Alserkal Art Week: eight highlights and must-sees at the Dubai event

The programme runs from March 3 to 13, with exhibitions ongoing until summer

There will be new exhibitions across galleries at Alserkal Avenue. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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With the return of Art Dubai and the start of Sharjah Art Foundation’s spring 2022 programme, the UAE’s busiest art season is set to make a strong comeback after a muted two years owing to the pandemic.

At Alserkal Avenue, Alserkal Art Week returns from March 3 to 13 with new exhibitions across its galleries and a major show by the Alserkal Arts Foundation at Concrete. Alserkal Lates, which takes place on March 8, will feature a number of exhibition openings and a full day of talks with artists, curators and filmmakers.

Here are some of the shows to see and things to do during the week and beyond.

A Slightly Curving Place, Alserkal Arts Foundation

Curated by Nida Ghouse, A Slightly Curving Place centres on the act of listening. Specifically, to hear what sound can say about the past through acoustic archaeology. “An archaeology of sound is primarily concerned with what it means to try and listen to the past, to that which may forever remain outside the range of our hearing,” said Ghouse.

Featuring audio works, video installation and objects in vitrines, the exhibition responds to the work of Indian sound artist Umashankar Manthravadi, whose studies in archaeoacoustics has enabled him to determine the sound properties of spaces.

The exhibition includes writers, composers, actors, dancers, musicians, field recordists and graphic designers who will influence and transform each other’s work.

A Slightly Curving Place will run from March 3 to 22 at Concrete, Alserkal Avenue

Retrospective: The Films of Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, Cinema Akil

Throughout March, Cinema Akil will present a retrospective of Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige’s films. The artists and filmmakers have collaborated on a number of films, installations and photographs that examine the power of the image and archive, specifically in relation to the Lebanese Civil War. The programme at Cinema Akil includes an exclusive GCC release of the film Memory Box (2021), which premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival last year. Other films to be shown include The Lebanese Rocket Society (2012), Ismyrna (2016) and I Want to See (2008).

Alongside the film retrospective, The Third Line gallery will also be presenting a solo exhibition of the duo’s latest work, Unconformities.

The screenings will run from March 3 to 23 at Cinema Akil

Lakes Drying, Tides Rising by Nazgol Ansarinia, Green Art Gallery

For her third solo exhibition at Green Art Gallery, Nazgol Ansarinia presents new sculptures, videos and drawings that consider the idea of collective desire through Iran’s water crisis and its effects on the landscape of the city.

In her work, Ansarinia uses everyday objects and structures, including architecture and infrastructure, to examine the underlying political and socio-economic systems that govern our world.

Lakes Drying, Tides Rising runs from March 8 to May 7 at Green Art Gallery

Wim Delvoye at Leila Heller Gallery

Belgian neo-conceptual artist Wim Delvoye has cultivated a wide-ranging practice that has produced subversive and intriguing works. Among his best-known installations is Cloaca, a digestive machine that turns food into faeces, exhibited at a museum in Antwerp.

For the show at Leila Heller, the gallery is presenting pieces from his body of Gothic works from the 2000s. In these models, the artist fashions trucks, towers and pergolas from laser-cut steel designed in medieval Gothic style.

Wim Delvoye is on view from March 7 to September 15 at Leila Heller Gallery

'The Guernica Project' by Raghava KK at Volte Art Projects

Inspired by Picasso’s 1937 painting Guernica, artist Raghava KK has created his own monumental painting that also has digital elements. In it, the artist from India reimagines Picasso’s dismembered and distraught figures into odder characters from cartoons and memes.

The Guernica Project at Volte Art Projects features Guernica for the Siri-ocene, an ever-growing series that comprises digital prints, NFTs and paintings. The painting is the basis of the work, and 69 NFTs have been created from the characters on the canvas. Last year, the artist sold his NFT works for $94,000 at Sotheby’s.

The work will also be shown at the digital section of Art Dubai.

The Guernica Project is on view until April 16 at Volte Art Projects

'Shifting the Center Table' by Shreyas Karle at Grey Noise

Artist Shreyas Karle transforms the gallery space at Grey Noise with an assortment of objects, domestic and decorative. The show gathers items that Karle has collected, combined and repurposed over time in his studio in Goa. The arrangement inside the gallery asks questions about space, display and perception. The exhibition text reads, “Does it matter anymore if the center table is shifted towards the wall? Does the center table lose its value if shifted towards the wall? Does the wall gain value if it harbors the table?”.

In his works, which encompass drawing, video, sculpture and collage, Karle often uses “visual puns” that recast everyday objects and situations in a new light.

Shifting the Center Table is on view until March 31 at Grey Noise

Order of Magnitude by Jitish Kallat at Ishara Art Foundation

At the heart of Jitish Kallat’s first major solo exhibition in the region is an examination of “the interrelationship between the cosmic and the terrestrial”. Bringing together new and previous works, Order of Magnitude includes Integer Studies (Drawings from Life), created by Kallat in 2021. The series of drawings revolve around three sets of numbers: the world population, number of new births and number of deaths during the work’s creation. The result is a graphic contemplation on life, death and extinction.

Other works in the show include an immersive installation, a wall-size painting that mimics the conic Albers projection of the Earth, plus photo works that recreate and rearrange pictures from the Museum of Modern Art’s Family of Man exhibition in 1955.

Order of Magnitude is on view until July 1 at Ishara Art Foundation

Majlis Talks on Alserkal Lates

Alserkal’s programme of talks returns this year on the day of Alserkal Lates, on March 8. Held in The Yard, a gathering space outside of the Concrete building in the avenue, the talks include a conversation between artist Michael Sailstorfer and writer Kevin Jones. Sailstorfer is a German artist whose sculptures and site-specific interventions play with how we perceive objects and their physical properties. His work will be on view at Carbon 12 gallery for a new show Heavy Eyes that opens on March 8. Other speakers include Hadjithomas, Delvoye, Ian Abell, Cyril Zammit and Augustine Paredes.

Majlis Talks will take place on March 8 from 4:30pm to 7pm in The Yard, Alserkal Avenue.

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Updated: March 02, 2022, 5:28 AM