Ministry of Culture, Saudi Art Council launch first summer edition of 21,39

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Abdulrahman and Turki Gazzaz, curators of the exhibition. — Courtesy photo

Saudi Gazette report

JEDDAH —
The Saudi Art Council has announced its 21,39 Summer Edition taking place at Jeddah’s historic district between June 8 and July 18 as a part of Jeddah Season. The event and its accompanying activities are curated by Bricklab.

The main exhibition, titled Public/Private, is an artist-led initiative comprising a series of temporary exhibitions spanning visual art, performance, publications, and street art as well as sculpture, interactive sound installations, photography, video and sound art.

Under the leadership and vision of architect duo, Abdulrahman and Turki Gazzaz, Bricklab has set up various locations in Jeddah’s Historical Area to exhibit works of art. These locations included Rubat Al-Khunji Al-Sagheer, Sharbatly Annex, Bait Al-Sharbatly, Xenel Building and Barahat Al-Hazzazi.

Speaking on the occasion, Abdulrahman Gazzaz, Curator of 21,39 Summer Edition, said they have selected works by a range of local and international artists, from young and emerging to established international figures. “The participating artists are Ahaad Alamoudi, Alaa Tarabzouni, Aziz Jamal, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Emy Kat, Hajra Waheed, James Turrell, Manal Al Dowayan, Mammafotogramma Studio, Nasser Alshemimry & Blank Studio, Rashed Al Shashai and Traumnovelle.” he said.

Abdulrahman pointed out that this year’s Summer edition of 21,39 takes as its central theme questions about the development, restoration, and revival efforts initiated and supported by Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, in Al-Balad and its potential to establish a fresh perspective on our understanding of the values of civic life.

“Exploring notions of public versus private space in the old city of Jeddah, the exhibition sheds light on how recent developments and paradigm shifts in the state’s new interest in revitalizing the area through not just restoration efforts, but also events and culture as a form of public assembly, affect the old city and its community, and the wider audience of its newly developed northern expansion,” he said.

Shedding more light on 21,39 Summer Edition activities, Turki Gazzaz, curator of the exhibition, said, “Challenging the white space of the gallery, the majority of the works are spread across Sharbatly Street, a narrow passageway which begins on Abu Unabah Street near Bab Jadeed and terminates roughly at Aramco House. Carefully weaving interior and exterior, the works engage with the urban form of the old city to reveal its intricate relationship to the civic community it once housed.”

He said the Public/Private exhibition also presents its three other components: The Waves Won’t Stop When You Leave, an exhibition of site-specific street art interventions and community initiatives curated by Saudi Street Art founder Basmah Felemban; COSPACE, a Book Fair wherein the Sharbatly Annex is converted into reading and respite area showcasing commercial and independent publishers, designed and executed by Jeddah-based Studio Bound; and Field of Expressions, a performance program curated by Nada Almojadedi.

The main exhibition is sponsored and supported by Medd Café and Roastery and Tanweer. Satellite exhibitions include Athr Gallery, Hafez Gallery in collaboration with the French Consulate, and Zawyet Medd.


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