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FOLIO by Alserkal
31 minutes | a year ago
Majlis Talk: 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. Moderated by Kevin Jones. Laila Binbrek Laila Binbrek is the Coordinating Director of the National Pavilion UAE, which presents the United Arab Emirates’ annual exhibition at the Venice Biennale. She has worked to set the pavilion’s ongoing strategy and vision in collaboration with its commissioner, the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, and manages its operations and team. Additionally, she oversees the development of the Venice Internship, a training program that to date has sent around 200 interns to Venice as ambassadors for the UAE and its rich culture. Laila has significant experience within the region’s cultural industry. Before joining the National Pavilion UAE, she spent 6 years at The Third Line, one of Dubai’s leading contemporary art galleries, where as gallery director she worked to develop a platform for MENASA artists from across the region. Prior to that, Laila managed the Art Centre at the Dubai Community Theatre & Arts Centre (DUCTAC), with the goal of promoting community engagement within the local community of the UAE. Stephen Hobbs Since 1994, Johannesburg has served as a critical reference point for Stephen Hobbs’ artistic and curatorial insights into the apartheid city turned African city - with a particular interest in the impact of defensive urban planning and architecture on the behavioural aspects of city and society. The resultant urban decay that develops in such conditions evolved Hobbs’ practice into consultative processes on the role of art in public space relative to urban renewal and place making initiatives commissioned by the city. Hobbs’ near 10 year relationship with David Krut Projects has broadened his artistic repertoire through print making, book making and publishing. In addition David Krut Projects New York has produced a variety of Hobbs’ talks, presentations and workshops in numerous Universities and Institutions through-out the USA. Stephen Hobbs was the curator of the Market Theatre Galleries (Johannesburg) from 1994 to 2000, Co-Director of the purpose-built Gallery Premises (2004-2008) at the Joburg Theatre. Since 2001, he has co-directed the artist collaborative and public art consultancy – The Trinity Session. And since 2004 has co-produced a range of multi-medium urban and network-focused projects with Marcus Neustetter, under the collaborative name Hobbs/Neustetter. In 2017, Hobbs joined the Graduate School of Architecture at the University of Johannesburg, as Unit Leader and resident critic.
21 minutes | 2 years ago
Soothing the Soothsayers
Guest Kevin Jones Curator, Foretold Now & Owner, Juniper Mind. Home - Juniper Mind Since late July, Alserkal Avenue has been hosting its summer programme under the theme Foretold Now. Curated by arts writer Kevin Jones, who describes himself as someone who is obsessed with studying the human desire to speculate, Foretold Now comprises talks, reading groups, and performances that explore the insatiable human appetite for the future — and people’s attempts to predict it. On this episode of the FOLIO podcast, we investigate the obsessive need to soothsay. Links Events at Alserkal Avenue Foretold Now events (Facebook)
16 minutes | 2 years ago
Reflect & Reconnect: Ramadan at Alserkal Avenue
Guests Butheina Kazim Founder, Cinema Akil Butheina HK بثينة (@butheinahk) • Instagram photos and videos Kenza & Patrick Jarjour Founders, Inked Lola Boatwright Managing Director, Gulf Photo Plus Ramadan Kareem. Pause, reflect, and reconnect. As part of Alserkal’s annual thematic on Maintenance, Ramadan at Alserkal Avenue encourages us to shift our focus towards discourses around maintenance, urging us to reconsider our present moment. Throughout the month, our Ramadan programme invites you to Iftar and Suhoor experiences, art and self-care workshops, thought-provoking discussions, exhibition openings and guided tours, film screenings and more, reflecting the communal spirit of Ramadan. In this episode of Conversations on the Avenue, we catch up with Butheina Kazim from Cinema Akil, Kenza and Patrick Jarjour from Inked, and Lola Boatwright from Gulf Photo Plus to hear about their Ramadan line-up. Our Alserkal Lates continue every Wednesday, and the galleries will open new shows during the 15 May edition of Alserkal Lates, when galleries will be open from 8-11PM. You’re also welcome to discover our many family-friendly activities throughout Ramadan at Alserkal Avenue, including the children’s camps at Wisdom Warehouse, Board Game Nights at A4 Space, fashion pop-ups, night markets, and Majlis Storytelling in The Yard. The full calendar of events is available here, and we have an ever-growing calendar of activities, events, and exhibitions running throughout the month, so keep checking in for updates. Links Ramadan at Alserkal Avenue
