Jeddah's Athr Gallery is spearheading Contemporary conceptual art in the Kingdom with their latest exhibition. Patrick Gallagher previews 'The Bravery of Being Out Of Range', from 24 Mayâ€“18 June.
May 24, 2012 - Patrick Gallagher
We live in a world where the golden arches are the most recognisable icon and a mere poke replaces a hug. This global system of intertwining networks creates a double edged sword. On the one hand, it has eroded any sense of authenticity and individuality and created an ethic of mass consumption and social irresponsibility. On the other hand, it presents an unparalleled democratising tool. This speed and ease of access in the recording and spreading of information has allowed for transparency and paved the way for bottom up change.
Our globalised world dictates a predetermined range, within which we find socially acceptable ways of being and seeing. Through art and discourse, such notions are bravely challenged and questioned, hence the Bravery of being out of range.
This exhibition features works by James Clar, Manal Al Duwayan, Abdulnasser Gharem, Babak Golkar, Hassan Hajjaj, Pouran Jinchi, Ahmed Mater, Yara El Sherbini, Sami Al Turki and Ayman Yussri.
The exhibition itself will group various artworks between three main conversations:
The Range (Conversation 1):
Over the last couple of decades, developments in new age media have formed global webs of social networks. Not only is there more variety and options in terms of which news channel you watch, which radio channel you tune into or which products you buy but the ease of access to them has grown. You are connected everywhere and anywhere 24/7 at the click of a button. A mould has been cast that’s sets us within a preconceived range, whereby our hunger for want and more of the same is never satiated. The following works portray such a relationship and the influence that media has, from the saturation of consumer products and Hollywood flicks to the ever familiar antennas erect across our skylines that have made such connectivity and way of life possible.
The Resolute (Conversation 2):
Such networks have influenced our everyday lives- not only in the way we live but in the way we interact with each other. From the box in your living room to the radio in your car and the camera on your phone, you are always connected. You are always at the giving and receiving end of information, opinion and developments. This is an incredibly democratising tool that encourages bottom up change- be it social, political or environmental. Billboards and advertisements have become the trees in our urban jungle and flying from country to country has become a convenient commute. This shows you the potential might of such media to not only reshape the physicality of our environment but also down to our core principles and values. It has become the driving impetus for sociability and reform.
The Breaking (Conversation 3):
This surge in mass consumerism has gradually led to the break down and erosion of any sense of authenticity and individuality. For such a world made up of numerous polarities, to have a single socially accepted range leads to difficult and dangerous outcomes. Divergences will arise and lead to rises and falls, breakdowns and revisions. The same tools that connect the world, can also disengage it.