UAE Unlimited, supported by His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, is a platform focused on nurturing and supporting the new generation of Emirati and UAE-based artists in the form of local and international projects. Alserkal Avenue is partnering with the 2015-born institution by way of Concrete, its multi-purpose space designed by OMA, which will be the venue for UAE Unlimited’s annual exhibition. “His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan and Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal have a shared vision of nurturing and supporting emerging artists from the UAE,” stated Vilma Jurkute, director of Alserkal Avenue. “Their commitment to the arts is reflected in the work of UAE Unlimited and Alserkal Programming respectively. We look forward to bringing the immense talent of contemporary artists and curators from the UAE to Concrete – a multi-disciplinary space that was designed with museum-grade exhibitions in mind.”
Curated by Sharjah-based artist, curator and Barjeel Art Foundation director Karim Sultan, who will be assisted by senior advisor and curator Laura Metzler, the upcoming edition will continue UAE Unlimited’s trademark mentorship format. Dubai-based Iranian trio Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian, recognised for an innovative, diverse and boundary-pushing practice, have been selected as guest artists who will advise the emerging artists in the production of new works for the show. It will permit emerging artists a chance to work with key figures in the Emirati art scene, as well as exhibit on a larger scale. “Alserkal Programming’s commitment to the UAE’s art scene has made this partnership a natural one; the organisation has made an indelible contribution to artists and curators in the UAE. A space like Concrete raises the bar for the artists and curators in the region, giving them the freedom to create innovative works,” stated Shobha Pia Shamdsani, executive director of UAE Unlimited.
With an emphasis on learning and exchange, the exhibition will thematically focus on language and its use as a medium for communication, encouraging the showcased artists to create works that engage with the development of shared languages. “When an artist uses language in their work, they cannot assume that their audience will understand a particular reference, or share the same language as them,” stated Sultan. “The artists in this exhibition will be challenged to produce works that negotiate spoken, written, and visual languages, and that take into account a multiplicity of visual and cultural histories, and experiences of home and migration.”