Inspired by the Avenue’s central position within the growing arts community in Dubai, the year’s Programme will critically examine expanding concepts of community and belonging taking shape in this globalised city. From October 2015 to April 2016, Alserkal Avenue Programming will present a series of artist commissions, talks, films and workshops that interrogate these concepts through
various disciplines, including visual art, architecture, anthropology and urbanism.
The Programme includes artist commissions that investigate the industrial
heritage of Al Quoz and the points of intersection between Alserkal Avenue and
its neighbourhood. Commissioning artists based in Dubai alongside international
figures, the Programme supports the creation of ambitious works that range in
scale and duration, as well as disciplines including performance, social practice,
research and public art.
A six-week series of talks and workshops will be presented in the lead-up to the commissions that encourage a reimagining of how individuals can creatively engage the city.
“Open City” on 3 November is a talk that explores the ways public art and architecture can impact local communities and urban dynamics featuring Noura Al-Sayeh, Head of Architectural Affairs for the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities and Curator of Bahrain’s first participation at the 12th Venice Architecture Biennale, and Mary Ellen Carroll, a Houston and New York-based artist who has realized major public art commissions for international exhibitions such as the Busan Biennial and Prospect 3: Notes for Now. On 10 Nov Yasser Elsheshtawy, Associate Professor of Architecture at UAE University and head of the Urban Research Lab, will lecture on informal urbanism and the extent to which migrant communities lay claim to parts of the city. On 24 November,artist Lantian Xie will present Turn the Sun and Fun into Cold Weather, a performative-lecture about waiting and belonging in Dubai. Staged on Sunset Beach, Xie locates the talk in an imagined orchestra pit: a ‘mystic’ gulf between local and visitor and an unmapped gulf neither Persian nor Arab. On 8 December, Oliver Herring,a visiting artist from New York will lead workshops with various communities in Al Quoz that encourage creative risk and the break-down of social barriers.
The Programme and its themes will be further explored in Where We Dwell, a film series presented in collaboration with Cinema Akil. The screenings will start in October 2015 and will run till March 2016, with a new film being screened every week.