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Alserkal Avenue to inaugurate UAE's first OMA-designed space
An exterior rendering of Concrete, designed by Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA). Image courtesy Alserkal Avenue.

DUBAI.- Alserkal Avenue announces it will collaborate with the Atassi Foundation to present an exhibition of modern and contemporary Syrian art during Dubai Art Week in March 2017, from 9 March until 3 April 2017. The exhibition, titled Syria: Into the Light, will be curated by Mouna Atassi, cofounder of the Atassi Foundation, in collaboration with curator Rasha Salti, and exhibition designer Michel Zayat. The groundbreaking exhibition will inaugurate Alserkal Avenue's 600-square-meter OMA-designed event venue – Concrete – showcasing the space's full potential to present museum-quality exhibitions in Dubai.

"It is a privilege to inaugurate the very first project in the UAE to be designed by the Office of Metropolitan Architecture. The standard of design and technology that the practice has brought to this project highlights the intersections of art and architecture; it is indicative of the level of originality and inspiration that we hope Concrete will host in the months and years to come. I am especially pleased to show works from the Atassi Foundation’s collection in Alserkal Avenue. The Avenue has always been a platform for art and creativity from across the region and the world,” said Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal, founder of Alserkal Avenue.

The exhibition will be thematically curated and will be supported by a rich programme of talks, film screenings and commissions, all of which will be held in Alserkal Avenue. The exhibition is expected to feature works by Syrian masters as well as emerging artists, including Toufiq Tarek, Fateh Moudarres, Youssef Abdelke, and Omran Younes.

Concrete is designed by the Office of Metropolitan Architecture, which is a firm founded by Pritzker Award-winner Rem Koolhaas. Concrete is a multi-disciplinary event space that was created with a view to host large-scale art exhibitions, symposia and conferences, fashion, film, and corporate events, as well as private functions. With multiple configurations, the 600-square-meter space has doubleheight ceilings, movable walls and a translucent front facade that can be positioned to create a seamless indoor-outdoor experience.

Mouna Atassi, co-founder of Atassi Foundation, said: "It is a great honour for us to curate and present a show like Syria: Into the Light in partnership with Alserkal Avenue. We couldn't have a more iconic and notable venue or partner for our first exhibition in the region. The ability to design the show in a space like Concrete, gives us the ability to present modern and Syrian art to the world as it deserves to be seen, with all its nuances and complexities."

“The Atassi Foundation's work with Syrian artists, and their commitment to Syrian art is admirable. Syria has a long history of producing some of the region's most socially engaged artwork and an exhibition that shines a light on the country’s incredibly talented contemporary artists is long overdue," said Vilma Jurkute, director of Alserkal Avenue.

The Atassi Foundation was founded by Sadek and Mouna Atassi to promote and celebrate Syrian art and culture by exhibiting it, enhancing its global visibility, and supporting creative production of young Syrian talent.

Syria: Into the Light is the first in a series of notable, high-calibre events and exhibitions due to take place in Concrete throughout 2017.

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