A cluster of exhibitions, talks and workshops. Dana Awartani's solo exhibition, The Hidden Qualities of Quantities, as well as Nasser Al Salem's latest installation, And We Adorned The Nearest Heaven With Lamps, a group exhibition entitled Triplicity, and Athr X Design.
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia 30 of June 2015: Athr, the contemporary art project space and gallery based in Jeddah, is soon to present Constellations, a cluster of exhibitions, talks and workshops. Showcasing a diverse programme, Constellations will present Dana Awartani's first solo exhibition at Athr, The Hidden Qualities of Quantities, as well as Nasser Al Salem's latest installation, And We Adorned The Nearest Heaven With Lamps, a group exhibition entitled Triplicity, and Athr X Design. Constellations is supported by an education program that includes a talk by Giovanni Castiglion and workshops for both adults and children.
The Hidden Qualities of Quantities
Dana Awartani solo exhibition
For her first solo exhibition at Athr, artist Dana Awartani shows three new projects intertwined by their exploration of ritual as gestures within which geometric and organic forms sit at the center of a set of performed sequences acted out on paper and canvas. Each project questions the formalist and invariable interpretations of the Qu'ran prevalent in the Saudi judicial systems that sit opposed to more liberal undercurrents within contemporary Saudi society. The artist works with coding and geometric forms, including pre-Islamic talismanic designs and systems, to delineate her own process. For Awartani, who is studying towards her Ijazah, knowledge and understanding of the Qu'ran is implicit to her practice. She uses this to draw out and challenge underlying assumptions associated to the Islamic faith, plucking out rituals that straddle religions and behaviors, expounding their inherent possibilities across a multitude of neutral contexts.
And We Adorned The Nearest Heaven With Lamps
Nasser Al Salem installation
The work is an installation that attempts to equally question and answer at the same time. Nasser Al Salem uses an extract from a verse in the Holy Qur'an to not only make strong references to the faith itself but to extract a whole experience from it. The blanket of stars that makes up the installation is intended to envelop the spectators like a cocoon, offering a sense of protection but also reminding us of the awesome vastness of the universe that reaches beyond human comprehension. Through the installation, Al Salem compels the spectators to ponder and perhaps even self-educate—what can we see of ourselves when we stare into the deep, speckled darkness of the sky?
Triplicity is a group exhibition that draws on works by a number of artists that play with visual perception; each toying with the boundaries between the three illusions: physiological, pathological and cognitive, to explore the thresholds of objective realities. Whilst our eyes draw us into the works in an attempt to decipher and delineate a logical reading, our imaginations pull in the opposite direction, seeking out the potential for the impossible. The exhibition as a whole questions our shared need to make sense of the world around us, providing a neutral platform upon which scientific through to religiously charged questions can be asked.
Participating artists: Joseph Albers, Nasser Al Salem, Rana Begum, Patrick Hughes, Timo Nasseri, Aakash Nihalani, Seckin Pirim
Athr X Design
For its annual design exhibition, Athr has invited House of Today from Beirut, a non-profit organization that identifies, nurtures, and connects emerging Lebanese designers. Other designers include Artfactum Gallery, (Beirut, Lebanon); A-Guph (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia); LeiVanKash Jewellery (London, UK); and Kartt & Co (Jeddah. Saudi Arabia).
Image: Dana Awartani
Opening: 30 June, 10pm
5th and RF Floors, Office Towers
Serafi Mega Mall Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
(Ramadan time: noon–5pm / 9:30pm–midnight)