I have just installed and opened Adapt to Survive: Notes from the Future at Concrete, Alserkal Avenue in Dubai. Originally presented in HENI Project Space, Hayward Gallery (18 April – 11 June 2018), this is the first Project Space exhibition to tour internationally.
At Concrete, as in HENI Project Space, Adapt to Survive brings together work by seven international artists – Andreas Angelidakis, Julian Charrière, Youmna Chlala, Rainer Ganahl, Marguerite Humeau, Ann Lislegaard and Bedwyr Williams – who all imagine how our world might look and feel in the future. Engaging with the idea that adaption is necessary for survival, the artists in this exhibition present video, sculpture and text-based works that explore hybrid forms of architecture, biology, technology and language.
Hailing from all over the world, this diverse group of artists offer a wide range of perspectives on and approaches to a topic that – although it is a global one – is perhaps particularly suited to Dubai, a future-orientated city that has its own government-run ‘Future Foundation’ and will soon have a dedicated ‘Museum of the Future’.
Concrete is located in a former industrial complex at Alserkal Avenue, Dubai’s art district, also home to a wide variety of other galleries and multidisciplinary arts venues. When Concrete opened in 2017, it was the first architectural project designed by the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) in the Middle East.
Because Concrete is a much bigger venue than HENI Project Space, we were able to make a number of adjustments to the show as it appears there. These include presenting Bedwyr Williams’s Tyrrau Mawr (2016) as a large-scale video projection – which allows visitors to experience the work as if they were standing in one of the glass towers depicted in the artist’s fictional metropolis – and including an additional work, Future Fossil Spaces (2017), by Julian Charrière.
Adapt to Survive: Notes from the Future at Concrete, Alserkal Avenue in Dubai is accompanied by a public programme that includes a writing workshop facilitated by Youmna Chlala and a performance lecture by Bedwyr Williams. The exhibition continues until 21 November 2018.
Featured image: Bedwyr Williams, Tyrrau Mawr (2016) (still), © and courtesy the artist.