From July 22-23, 2015, Alserkal Avenue and Delfina Foundation present Dubai-based artist Lantian Xie’s talk, 'Turn the Cold Weather Into Sun and Fun', as part of Shubbak, London’s largest biennial festival of contemporary Arab culture.

The performative talk takes place on the mezzanine floor of Shishawi, an iconic shisha restaurant located on Edgware Road in London. The invitation-only VIP and press Viewing will be held on July 22. A public viewing will follow on July 23rd from 8pm - 8.45pm.

Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal, Founder of Alserkal Avenue and a patron of the arts, “We are delighted to collaborate with Delfina Foundation, a leading supporter of art from the Middle East. This project builds on Alserkal Avenue's homegrown programming mission to nurture artists, curators and creatives from the region and provide a springboard for their innovative ideas beyond our borders."

Delfina Entrecanales, founder of Delfina Foundation, comments, “We are honoured to be working with Alserkal Avenue, which shares the same ambition as Delfina Foundation in terms of developing contemporary culture and providing career-defining opportunities for the next generation of artists. We look forward to future collaborations that span London and Dubai.”

In 'Turn the Cold Weather Into Sun and Fun', Lantian Xie performs a talk about waiting and belonging in Dubai. Using the mezzanine floor of one of Edgware Road’s most iconic restaurants, Xie locates the talk in an imagined orchestra pit: a ‘mystic gulf’ between local and visitor and an unmapped gulf neither Persian nor Arab. From here, and by using simple props like a can of Mirinda and a sandwich from Hardees, an in-between Gulf emerges, accumulated through the minor and the incidental. At this intimate scale, landmarks fall out of focus and a tenuous Dubai-geist takes shape—the voice of a place not quite arrived. Shishawi Restaurant’s mezzanine floor plays host and stage. Doubleapple shisha clouds hang about like ghosts and a meal follows.

'Turn the Cold Weather Into Sun and Fun' is commissioned by Alserkal Avenue as part of its developing homegrown programme, which aims to support innovative ideas while encouraging open and productive dialogue on an international level and a more diverse and rich eco-system for art in the region. This commission is Alserkal Avenue’s second international endeavour, closely following the Safina Radio Project, which launched at the Venice Biennale this past May. Xie’s talk was developed in the spring of 2015 during the artist’s three-month residency at Deflina Foundation with support from the Farook Foundation.

Entrance is free with limited capacity. To reserve a place email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

image Shishawi Resturant, Venue for performative talk 'Turn The Cold Weather Into Sun And Fun' / Courtesy of Alserkal Avenue

image Shishawi Resturant, Venue for performative talk 'Turn The Cold Weather Into Sun And Fun' / Courtesy of Alserkal Avenue

image Shishawi Resturant, Venue for performative talk 'Turn The Cold Weather Into Sun And Fun' / Courtesy of Alserkal Avenue

image Lantian Xie, 'Turn The Cold Weather Into Sun And Fun' / Courtesy of Alserkal Avenue

Lantian Xie

Lantian Xie (b. 1988, United Arab Emirates) makes images about Dubai. He is particularly interested in hotel lobbies, cafeteria menus, and Captain Majid. Xie holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He also co-hosts a weekly programme on Dubai Eye 103.8FM and is editor-at-large at THE STATE. Xie is currently artist in residence at the Delfina Foundation in London.

Alserkal Avenue

Alserkal Avenue is the region’s foremost arts and culture neighbourhood located in Al Quoz, Dubai. Since it was 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 began introducing its own homegrown programme as an arts organisation, dedicated to encouraging new ideas, open dialogue and a more diverse and rich eco-system for art in the region.

Delfina Foundation

Founded in 2007, Delfina Foundation (DF) is dedicated to developing creative practice with residencies for artists, curators and thinkers forming the core of the organisation’s activities. DF creates career-defining opportunities for emerging, as well as established, practitioners to experiment with new ideas, explore connections, and build collaborations with colleagues, communities and institutions. As London's largest international residency space, DF hosts over 40 residencies each year in the UK, and through international partnerships, it creates platforms for cultural practitioners around the world. DF’s public programme of events and exhibitions fosters critical discourse on the contemporary arts in relation to everyday life. Through seasonal themes, it brings together salient issues and common ideas to be explored through residencies and related public programmes. Delfina Foundation is the successor to Delfina Studio Trust, which held an unprecedented record for nurturing the careers of artists, including more than a dozen Turner Prize nominees over its 20-year history. Founded by Delfina Entrecanales CBE, Delfina Foundation is an independent, non-profit organisation, governed by a Board of Trustees and funded through a mix of public and private funding.


Shubbak is the UK’s premier festival of contemporary Arab culture, presenting outstanding international Arab artists to London audiences and communities. Taking place from 11 - 26 July 2015 in venues across London, Shubbak provides an opportunity to engage with arts and culture from across the Arab world.

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