16 minutes | 2 years ago
Humanity as Refuge, Part II
Guests Ayesha Jatoi Ayesha Jatoi was trained as a Miniature painter at the National College of the Arts in Lahore (Pakistan). Her practice primarily explores the traditional manuscript’s symbiotic relationship between the image and text and the spatial division of these “illuminated pages”. Ayesha’s installation, Residue, features piles of white garments lying conspicuously in the exhibition space. The piles begin to slowly disappear as the artist Ayesha Jatoi takes each piece of clothing and folds and stacks it across the room. White is the colour of mourning worn to funerals in many cultures of South Asia, and this performance is a metaphorically burdened act in uncertain times of putting away the remnants of love, of longing, of trying to make sense of the senseless: of what, or who, has been lost. Ayesha Jatoi (@jatoi_ayesha) on Twitter Reetu Sattar Reetu Sattar is a performance artist working with video, text, objects and photography. She makes time-based pieces exploring presence and absence, memory, loss, resilience and the ephemerality of existence. Reetu’s film, Harano Sur (Lost Tune), focuses on the harmonium, a musical instrument that is tightly integrated into the traditional culture of Bangladesh, but is in danger of disappearing. The film documents a performance that brought together musicians, each playing three notes of the seven notes of the harmonium. The artist uses the sustained droning sounds as a way to explore the violence and social upheaval that have recently affected Bangladesh. By playing a sustained note, the performers make the powerful statement that they, and their traditions, are here to stay. Reetu Sattar Fabric(ated) Fractures, a collaboration between Samdani Art Foundation and Alserkal at Concrete, Dubai, ran from 9-30 March 2019. The seminal exhibition featured works by 15 artists from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Thailand, and Pakistan, who were also part of the foundation’s Dhaka Art Summit initiative. In this two-part series of Conversations on the Avenue, we discover Fabric(ated) Fractures with its curator Diana Campbell Betancourt, and speak to exhibiting artists Reetu Sattar, Ayesha Jatoi, and Joydeb Roaja about some of the issues they explore through their poignant, powerful practices. Credits Cover photo by Tara Atkinson. Hosted by Vinita Bharadwaj, produced by Chirag Desai.
13 minutes | 2 years ago
Humanity as Refuge, Part I
Guests Diana Campbell Betancourt Diana Campbell Betancourt is a Princeton educated American curator who has been working in South and Southeast Asia since 2010 primarily in India, Bangladesh, and the Philippines , and is now based between Brussels and Dhaka. Since 2013, she has served as the Founding Artistic Director of the Samdani Art Foundation and Chief Curator of the Dhaka Art Summit, leading the critically acclaimed 2014, 2016, and 2018 editions. Diana Campbell Betancourt (@dhakadiana) • Instagram photos and videos Joydeb Roaja Joydeb Roaja is an indigenous artist from hill tract area of Bangladesh. His paintings and artworks are influenced the militarization of the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Joydeb has an M.F.A. in painting from Chittagong University, Dhaka Art Summit - Joydeb Roaja, Searching my Roots, 2017. Courtesy of the Samdani Art Foundation collection. | Facebook Fabric(ated) Fractures, a collaboration between Samdani Art Foundation and Alserkal at Concrete, Dubai, ran from 9-30 March 2019. The seminal exhibition featured works by 15 artists from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Thailand, and Pakistan, who were also part of the foundation’s Dhaka Art Summit initiative. In this two-part series of Conversations on the Avenue, we discover Fabric(ated) Fractures with its curator Diana Campbell Betancourt, and speak to exhibiting artists Reetu Sattar, Ayesha Jatoi, and Joydeb Roaja about some of the issues they explore through their poignant, powerful practices. Credits Cover photo by Musthafa Aboobacker. Hosted by Vinita Bharadwaj, produced by Chirag Desai.
