Launching on the 13th of November and coinciding with Abu Dhabi Art, Alserkal Avenue has announced a week-long programme including two new commissions by local artists, Karim Sultan and Farah Al Qasimi. Including a film screening, pop-ups, galleries and show openings, the programme aims to follow Alserkal Avenue’s thematic trajectory for the year – using the notion of ‘work’ as their initial starting point.
‘Different Air’ by Karim Sultan will create an iterative performance that expresses the common struggle of people, migrating amidst the flows of globalization and as the result of conflict, to maintain a connection with the culture of home. Sultan, an artist and curator based in Dubai, presents a performance whose premise is based around the increasing distance between an individual who leaves home and the memories they retain in their migration, specifically the difficulties in retaining them accurately and performing them meaningfully as they drift further and further away, geographically and chronologically. Illustrated through the actions of the performance itself in which the performer attempts to accompany a repeated piece of music on the Oud, the air in the performer’s room gradually changes in character, making the musical accompaniment increasingly difficult to play until it is finally impossible to do so.
On the other hand, Farah Al Qasimi’s multi-part project, which will be unveiled over the course of the season, will reveal the sites and processes of women’s work in the Gulf. Al Qasimi is an Emirati artist known for a unique photographic style that locates the fantastic in the everyday. For her commission, she explores domestic and commercial spaces that pose as stages for invisible performances that repeat the effects of capitalism on the female body, and reference the intimate relation between artistic labor and creative production.
Further information regarding the projects, screening and pop-ups can be found on alserkalavenue.ae