02 Mar 2024 - 04 Mar 2024

Collective Exhaustion

Afra Al Dhaheri Studio


In an era where every second is amplified and life whirls past in a digital blur, Afra Al Dhaheri, in collaboration with a collective of international artists, reveals “Collective Exhaustion”, an interactive installation that probes the relentless pace of our existence, prompting us to pause and ponder amid our accelerated lives.

“I think about time as a concept, movement, and sound. When time is a restless insomniac, how do you rock it gently to sleep?” shares Afra, regarding the inspirations behind the concept. “I ground myself in the process of making work, constantly deconstructing and reconstructing elements of the material and concept. I seek meaning within the medium. I ground myself, here, in the process”.

“Today’s tempo shapes our perception of time urging us forward at an unsustainable pace. In the pursuit of keeping up, we often sideline the self. It’s in the art of pausing where we reclaim time’s true rhythm and our place in it.” says Johan O. R. Sterner, the co-creator of the installation for his ideas behind the project.

Embodying the external vs. the internal visualisation of our current state of existence through acceleration of time, the installation features a large-scale construction and will be set to an immersive sound and light work tailored to bring the piece to life. The project includes both an international dynamic and educational intention with artists from Denmark, Italy, Bulgaria, and Romania working collectively, alongside prospective Emirati artists from Zayed University under Afra’s mentorship practice.

The production is financed through the newly introduced initiative by the UAE’s Ministry of Culture – The National Grant Program for Culture and Creation.

Creator and Artistic lead:
Afra Al Dhaheri
Co-creator and Construction lead:
Johan O. R. Sterner
Co-creator and Production manager:
Lyuba Todorova
Sound Designer:
Dario Felli
Light Designer:
Christian Simon Petru
Documentation and Visuals:
Spencer Shea, Chop‘em Down Films

Press release from UAE Ministry of Culture