Saudi Arts Council announces details of fourth edition of 21.39 Jeddah Arts Initiative

The Saudi Art Council has announced details for the fourth edition of 21.39 Jeddah Arts, an annual program of special exhibitions, workshops and educational forums located in various locations across the city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, from February to May 2017. The first set of opening events will take place from February 1 to 4, 2017.

The 2017 edition is curated by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath and was conceived as both a public forum for creative experimentation and a visual arts exhibition. Entitled “safar– the Arabic word for travel – the program will explore travel and movement as a vehicle for learning and growth. Word safari is itself rooted in the word safer, a term used to describe things that are revealed or unveiled. The exhibition will feature works of art, projects and new commissions from seventeen Saudi artists, and more than fifty events will take place over the six-month period of the program, with workshops, presentations and screenings of films by a host of local, regional and international artists. The artists who have been commissioned to create new works for the program are Majid Angawi, Marwah AlMugait, Abdullah Al-Othman, Bayan Abdullateef, Mohammed Al Faraj and Reem Al Nasser.

Founded in 2014 by a group of local patrons, the Saudi Art Council is chaired by HRH Princess Jawaher bint Majid bin Abdulaziz, and her 21.39 initiative aims to cultivate the local art scene and encourage interest in the arts and culture. culture throughout the region, as well as to build bridges with the international art world. Its title refers to the geographical coordinates of Jeddah (21.5433°N, 39.1728°E), which is the second largest city in Saudi Arabia.

The exhibition will take place in four locations in Jeddah: each location will host site-specific installations and commissioned works that respond to the historical and contemporary narratives of its space. “The shopping center” (al mol), the Gold Moor mall in Al Shate’a district, will feature recently commissioned installations by seventeen emerging Saudi artists, while “The Home” (al manzil), a 19th century shelter for abandoned women in the city’s historic district, will host a monumental site-specific installation. A participatory project will be set up in “Le Parking” (al-mawqif), an underground garage in the Ash Shati district, and “The City” (al-medina), the King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), will present a series of eight immersive video installations by leading international videographers.

Additional information on participating artists, galleries, exhibitions and programming will be announced later this year. For more information on 21.39, visit the event site.

Norma D. Ross