Nasser Al Salem

From California to Saudi Arabia: Desert X lands in Al Ula

February 10, 2020 - Stephanie D'Arc Taylor_ Evening Standard

Much of the work is exuberant and visually spectacular, from a giant swing set by the Danish collective Superflex (which first appeared in Tate Modern in 2017) to a 25ft-tall silver fuselage-type installation by American artist Gisela Colon that calls to mind a sex object outlawed in the kingdom.

Saudi artist and storyteller Muhannad Shono showed his The Lost Path installation, which binds together 65,000 black plastic pipes to wind hundreds of feet through the dunes and cliffs. The work, he says, is meant to invoke a treasure map as well as a reminder of the oil that the tubes once contained and the far-reaching effects of that modern-day treasure.

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من كاليفورنيا إلى صحراء العلا... الفن المعاصر في حوار مع الطبيعة

February 5, 2020 - العلا (السعودية): عبير مشخص

في الصحراء نتواضع ونشعر بحجمنا الحقيقي في هذا الكون، يراودني الشعور أثناء رحلة نحو العلا السعودية لمعاينة معرض فني ضخم بعنوان «ديزيرت إكس». ويمثل معرض «ديزرت إكس العلا» أول تعاون دولي لـ«ديزرت إكس» الذي يقام في «كونشيلا فالي» بكاليفورنيا الأميركية وتأسس لربط المجتمعات والثقافات الصحراوية من خلال الفن المعاصر. وينظم المعرض بالتعاون مع المخرج الفني في «ديزيرت إكس» نيفيل ويكفيلد والقيّمتين والمختصتين في الفن المعاصر من المملكة رنيم فارسي وآية علي رضا.

الحافلة التي تقلنا نحو العلا محملة بجمع كثيف ومتنوع الجنسيات واللغات، كل فرد في انتظار المفاجأة المعدة لنا، وعدنا بمعر ض فني كبير وعرفنا بعض الأسماء المشاركة، وها نحن نقترب من ذلك العرض، نشغل الوقت بالأحاديث الجانبية وبالنظر من نوافذ الحافلة لتصافح أعيننا التشكيلات الصخرية الشهيرة في العلا... ولكن لنا حديث آخر مع تلك الإبداعات الصخرية، نحن الآن في الموقع حيث تبدأ عناصر المفاجأة في الظهور شيئاً فشيئاً... على مسافات تكاد تكون متساوية نرى تشكيلات فنية بعضها مكون من قطعة واحدة فقط، وبعضها الآخر من أكثر من قطعة، كل منها يبدو متواضعاً في ظلال الجبال الصخرية، لن يبزها جلالا ولكن يكتفي بأن يكون وجوده هنا نوعاً من الحوار البصري، بين الإنسان والطبيعة، بين ما شكلته الرياح والمياه على مدى قرون لا تعد من أخاديد وأحافير وفجوات في الصخور الممتدة على مدى البصر، وبين ما شكلته يد إنسانية تقدم التساؤلات والتأملات في الحياة ومعانيها.

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14 فناناً يبحرون في حضارة العلا عبر «ديزرت إكس»

February 3, 2020 - جدة: عائشة جعفري _ aawsat

وينظّم معرض «ديزرت إكس» العلا للمرة الأولى بالتعاون مع المخرج الفني نيفيل ويكفيلد والمختصتين في الفن المعاصر رنيم فارسي وآية علي رضا من السعودية، ويعرض 14 عملا لفنانين محليين وعالميين مصممة لتحاكي طبيعة العلا.
وقدّم الفنان راشد الشعشعي عمله «ممر مختصر» الذي يصور فيه إبل وخيول الرحالة وقوافل التجارة التي كانت تجد من مغارات وشعاب العلا الفريدة ملجأ من اللصوص وقطاع الطرق ويستمدون من عيونها ماء ما ساعد في تنامي حضارات العلا عبر العصور وصنع منها محطة لحضارات متعاقبة.
بينما يعرض الفنان مهند شونو في عمله «المسار المفقود» فكرة البحث عن معنى للحياة عن طريق المسارات والخرائط التي يتبعها الإنسان. وذكر شونو أن خرائط الكنز غالباً ما تؤدي إلى صناديق فارغة ويؤكد أن الرحلة بحق أكثر أهمية من الوجهة.
وتابع: «هذا العمل يعطينا اتجاها نحو مساراتنا الشخصية المدفونة، إذ ينمو المسار المستمد من سطر واحد ليصبح تحفة نحتية تنتظر الزوار لاكتشافها».

