Dubai-based Alserkal Advisory selects artists for co-commissioning arts project

Alserkal Avenue, Dubai, UAE

Alserkal Advisory has announced participating artists for A Feral Commons, the inaugural edition of The Global Co-Commission Project launched in collaboration with the Global Cultural Districts Network (GCDN). Joining the cultural district in Dubai, Johannesburg and Kingston, the project aims to respond to issues of the climate crisis and will unfold across three venues in Dubai, Johannesburg and Kingston.

Alserkal Avenue (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) will present a work by Riyadh-based artist Muhannad Shono (b.1977), who represented Saudi Arabia’s national pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale. Shono’s commissioned piece studies the unexpected ecological activities that have sprung up in the urban area of Dubai’s industrial centre. 

Kingston Creative (Kingston, Jamaica) will show Manchester-based Jamaican artist Camille Chedda (b.1985), whose work for the project addresses the city’s Lower South Camp Park, which was abandoned and overgrown with Mexican Creeper, drawing on her interests in postcoloniality, land and the ecology of material.

Victoria Yards (Johannesburg, South Africa) has commissioned South African artist Io Makandal (b.1987), whose installation at the Jukskei river will examine issues of pollution, industrial ruins and humanity’s obsession with development.

Victoria Yards, Johannesburg, South Africa

‘These artists are re-imagining the terms of public art in the face of climate change by making site-specific works that are not only aesthetically compelling, but that are also functional and generative. Through research, dialogue, and working closely with stake-holders in their respective cultural district, each artist’s work seeks to feed back into a feral ecology, bringing awareness to local environmental issues and facilitating greater interspecies respect and collaboration’, Tairone Bastien said in a statement. 

‘Each co-commission is based on research and consideration of natural phenomena that resist human control: the undomesticated, the defiant and disobedient, inviting the public to learn with these feral ecologies about resilience, adaptability and strategies for survival in the face of the climate emergency.’

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