Adapt to Survive: Notes from the Future

26 November 2018Rania Habib
Adapt to Survive: Notes from the Future

Adapt to Survive: Notes from the Future, presented at Concrete in Alserkal Avenue from 7-21 November in collaboration with Hayward Gallery, London, brought together artworks by seven international artists who imagine how our world might look and feel in the future. Engaging with the idea that adaptation is necessary for survival, the artists—Andreas Angelidakis, Julian Charrière, Youmna Chlala, Rainer Ganahl, Marguerite Humeau, Ann Lislegaard and Bedwyr Williams—presented 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, the exhibition explored 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 entrepreneurial start-ups and professional “change-makers,” suggesting a fast-paced form of agency that is antithetical to Darwin’s concept of natural selection.

Previously on show at the Hayward Gallery's HENI Project Space from April 18–June 11, 2018, Adapt to Survive: Notes from the Future travelled to Concrete, transforming and adapting to the space within the walls of the OMA-designed building.

In this interview, curator Dr Cliff Lauson (Senior Curator, Hayward Gallery) and exhibiting artist Youmna Chlala delve into the curatorial heart of a thought-provoking exhibition.

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