30 minutes | 2 years ago
Architecture Meets Nature: While We Wait
‘While We Wait’ is a stunning sculptural installation, constructed by quarried Palestinian stone in a tall, vertical structure of interlocking stone pieces. Crafted via a combination of ancient and cutting-edge technologies, the sculpture is destined to be installed permanently in the landscape that inspired it - the Cremisan Valley close to Bethlehem, Palestine. We talk to the designers and to curator, the V&A;’s Salma Tuqan, about the work and the fascinating story behind it. While We Wait was commissioned by the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. It was on show at Concrete in Alserkal Avenue from 5 November to 18 November.
28 minutes | 2 years ago
A Force to Reckon With | Manal AlDowayan
Manal AlDowayan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most significant artists. Her impressive body of photography, sculpture, and video works is often on show on the other side of the world, while she is in situ elsewhere. AlDowayan’s keen sense of perspective makes for bold, exploratory pieces that speak of a woman’s lot in today’s world. At Alserkal Avenue, for example, AlDowayan exhibited a landmark multi-video installation (I Had No Wings, 2015), commissioned by Rolls Royce, that examined the (then) precarious position of women in Saudi as car passengers, but never drivers. Now, just following the installation of one her works at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, AlDowayan is preparing to leave for a major, site-specific solo show in Madrid with Sabrina Amrani Gallery ((12 January-30 March). Fari Bradley catches up with this Dubai-based artist, to find out more about her evolving methodologies, the shifting significance of her work, and the thought behind her practice. Follow AlDowayan’s work at www.manaldowayan.com
27 minutes | 2 years ago
Alserkal Avenue | The First Decade (Part 2)
In the second of our special two-part series celebrating the first 10 years of Alserkal Avenue, we meet the founder of the Avenue himself, Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal, to hear of his vision and ambitions in creating the biggest arts community in the region. He’s joined by the director, Vilma Jurkute, and together, they reflect, discuss, and look ahead to the future of Alserkal Avenue.
34 minutes | 2 years ago
Alserkal Avenue | The First Decade (Part 1)
Join us in a celebration of Alserkal Avenue’s first decade as we meet some of the people who have made the first ten years of Alserkal Avenue a unique success story. In this special two-part edition of Conversations on the Avenue, we meet with some of the creative visionaries and cultural entrepreneurs who have partnered with Alserkal Avenue over the past decade. Exploring the history of the neighbourhood, reflecting on its astonishing growth and looking forward to the future, we meet gallerist Yasmin Atassi of Green Art Gallery, Laura Egerton, Rami Farook of Satellite, Shelley Frost from The Fridge, Butheina Kazim from Cinema Akil and Janet Bellotto from Zayed University.
32 minutes | 3 years ago
From spooky foxes, to street-crawling museums, Communist icons to futuristic ghost cities. ADAPT TO SURVIVE: NOTES FROM THE FUTURE takes the unique visions of seven international artists to create a kaleidoscope of thrilling possibilities, surreal suggestions and esoteric explanations on how the future might yet evolve for us. Having exhibited in London’s Hayward Gallery, in its HENI Project Space under the auspices of curator Dr Cliff Lauson, the show is now running at Alserkal Avenue’s CONCRETE space, marking the first time a Hayward show has travelled to the UAE. In this special edition of CONVERSATIONS ON THE AVENUE, we meet curator Dr Lauson who walks us through this compelling collection of multimedia works, allowing us to absorb the ideas behind them and provide the basis for our own responses and reactions to the art. Presented and produced by Arsalan Mohammad.
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