Annual Thematic

Annual Thematic

The annual programme is thematically developed to focus on a particular issue, bringing artists and professionals from different fields together to examine a concept through wide-ranging means and perspectives.


Inspired by Alserkal Avenue’s central position within the growing arts community in Dubai, our inaugural annual thematic programme critically examined expanding concepts of community and belonging taking shape in this globalised city.

In 2017, our thematic was built on the interrogation of Dubai’s arts community, considering the forms and conditions of artistic work, and the mechanics of art production, dissemination and discourse shaping the region and global art world. We looked closely at different forms of work taking place around us to better understand the intersections of art, industry, technology, and how they impact our lives.


Throughout 2018-19, the annual thematic continued to build on the 2017, which explored artistic work and the mechanics of art production through industry. Cultural practitioners and arts organisations are increasingly called to investigate ways through which technology and innovation will shape our future. How do we plan to adapt to the changing landscape? Is it necessary to innovate in order to thrive? Could shifting our focus instead to discourses around ‘maintenance’, within and beyond the realm of infrastructure, urge us to reconsider our present moment?

Over the 2018/19 Fall, Spring and Summer seasons, the thematic will invite a multi-disciplinary selection of practices and voices, to explore three definitions of maintenance taken from the technical realm; preventative, corrective and predictive.