Adapt to Survive: Notes from the Future

Concrete is collaborating with Hayward Gallery, London to bring Adapt to Survive: Notes from the Future to Dubai from 7-21 November 2018. The group exhibition, curated by Dr Cliff Lauson, brings together artworks by seven international artists who imagine how our world might look and feel in the future; they are Andreas Angelidakis, Julian Charrière, Youmna Chlala, Rainer Ganahl, Marguerite Humeau, Ann Lislegaard and Bedwyr Williams.

Engaging with the idea that adaptation is necessary for survival, the artists present films, sculpture and text-based works that explore ideas of change and hybrid forms of architecture, biology, technology, and language. 

Taking its title from the phrase adopted recently by the business sector, Adapt to Survive explores the idea that Darwin’s theory of evolution can serve as a metaphor for a future-facing strategy for survival and growth. In recent years, the phrase ‘adapt to survive’ has been adopted by the entrepreneurial start-ups and professional ‘change-makers’, suggesting a fast-paced form of agency that is antithetical to Darwin’s concept of natural selection. 

In recent decades, futurology has become established as an area of research combining game theory, statistics, and speculation. Responding to these cultural shifts, the artists in Adapt to Survive make educated guesses about our society’s evolution and progression, but equally convey uncertainty and skepticism about our accelerating patterns of growth and consumption.