Syria: Into the Light

Alserkal Avenue, Dubai / United Arab Emirates

December 5, 2016

March 9–April 3, 2017

Alserkal Avenue
1 Street 8 
United Arab Emirates

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 March 9 until 3 April 3, 2017.

The multi-purpose events venue will open with a show titled Syria: Into the Light, showcasing works from the Atassi Foundation’s collection.

Alserkal Avenue announces it will collaborate with the Atassi Foundation to present an exhibition of modern and contemporary Syrian art during Dubai Art Week from March 9 until April 3, 2017. The exhibition, titled Syria: Into the Light, will be curated by Mouna Atassi, co-founder of the Atassi Foundation, in collaboration with curator Rasha Salti, and exhibition designer Michel Zayat. The 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 first project in the UAE to be designed by the Office of Metropolitan Architecture. I am pleased to show works from the Atassi Foundation’s collection in Alserkal Avenue, a platform for art and creativity from across the world,” said Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal, founder of Alserkal Avenue.

The exhibition will be thematically curated by a programme of talks, film screenings and commissions, all of which will be held in Alserkal Avenue. The exhibition is expected to feature works by 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 double-height 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 partner with Alserkal Avenue. We couldn’t have a more 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 Syrian art as it deserves to be seen, with all its nuances and complexities.”

“The Atassi Foundation’s commitment to Syrian art is admirable. Syria has a long history of producing some of the 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.

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. 

Press contacts:
Non-UAE press:
Allegra Thoresen, SUTTON
T +1 (212) 202 3402, allegra [​at​]

Local press:
Yasmeen Abughaida, The Portsmouth Group
T +971 55 419 6011, yasmeen.abughaida [​at​]

Ambika Rajgopal, Alserkal Avenue
T +971 50 558 7776, ambika [​at​]

About Alserkal Avenue 
Located in Al Quoz, Dubai, Alserkal Avenue is the region’s foremost arts and culture neighbourhood. Established in 2007, Alserkal Avenue has grown to become an essential platform for the development of homegrown artistic and cultural initiatives, supporting a vibrant community of contemporary art galleries and alternative art spaces, together with design, media and industrial studios. In 2015, Alserkal Avenue affirmed its position as an arts organisation with the launch of Alserkal Avenue Programming. The programming arm produces an annual homegrown programme for local, regional, and international audiences, working primarily with artists living and working in the MENASA region. An Artists’ Residency is scheduled to launch in March 2017, further enhancing the organisation’s breadth and scope. 

About Concrete 
Conceptualised by Alserkal Avenue, and designed by the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), founded by Rem Koolhaas. Concrete is a multi-purpose event venue located in Alserkal Avenue, Dubai. The space was created to provide event organizers with an adaptable venue that is ideal for museum-grade art exhibitions, as well as unique conceptual fashion, film and corporate events, conferences, and private functions. The space has multiple distinct configurations and can host up to four separate events at the same time. Concrete is the UAE’s first OMA-designed building to be completed.

About Atassi Foundation 
Atassi Foundation is an independent non-profit initiative, founded by Sadek and Mouna Atassi to celebrate Syrian art by exhibiting it, enhancing its global visibility, and supporting creative production. The Foundation achieves this by: organising and curating exhibitions; fostering intercultural exchange in collaboration with international arts and culture institutions; and, by supporting research and publications on Syrian art and culture. The Foundation’s ambition is to create a sustainable and informative platform for Syrian artistic expression and knowledge.