Daniele Perra_ Artribune / July 14, 2019

Reportage dall’Arabia Saudita: il regno che verrà (Report from Saudi Arabia: the kingdom to come)

It is in Riyadh that the artist  Sultan bin Fahad  (Riyad, 1971) - a member of the royal family and one of the most active and enthusiastic promoters and initiators of the change - installed a monumental exhibition divided into seven chapters, curated by Reem Fadda, in the evocative spaces and  délabré  of the Red Palace. Center of power and magnificence, the Palace, completed in 1944 - the first building in the capital to be built with concrete and iron-steel - was the residence of the then Prince Saud bin Abdulaziz, later the office of the Saudi Ministers Council and until 1987 the Palace of complaints. It has been closed and abandoned for twenty years and after the exhibition it will be converted into a hotel.
The artist has long been fascinated by the palace and his exhibition, through installations, videos and photographs, talks about the events that took place there - from the power meetings behind the scenes to the work of the many attendants who worked there - over the years and the history of the country. Family history.  "On the evening of the opening to the public,  " he says, "  I met a lady in her nineties who told me that she lived in the Palace. Walking with his grandchildren he recognized the various rooms. He began to cry, seized by nostalgia and the many memories of his days spent in the Palace ”

Ayesha Sohail Shehmir Shaikh / June 19, 2019

WEHE Collective Design Exhibition Launches At Jeddah-based Athr Gallery Until July

A reflection on heritage, the WEHE Collective Design exhibition in Jeddah’s Athr Gallery highlights the duality of the past and present

Curated by Montreal-born architect Nicolas Bellavance-Lecompte in collaboration with Fonderia Artistica Battaglia and Carwan Gallery, the  WEHE Collective Design  exhibition launched in  Athr Gallery , Jeddah on 18 May 2019, has brought together various renowned architects, designers and artists specialising in Middle Eastern design, including Omar Chakil, Karen Chekerdijian, Ghaith&Jad, Rasha Nawam, Mary-Lynn Massoud, Carlo Massoud and Anastasia Nysten. Aptly named, the word Wehe stems from the ancient  Egyptian  word meaning ‘dwelling place’.
Inspired by sociological and anthropological observations of the urban oasis of Siwa in Egypt, the exhibition explores the relationship between primordiality and the geographical context of the Middle Eastern  desert . “I am always fascinated by how local Berber populations managed to adapt tradition with modern lifestyle,” says curator Bellavance-Lecompte. The inspiration behind the exhibition was, as Bellavance-Lecompte says,  “to redefine an identity in relation with the region and somehow with materials and techniques that are indigenous. At the same time, I wanted to push the boundaries of their use so we’re able to revisit our perception of these objects.”
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