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RHIZOMA: The Generation in Waiting
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 09 - 05 - 2013

Mariam Nihal
Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH — RHIZOMA (Generation in Waiting) is Edge of Arabia's latest art prodigy highlighting the growing underground Saudi art scene.

The exhibition, curated by London-based art critic Sara Raza and a Saudi-based poet and artist, Ashraf Fayyadh, is the first official Saudi collateral event of the 55th Venice biennale, supported by Abdulatif Jameel Community Initiatives. Edge of Arabia founders Ahmed Mater and Abdulnasser Gharem will be present at the exhibition.
The list of Saudi artists exhibitors at the event are Abdulkarim Qassem, Abdullah Alothman, Ahaad Alamoudi, Ahmad Angawi, Basmah Felemban, Batool Alshomrani, Dana Awrtani, Eiman Elgibreen, Eyad Maghazil, Heba Abed, Huda Beydoun, Majid Althobaity, Mala'a Al-Amoudi, Mohammad Makki, Nasser Salem, Nora A.Almazrooa, Nouf Alhimiary, Omamah AlSadiq, Ramy Alqthamy, Saeed Salem, Sami Al-Turki, Sarah AbuAbdallah, Sarah Al Abdali, Shaweesh, Telfaz 11 and U-Turn.
Ashraf Fayyad told Saudi Gazette: “The Saudi contemporary art scene is still under construction, still young and somehow crude, with Rhizoma and other projects, we encourage the new generation to follow the steps of the former generation and say their own words, with their own language, it will nourish the current movement and take it to the next level, to make it start to be an art (scene) a contemporary art scene, that comes from their own culture, we are giving the artists to show their works in a very important international art event, to build a real conscious generation of artists that represents their genuine culture, and their own concerns.”
Following the success of 2011 Pan-Arab exhibition of contemporary art The Future of a Promise, Edge of Arabia returns to the Biennale di Venezia with RHIZOMA (Generation in Waiting).
Edge of Arabia is an independent arts initiative that thrives on the current art and cultural scene focusing on Saudi Arabia. RHIZOMA highlights the younger generation of Saudi artists featuring visual art alongside technology, science and natural philosophy. Focusing on social media and influence of instagram and other web powered initiatives, the exhibit features sects by cross-platform youtube sensations TelFaz 11 and UTurn who will be collaborating with artists “to create new realities that reach peer-group audiences in their millions.”
The exhibit runs from May 30 to Sept. 24 at Magazzini del Sale, No. 262 Dorsoduro Fondamenta delle Zattere, Venice. A rhizomatic structure will be especially designed for the exhibition to stage several art works and will function as “an extended metaphor for non-linear identities which Rhizoma promotes.”
Apart from exhibitions, Edge of Arabia emphasizes on art through publications and what they call an “education program” that features debates and seminars with chances of artist residencies and vocational training. Following its launch in London in 2008, they have traveled to Riyadh, Berlin, Istanbul, Dubai, Jeddah, Venice Biennale and London.
The program plans to highlight several site specific works that subvert geometric spatial dynamics by Sarah Al Abdali and Basmah Felemban.

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