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A ‘repurposed art’ tour
Spotlight

A ‘repurposed art’ tour

A ‘repurposed art’ tour
By Hafsa Al-Khudairi
February 20th, 2022

The Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale is the first of its kind in the land of Saudi Arabia and, as art lovers, we are so happy and proud that such a momentous event has become part of our tradition.

The art pieces vary from the disturbing to the beautiful, from the ethereal to the sublime, and from the technical to the technological. The concepts behind each piece are awe-inspiring to the extent that many people have returned again and again.

Not to mention the different cultural offerings like the Chef’s Table, Public Programs, and Wadi Cinema. 

In the spirit of this issues’ theme, sustainability, we chose to highlight the art that has been repurposed from the environment we exist in: World Map from the “Food for Thought” (2021) by Maha Malluh; Manifesto: The Language & City (2021) by Abdullah Alothman; Desert Meeting (2021) by Dr.Ahmed Mater; and Dialectics (2000) by Mahdi Al Jeraibi.

World Map from the “Food for Thought” (2021) by Maha Malluh.

World Map from the “Food for Thought” (2021) by Maha Malluh Placed in bread baking trays and arranged to create visuals and words, these cassettes are given another life. These tapes are from the 1980s with recording of different content. Words prescribed within the map of the world are also a reflection of the fear the pandemic has created connecting the whole world. It is a juxtaposition of hopefulness and despair in a colorful display.

World Map from the “Food for Thought” (2021) by Maha Malluh.
A ‘repurposed art’ tour

Nostalgia is the word that comes to mind when the viewer sees all the different signs from all over Riyadh. Each sign is a reflection of the mass understanding of calligraphy and marketing of the time in which it was produced. In rearranging the signs and giving them new life as an artwork, the artist gives them new meaning, reflecting the language of the contemporary.

A ‘repurposed art’ tour
Desert Meeting (2021) by Dr. Ahmed Mater.
Desert Meeting

Made out of repurposed CRT Television sets, these semi-animated visuals of important historical events give new life to static moments in time. The art is a reflection of how contradictory life is in the 21st century and the economic post-oil boom in globalization and connectivity as well as technology.

Dialectics (2000) by Mahdi Al Jeraibi.
Dialectics

Part of the Al-Mansouria Foundation Collection, this artwork is a part of Al Jeraibi’s exploration of collective memory. With students’ graffiti adorning them, the desks have become artworks and an expression of how scratches on a table can be considered expressions of art, making the form irrelevant in response to the importance of the actual content.

The Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale was developed by a team of international curators led by Philip Tinari, including Wejdan Reda, Shixuan Luan, and Neil Zhang. Under the theme “Feel the Stones,” the 2021-2 Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale

offers six sections, with works from national and international artists responding to a central theme and engaging visitors in a dialogue 
around contemporary art. The Biennale opened on December 11, 2021 and runs until March 11, 2022.

A ‘repurposed art’ tour
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