Cairo’s Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival kicks off with packed schedule

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DUBAI: A large woven set up echoes the designs of palm trees considered when lying down on the floor. “Palm,” positioned in Prince Faisal bin Fahd Arts Hall in Riyadh for Misk Art Week’s exhibition “Here, Now,” was developed by American contemporary artist Sheila Hicks. It was originally conceived in Riyadh’s King Saud University, in which Hicks established up an art method in the 1980s.

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Hicks remembers the pleasurable minute of lying down, on the lookout up at a palm tree and seeing a mass of leaves spanning out previously mentioned her. The joy of wanting at the parallel reality created by its leaves turned the basis of Hick’s tapestry “The Palm Tree” (1984-85), manufactured in wool, cotton, rayon, silk, and linen. The piece on see in Riyadh follows generations-outdated weaving approaches set up at the Aubusson workshops in France and presents the artist’s skill to translate a personal, intimate minute into the actual physical and public realm with grace and ease.

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Sheila Hicks, Palm, 1985, wool, weave tapestry, 358.1 x 281.9 cm. (In this article, Now / هنا، الآن , October 3, 2021 – January 31, 2022, miskartinstitute.org)
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“During my time in Saudi Arabia in the 1980s,” Hicks said, “on a discipline journey with a variety of architects concerned in coming up with King Saud University, I appeared up to the sky and was struck by the splendor and sizing of the palm tree that was preserving and shading us. ‘Palm,’ the tapestry on present as section of ‘Here, Now,’ is inspired by this distinct palm tree.”

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The first get the job done is hanging in the main auditorium of the King Saud College in Riyadh. Other variations of the do the job are in quite a few global collections, such as The Metropolitan Museum of Artwork in New York and the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

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Hicks’ dreamy perform, recalling the natural beauty of Saudi Arabia’s desert landscape, is 1 of various items by Saudi and intercontinental artists in the present responding to notions of specific and collective identity and how these respond to society, as effectively as to a specific space or position, be it general public or personal. Curated by British author Sacha Craddock in collaboration with Misk’s assistant curators Alia Ahmad Al-Saud and Nora Algosaibi, the exhibition also characteristics paintings, textiles, sculptures, digital is effective and immersive installations by Saudi artists Filwa Nazer, Manal AlDowayan, Yousef Jaha and Sami Ali AlHossein, the Saudi-Palestinian Ayman Yossri Daydban, Piyarat Piyapongwiwat from Thailand, Salah ElMur from Sudan, Vasudevan Akkitham from India and the South Korean Young In Hong.

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Youthful In Hong. (Below, Now / هنا، الآن , October 3, 2021 – January 31, 2022, miskartinstitute.org)
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“I hope that the exceptionally fluid and open approach that introduced ‘Here, Now’ alongside one another is mirrored by the experience of the audience,” claimed Sacha Craddock. “Layers of curatorial understanding and familiarity, on my section, have merged with completely new influences, innovations and traditions to produce a feeling of perpetual discovery for all.”

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“I Am Listed here,” a significant-scale piece by Manal AlDowayan, encourages readers to take part in the operate. Paint and stencils are available so that viewers can them selves compose the artwork’s title — I Am Below — on just one of the gallery’s walls. About time, the painted text gradually vanish below new words, giving a visual commentary on the fragile marriage amongst the individual and the collective, as perfectly as the ephemeral character of time and existence.

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The interactive maze-like sculpture by Saudi-Palestinian artist Ayman Yossri Daydban entitled “Tree House” (2019) is a significant-scale perform positioned towards various walls. It seeks to deconstruct archetypal narratives associated to cultural heritage and id, as effectively as the Middle East’s historic relation to Western colonial powers, as a result of its multitude of lower-out forms, Daydban’s imagined-provoking function stems from the subjective character of words and language. The artist thinks that even following the function and which means of an object moves on, its substance foundation — in essence its core variety — continues to be.

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Filwa Nazer, The Other Is One more Overall body 2, 2019 (1). (In this article, Now / هنا، الآن , Oct 3, 2021 – January 31, 2022, miskartinstitute.org)
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An installation work by Filwa Nazer, another Saudi artist, entitled “The Other Is A different System,” which was commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation in 2019, characteristics a pair of sculptures coated in black netting that, in accordance to Nazer, “evoke a female existence and embody the spirit of the in-between in its various contradictions.” She intends the sculptures to be “at after vulnerable and solid, summary and concrete, safeguarded and uncovered, connected yet divided.” Nazer’s intent was to exhibit sculptures in “the point out of getting in all its fragility and awkwardness.”

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Nazer’s operate, which ranges in medium from electronic print to collage, textile, and images, addresses dilemma of psychological identification with regards to social and spatial context.

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“My function relates to my psychological or psychological interaction with my themes and concepts,” she said. “Research is an integral element of my artistic practice: reading through, industry exploration, collecting material and tales. My traces of inquiry usually stem from a need to question things. Via my investigate, beforehand unseen connections amongst a variety of components get started rising, and then commences the procedure of experimental development.”

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The range of the is effective on show is even further exemplified in paintings by Saudi artist AlHossein and the Sudanese ElMur. The former’s summary paintings depict the idea of private memory as a landscape while ElMur’s at once endearing and profound performs on canvas depict subjects baffled by actuality as we know it and a new three-dimensional space — probably the affect of today’s promptly increasing technological realm.

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As the works in “Here, Now” exhibit, the areas occupied by the personal and the general public are subjective—at the whims of one’s notion, dictated by their individual own context and the intention that they utilize to the people and spaces they occupy in actual-time—in every day lifestyle.

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Listed here, Now / هنا، الآن , Oct 3, 2021 – January 31, 2022, miskartinstitute.org

Kenneth Proto

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