How one Dubai gallery is challenging the concept of a traditional exhibition

Isabelle van den Eynde in Alserkal Avenue has invited three artists to take over the space in a new show

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Dubai’s Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, located in Alserkal Avenue, is breaking down the gallery experience and turning its venue into more of an artists’ studio until September 16.

“[We] will cease to operate as an art gallery in an attempt to unsettle the dictatorial art system and to reconnect with the fundamental process of art-making,” read an announcement.

Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian – who have lived in Dubai and worked together since 2009 – are the three Iranian artists taking over the space for a few months, creating multi-media pieces and showcasing an ever-evolving portfolio. The artists look at "what is considered marginal, wasted, wrong, messed up, useless and taken for granted", emphasising the importance of "reporting on our time", with themes ranging from the arts and culture to power mechanisms.

Scroll through the gallery above for a peek inside We Are Open.

Each of their practices is stylistically different and yet political and social commentary is common. Together, they aim to exorcise sentimentalism, allowing the viewer an emotional distance and leaving space for critical analysis. The show is entitled We Are Open for Installation. For more information, visit