Alserkal Residency announces Rhodiola commission

Alserkal Residency announces Rhodiola commission


Opening 18 March 2019


Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Alserkal Residency has selected 3 137 to curate Rhodiola, the first commission under Alserkal Avenue’s not-for-profit Alserkal Residency. Rhodiola, a project by Athens-based collective 3 137— made up of artists Chrysanthi Koumianaki, former Alserkal Residency artist-in-residence Kosmas Nikolaou, and Paky Vlassopoulou— will launch on 18 March 2019 during Art Week at Alserkal Avenue. The programme- based commission will serve as an intervention in Nadi Al Quoz in The Yard, and will act as an informal group portrait of participants, visitors, and hosts. This will mark the 19th artist commission by Alserkal Avenue.

Alserkal Residency was founded by Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal and the Alserkal family as a not-for-profit platform for artistic and discursive exchange, seeking to support cultural practitioners as they realise projects pertinent to their respective practices. Designed to be immersive, the Residency focuses on research-based and socially-engaged practices, and engages the local interdisciplinary community through a series of public events and conversations.

Rhodiola, curated by 3 137, explores the idea of maintenance in everyday life. Borrowing its title from the rhodiola rosea flower, a perennial golden root which grows in wild Arctic regions of Europe, Asia, and North America, the commission is inspired by rhodiola’s healing properties and its ability to help combat stress, anxiety and fatigue.

Rhodiola is a time-based and people-oriented project, with the objective of creating a temporary community, a group of people who are engaged in new encounters and shared experiences,” says 3 137. “The collaborative aspect of the project reflects the ethos of 3 137, intending to generate a value-system where diverse voices act independently, but also interact within the shared responsibility of creating a tool for a common imaginary space.”

3 137, an artist run space founded in 2012, endeavours to create meeting points for exchange, discussion, and research. Its practices, which focus on artistic production, collaboration, and hospitality, are engaged with the environment in which they are presented—as they will be throughout the duration of Rhodiola. “A first programme- based commission, it demarcates spatial geography and challenges our perceptions around the commodification of public space through numerous immersive interventions within the built environment of Alserkal Avenue,” says Vilma Jurkute, Alserkal Avenue Director. “The collective will closely engage with the many publics of Dubai through its six-week programme, shaping new patterns of social production here.”

For six weeks, Rhodiola will unfold through talks and interviews, exhibitions, performances, screenings, and community activities. It will run sporadically, at variable tempos, acting as an amplifier at times and as an ambiance at others. Looking at hybrid forms of communication, Rhodiola takes its inspiration from radio frequencies, and will come to life across five ‘Waves’.

Wave 1: AC/Scaffold
Staging your well-being: domesticity / infrastructure / support / urbanist / futurology / ruin / artificial / setting / programme / communication / transport / handle / zero carbon / haunt / process / decoration

Wave 2: Cookies
An invisible statistical map: comfort / biscuit / language / geography / immaterial / tube / high performance / queue / contract / start up / franchise / labour / convention / customer / demands

Wave 3: Dentist
For the making of the perfect Avatar: profit / cleaning / care / stereotypes / normal vs casual / duties / internship / coaching / rescue / post human / cabinet / mechanics / hucksterism / spectacular

Wave 4: Snooze
Be ready to be cured and listen to your personalised divination: oracle / cosmism / benefit / concentration / treatment / beautician / meditation / transit / school / degrowth / divination / preemptive / superheroes

Wave 5: Sunscreen
A casual service: tourism / dog walker / slow food / happiness / psychoanalysis / upbringing / trainer / online banking / service / state / customer / pen friend / love affair / handle / transmission

Rhodiola challenges ordinary perceptions of domestic life and public affairs, and offers a place for moments of active pause.



About Alserkal Residency

Alserkal Residency was created as a platform for artistic experimentation and discursive exchange, seeking to support cultural producers as they research themes pertinent to their respective practices, in the city of Dubai. The programme is designed to be immersive and engage the local interdisciplinary community through a series of public events and conversations. Founded by Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal and the Alserkal family, the Residency focuses on research-based and socially-engaged practices.

About Alserkal Avenue

Established in 2007, Alserkal Avenue is the region’s foremost contemporary arts and culture neighbourhood. Home to 16 contemporary art galleries and over 40 creative businesses, Alserkal Avenue has been cultivating a vibrant community of visual and performing arts organisations, designers, and artisanal spaces, becoming an essential platform for the development of art and culture in the United Arab Emirates.

In March 2017, Alserkal Avenue opened Concrete, the UAE’s first building to be completed by Rem Koolhaas’ Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA). Concrete provides a flexible, multipurpose venue for international arts and culture initiatives ranging from performances, to exhibitions, lectures and various other public events.

At the intersection of art, culture and commerce, Alserkal Avenue is more than just a neighbourhood, it is the driving force that brings the creative community of Dubai together. The Avenue runs a regular community programme of talks, tours, road trips and workshops.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram: #AlserkalAvenue, @Alserkal Avenue

About 3 137

3 137 is an artist run space based in Athens. It was founded in 2012 (by Chrysanthi Koumianaki, Kosmas Nikolaou, and Paky Vlassopoulou). The space is an independent initiative run by artists, having as aim to create a meeting point for exchange, discussion and research. Its projects place emphasis on artistic production, collaboration and hospitality, and explore hybrid forms of being together. 3 137 also runs an ad hoc publishing house, called Polar Bear, that commissions new artists’ books.

Since 2016, 3 137 is developing a research, together with the art historian and curator Klea Charitou, regarding the greek art scene of the 70s, presented through public talks, lectures, screenings, educational workshops and a publication which is going to be released next year.

In the meantime, the space has frozen its indoors program for a while and has established an immaterial institution named Gabriela, inspired by the first intern who worked at 3 137. Gabriela sets up a discussion on labor issues in the art world while looking for different, parallel and possible communities. She is triggered by institutional critique together with the need to make a living and be sustainable.