relation to Civil Architecture’s residency at Alserkal Arts Foundation. These three lectures form a summary of on-going issues in the discipline and are intended to be a loose primer for architects in the Gulf.
culture bbb
The Absent Body
Mapping disembodiment and performativity among GCC artists
expression bbb
Three Conversation Pieces III
As India continues to find its bearings amidst COVID tumult, Aveek Sen explores how his own conversations have become at once more vital, yet oddly unfamiliar
culture bbb
An Incomplete History of UAE Cinemas, Part 2
In Part 2 of her Incomplete History, Mezaina explores the rise of the multiplex model, film festivals, and the creation of alternative viewing spaces in the 2000s.
opinion bbb
Design as a Wrapper
Designer and educator Zena Adhami explores the dangers of assumptions when designing for communities
expression bbb
Three Conversation Pieces II
As India continues to find its bearings amidst COVID tumult, Aveek Sen explores how his own conversations have become at once more vital, yet oddly unfamiliar
opinion bbb
Engaging Audiences
Muscat-based artist Majeda Alhinai considers how viewers become part of artworks
expression bbb
Three Conversation Pieces I
As India continues to find its bearings amidst COVID tumult, Aveek Sen explores how his own conversations have become at once more vital, yet oddly unfamiliar
expression bbb
Every day I wake up and...
A chronicle of daily conversations with artists Sandi Hilal
culture bbb
Ways of Seeing
Palestinian artist Samia Halaby's approach to painting reveals her precise complex process, astute peripheral sensibilities, and why abstraction is the only movement left unexploited.
expression bbb
An Introductory Curriculum for Reparations
An informational response by our community on the Black Lives Matter Movement
culture bbb
The Africa Connection
As the global art world shines a light on Africa, Rebecca Anne Proctor writes on the growing dialogue between the Middle East and Africa
culture bbb
Chaos, Love, and Enigmas
Malaysian artist Hasanul Isyraf Idris tackles his homeland’s multiculturalism through densely populated compositions that engage episodic memory, manifested by mythological through to Sci-Fi imagery
culture bbb
The First Collectors
The role of the artist in relation to collecting is reconsidered
culture bbb
Q&A: Hale Tenger And Mari Spirito
'Under' is Hale Tenger's first major commission in almost a decade, on view at The Yard in 2018
culture bbb
Re-Examining The Role Of The Museum In Society
The 2017 CiMAM Annual Conference brought together museum professionals from around the world to re-evaluate the public functions of museums.
culture bbb
Living Under The Net
Hale Tenger's 'Under' asks us what beliefs we accept without question and what our potential could be without such self-imposed restrictions.
culture bbb
Slippery Modernism
A review of Building Bauhaus, Jean-Paul Najar Foundation’s tribute to the German art school’s centenary – with a regional twist.
culture bbb
A Modern History
Nancy Lorenz’s exhibition 'Silver Moon' at Leila Heller Gallery presents a complex craft-meets-contemporary body of work that references Japanese tradition and Abstract Expressionism
culture bbb
Is This Tomorrow?
Whitechapel Gallery curator Lydia Yee explores the works of five pairings of artists and architects
culture bbb
The Making of a Ruin
A public art commission by the artist collective METASITU welcomed visitors to a post-apocalyptic ruin
culture bbb
Hydrogen Helium
A sound installation first realised in a residency at Alserkal Arts Foundation
culture bbb
The Fabric of Fractures
Exploring ‘sensitive spaces' that challenge ideas of nation, state, and territory
culture bbb
Fabric(ated) Fractures
A collaboration with Samdani Art Foundation, challenging ideas of nation, state, and territory
culture bbb
How Will We Return?
Dialogues between cultural practitioners & scholars from the Alserkal Arts Foundation network
culture bbb
Collaborative Co-existence
A six-week series screenings, workshops, performances, and exhibitions around the theme of maintenance
culture bbb
Connecting Syria to the World
Director Shireen Atassi expands on Atassi Foundation efforts
culture bbb
Mohamed Melehi And The Casablanca Art School Archives
Works by major figure in postcolonial Moroccan art showcased at Concrete
opinion bbb
Will the Fashion Industry Ever Truly Be Sustainable?
Founder of clothing brand One and Four speaks about sustainable practices
opinion bbb
Why Institutions Now
What contemporary arts institutions might become in the future
expression bbb
A Letter
Micro-fiction by Amrita Shergar to inaugurate alserkal.online's new showcase for creative writing
culture bbb
Connecting Cultures Through Contemporary Art
Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi shares her thoughts on curating the second edition of the Lahore Biennale
culture bbb
One-on-One with Nabila Abdel Nabi
A conversation with Nabila Abdel Nabi, Tate Modern's first MENA curator
culture bbb
Mystical Warriors
The works in Reza Derakshani’s latest show at Leila Heller Gallery reveal the mystical connections between the artist’s time in Russia, and the forgotten tales and symbolism of his Iranian heritage
culture bbb
Is This Tomorrow? Art vs Architecture
Architecture and arts writers experience the show from their own perspectives
style bbb
At the Confluence of Art and Industry
Architect, designer, and writer Edwin Heathcote reflects on Concrete’s significance
culture bbb
Poetry In Motion
Nujoom Al Ghanem fuses poetry and filmmaking for 'Passages', a reflection on the universal experience of displacement and alienation. The Emirati poet and director speaks to Melissa Gronlund about her solo presentation for the National Pavilion UAE at the 58th Venice Biennale
opinion bbb
The Lighthouse Podcast x Vilma Jurkute
Alserkal's Executive Director Vilma Jurkute sat down with Hashem Montasser, creator of The Lighthouse Podcast, to share her experience in developing Alserkal Avenue as the leading arts & culture district in the region.
culture bbb
Cape Town: A New Capital for Art
The eighth edition of Investec Cape Town Art Fair took place in February against an uneasy socio-economic backdrop — concluding in solid sales, and a newfound zeal for multiculturalism.
culture bbb
METASITU in conversation with Ghada Yaiche
Artist collective in discussion with an architect on urban and ruin
expression bbb
Drone Go Chasing Waterfalls
Thoughts on Stephanie Comilang’s film Lumapit Sa Akin, Paraiso (Come to Me, Paradise)
culture bbb
An Incomplete History of UAE Cinemas, Part 1
In Part 1, Dubai-based writer Mezaina examines independent cinemas pre-multiplex days
culture bbb
The Overseas Filipino Artist
Fresh insights on Filipino artists in Dubai through the lens of Sa Tahanan Collective founder
culture bbb
An Artistic Meditation
On Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim’s practice, about the mind, its subconscious and space.