Semi Permanent Middle East 2021

In-person EventOrganized by: Semi Permanent

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

This October, the biggest creativity and design festival in the southern hemisphere comes to the Middle East for the first time.

After more than a year of restricted social interaction, Semi Permanent returns in 2021 with refreshed vigour and a mandate to provide unique human experiences. In their first festival in the Middle East, Semi Permanent will present three days of talks, performances, dining experiences, art installations and screenings from a standout line-up of acclaimed global creative talent aimed at offering fresh and unique perspectives on our world post-pandemic. From an exhibition of Sabine Marcelis’s sculptural objects and a live DJ set by Mark Ronson, to a pop-up bar and restaurant by New York establishment The Flower Shop and an installation by the genre-defying artist Refik Anadol, we’re pleased to share an early preview of the names taking part in the festival, with a full program of speakers, performers, workshops and more experiences to be announced soon. See you in Abu Dhabi.


Learn more about Aaron Rose

For ten years (1992-2002) Aaron was owner/director of the Alleged Gallery in New York. He was co-curator of the museum exhibition Beautiful Losers: Contemporary Art & Street Culture, which toured the world through 2009. He was also co-curator of Art In The Streets, a retrospective of street art, which opened Summer 2011 at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) in Los Angeles. In addition to curating and publishing, Rose is editor of ANP Quarterly, a free arts magazine produced in conjunction with RVCA. He directed the feature documentary film Beautiful Losers as well as numerous shorts and films for television. He continues to write and organize exhibitions in galleries and museums worldwide.

of Perron-Roettinger
Learn more about Brian Roettinger

Brian Roettinger is a Los Angeles-based artist and graphic designer. The majority of his work is in the form of printed media for cultural institutions, and record album covers most notably with No Age, Liars, and recently Beach House, but his creative practice extends well beyond that. His diverse works bridge the divide between art, music, design and concept. As a designer, he was chosen as Rolling Stone’s Album Designer of the Year (2009) and was nominated for a Grammy for No Age, Nouns (2010), and held the position of design director at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (2004-2009). Recent books include Collage Culture (JRP/Ringier), Aaron Curry / Richard Hawkins: Cornfabulation (David Kordansky Gallery), Engagement Party: Social Practice at MOCA 2008–12 (MOCA), Touchable Sound (Soundscreen), and Peter Lunenfeld's The Secret War Between Downloading and Uploading (MIT Press).

Learn more about Tom Sachs

Tom Sachs is a sculptor, probably best known for his elaborate recreations of various modern icons, all of them masterpieces of engineering and design of one kind or another. In an early show he made Knoll office furniture out of phone books and duct tape; later, he recreated Le Corbusier's 1952 Unité d'Habitation using only foamcore and a glue gun. Other projects have included his versions of various Cold War masterpieces, like the Apollo 11 Lunar Excursion Module, and the bridge of the battleship USS Enterprise. And because no engineering project is more complex and pervasive than the corporate ecosystem, he's done versions of those, too, including a McDonald's he built using plywood, glue, assorted kitchen appliances. He's also done Hello Kitty and her friends in materials ranging from foamcore to bronze.

of Refik Anadol Studio
Learn more about Refik Anadol

Refik Anadol is a media artist and director born in Istanbul, Turkey in 1985. Currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California. He is a lecturer and visiting researcher in UCLA’s Department of Design Media Arts. He is working in the fields of site-specific public art with parametric data sculpture approach and live audio/visual performance with immersive installation approach, particularly his works explore the space among digital and physical entities by creating a hybrid relationship between architecture and media arts with machine intelligence. He holds a master of fine arts degree from University of California, Los Angeles in Media Arts, master of fine arts degree from Istanbul Bilgi University in Visual Communication Design as well as bachelors of arts degree with summa cum laude in Photography and Video. Co-founder and Creative director at Antilop.

Learn more about Sabine Marcelis

Sabine Marcelis is a Dutch designer who runs her practice from the harbor of Rotterdam. After graduating from the Design Academy of Eindhoven in 2011, Marcelis began working as an independent designer within the fields of product, installation and spacial design with a strong focus on materiality. Her work is characterized by pure forms which highlight material properties. Marcelis applies a strong aesthetic point of view to her collaborations with industry specialists. This method of working allows her to intervene in the manufacturing process, using material research and experimentation to achieve new and surprising visual effects for projects both showcased in musea and commissioned by commercial clients and fashion houses. Sabine considers her designs to be true sensorial experiences and not simple static works: the experience becomes the function, with a refined and unique aesthetic.


Semi Permanent
Official event website


Manarat Al Saadiyat
Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Hwy, Saadiyat Cultural District, Saadiyat Island
-, Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates

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