421 Arts Campus Announces Artists-in-Residence for First Cycle of Residency Program in 2024 

The program offers studio spaces and production support to 4 artists from the MENASA region selected through an open call

untitled-design-7-65e5f9f0eff24.png (original)From left to right: Jumaanah Alhashemi, Christopher Joshua Benton, Auguste Nomeikaite, and Asma Khoory 


We are pleased to announce the selected participants for the first cycle of the Residency Program 2024, taking place from February to July. The program, which is taking place in a newly transformed space featuring artist studios and facilities, marks the anticipated expansion of the 421 Arts campus and follows the conclusion of the online Homebound Residency Program. The residents are Asma Khoory, Auguste Nomeikaite, Christopher Joshua Benton, and Jumaanah Alhashemi. 


The program gives the four creative practitioners, who were selected through an annual open call and are based in the region, special grants, financial resources, and professional support to work on the development of a milestone project in their practice, such as a publication, performance, or other major piece during their residency. The open call for the program ran from November 2023 to January 2024, where a jury of expert art professionals from the UAE came together to select the residents. 


This Residency Program 2024 follows the conclusion of the Homebound Residency Program, which took place online from Spring 2020 to Fall 2023 and brought together over 20 artists, curators, arts professionals, mentors, and cultural workers, and has culminated in the production of diverse projects, spanning from contemporary media artworks to capacity-building and infrastructural initiatives benefiting the arts community at large. 


“The 421 Residency Program was initially planned to take place in 2020. However, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it emerged as the Homebound Residency Program, which took place remotely over the past three years. The digital program addressed the evolving demands arising from the worldwide crisis by bringing together artists and creative practitioners from across the global south to experiment and create new projects. At the same time, we were working to transform the warehouse next door into an expanded structure with studio spaces for resident artists. We are now excited to present this new space as a site for creative experimentation adjacent to our exhibition galleries, Reading Room, and community areas,” said Faisal Al Hassan, Director of 421


“It's a pleasure to welcome such an exceptional cohort of artists to these new studios, which are situated within our campus in the Mina Zayed neighborhood. It's an exciting moment for us and for the neighborhood, which holds a special place in the city’s collective memory.”


This exciting addition to the campus is marked by the presentation of Network Culture, a current ongoing exhibition that serves as a bridge between the two formats of the program, documenting, archiving, and advancing the conversations that can persist between the online and offline cohorts. 


Network Culture, on view until April 28, presents projects by participants in the Homebound Residency Program, while also marking the inauguration of our on-site Residency Program. Celebrating the work and explorations that took place over the course of the past three years, Network Culture includes projects by thirteen participating artists and creative practitioners whose practices have evolved and extended beyond the parameters of the program. Network Culture is not only a celebration of the work produced during the program but also an acknowledgement of the importance of community in artistic practice. Throughout the program, artists, curators, researchers, and cultural workers came together digitally—due to the program coinciding with a global pandemic—to support one another and provide space for generative conversations, critique, and creative experimentation. The exhibition is free to attend and open to all. 


About the artists 

Asma Khoory is an artist born in Dubai, she graduated in 2017 with a BFA in Visual Arts and Curatorial Practices from Zayed University, and in 2018 she was part of the fifth cohort of The Salama Bint Hamdan Emerging Artist Fellowship in partnership with the Rhode Island School of Design. In 2022 Asma completed her MA in Anthropology and Museum Practice from Goldsmiths, University of London. Her work has been exhibited locally and internationally at Art Dubai, Meem Gallery,  421 Arts Campus, Al Serkal Avenue, Jameel Arts Center, Nieuw Dakota in Amsterdam, and Southeast Missouri State University in the US. She investigates reality, memory, and narrative and how they often merge or contradict one another through materials, and she is interested in the intersection of personal memory versus public memory. Asma's artistic practice revolves around themes of manufactured time, human relations and conversations, hazy dreams, and collective memory through the mediums of painting and mixed media.


Auguste Nomeikaite is a photographer, filmmaker, and intermittent writer living in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Thematically, her work explores interpersonal relationships, often using sociological inputs, and also grapples with broader ecological concerns. Her practice pursues new tonalities, constructing narratives of reclamation and agency against dominant forms; she studies her subjects and the manipulations of modernity through a feminist-leftist lens. Auguste’s interventions turn not on cynicism, but empathy. On sympathy and care, and in the development and deployment of non-academic knowledge. A nest and negotiation, a tonic of affirmation—the work does not shy away from the contradictions of identity, and traces the potential of aesthetics in a cathartic vein.


Christopher Joshua Benton is an American artist based in the United Arab Emirates. Using the tools of artistic research, social practice, academic publishing, and installation, his research explores how immigrants carry traces of homeland with them. Past projects have been presented at museums, biennials and art fairs around the world including the Fikra Graphic Design Biennial (Sharjah, UAE), Abu Dhabi Art: Beyond Emerging (Venice Biennale) and Dubai Design Week. Further projects have been exhibited at Jameel Arts Centre (Dubai, UAE); 421 Arts Campus (Abu Dhabi, UAE); Aicon Gallery (NYC, USA); Frome Photo Festival (Frome, UK); and BLOCKHOUSE (Tokyo, Japan), among others. His art and research have been televised on the BBC and CNN, as well as in GQ, Architectural Digest, and Harper's Bazaar Art. You can find his writing and art criticism in Identity, Tribe Photo Magazine, and Global Art Daily. Christopher is a graduate of the University of Georgia and has completed a fellowship with the University of Oxford as a Gilman Scholar. He recently completed a master's degree in Art, Culture, and Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with the generous support of the Salama Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation via the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Salama. He has completed residencies with Cultural Foundation Abu Dhabi and Satellite (Dubai). He is the recipient of grants, prizes and awards from Dubai Culture, Meta Open Arts, Friends of Abu Dhabi Art, the US Department of State, MIT Architecture Department, and the MIT Schnitzer Prize, among others.


Jumaanah Alhashemi is a transdisciplinary designer, artist, researcher, and fabricator. She works at the intersection of design, art, science, culture, and technology. She received her Masters of Science in Digital and Material Technologies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor where she was also offered a research fellowship. Jumaanah is the Assistant Director of Research Visualization and Fabrication Services department located in the Experimental Research Building at New York University Abu Dhabi. Previously, she worked as the lead researcher for the Shindagha Museum’s first pavilion, an olfactory museum called the “Perfume House”. In 2023, she was a selected art resident at the Cultural foundation Art Residency. She was previously selected as a fellow for the Salama Emerging Artist Fellowship in partnership with Rhode Island School of Design, where her body of work “Through the Fabrication of Time was showcased in art venues across the country such as 421 Arts Campus, and Alserkal Avenue. Jumaanah Alhashemi was the winner of the 2016 Abu Dhabi Music and Art Foundation’s Creativity Award, and her work was showcased in Emirates Palace and Manarat Al Sa’adiyat in Abu Dhabi.