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An Extraordinary Exhibition Launches In Saudi Arabia’s AlUla Region

February 2, 2020 - Ayesha Sohail Shehmir Shaikh_ Harper Bazaar Arabia

On show now until 7 March 2020 in the extraordinary landscape of AlUla in Saudi Arabia, the Desert X AlUla exhibition, the first major contemporary art exhibition in the area, explores desert culture through cross-cultural dialogue between artists. Participating artists include Riyadh-based Muhannad Shono, Beirut-based Rayyane Tabet and Jeddah-based Rashed AlShashai, to name a few.

The exhibition has been co-curated by Saudi curators Raneem Farsi and Aya Alireza and Desert X’s artistic director Neville Wakefield and has been organised by Desert X and the Royal Commission of AlUla (RCU). “Artists are at the centre of this exhibition conceived to foster artistic exchange and dialogue across continents,” says Farsi.

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desert X AlUla sets art across the heart of historic saudi arabian trade route

January 31, 2020 - bryan shim I_Designboom

From now through march 7, 2020 desert X AlUla is taking place in saudi arabia. featuring interactive installations by 14 artists, the site-specific art exhibition brings together a plurality of voices to speak on the environmental conditions, historic context and the surrounding communities of the ancient oasis. co-curated by saudi curators raneem farsi and aya alireza with neville wakefield — the artistic director of desert X — the public exhibition is the first of its kind in saudi arabia.

Nasser alsalem — ‘amma qabel’ is a sculpture with both interior and exterior landscapes, which embraces the idea of time as a continuum that connects all cultures and civilizations. the simple gesture of the installation mimics a passage-way with circumference shaped by calligraphic letters that read ‘amma qabl’, which means ‘what precedes’.

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Desert X Al Ula puts Saudi Arabia's historic site on international arts map

January 31, 2020 - Melissa Gronlund_The National

It’s an extreme meeting of the old and new: Desert X Al Ula has opened to the public, a six-week-specific installation of artworks made in the awesome setting of the Al Ula in north western Saudi Arabia.

Desert X began as a biennial in southern California, bringing visitors through the Coachella Valley in search installations, sculptures, and performances. Now, for the Royal Commission for Al Ula (RCU)’s first major contemporary art project for the heritage site, Desert X Al Ula commissions 14 Saudi and international artists to make artworks in the sand.

“Al Ula is the power of heritage crossing through multiple civilisations,” says Amr Al Madani, chief executive of the RCU. “This is a living museum interacting with nature.”

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‘I Am Not Part of Some Propaganda Machine’: Artists and Curators Defend Their Participation in the Saudi-Backed Show Desert X AlUla

January 29, 2020 - Rebecca Anne Proctor_ Artnet

“I wish Ed [Ruscha] could have come to AlUla, attended the show, gotten to know us and seen our work,” Muhannad Shono, one of the participating artists, told Artnet News. “Many Saudi artists are fed up with having to deal and respond to the bad headlines. None of the western media outlets have asked me about my work. All people want to do is talk about the controversy and not the art.”

The perception, Shono continues, is that “what I am doing and what other Saudi artists are doing is part of some propaganda agenda. I am working on concepts and ideas that are in no way scrutinized or censored. I am not part of some propaganda machine. I am an individual artist that is excited to be part of all the changes happening here. We want people to come and reach out to us and see what the people are doing.”

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Meet the 10 Al Burda Endowment artists showing at Abu Dhabi Art

November 22, 2019 - Alexandra Chaves_ The National, Arts & Culture

Islamic art finds new forms through the Al Burda Endowment exhibition, which is currently on view at Manarat Al Saadiyat. The initiative was founded by the UAE Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development as a way to celebrate Islamic art and culture, but also support contemporary artists who are transforming the traditional form with modern elements.

In November last year, Al Burda launched its Endowment programme, for which they selected 10 artists to produce works specifically for the initiative that will then be shown at exhibitions and the Al Burda Festival in 2020. For the first edition, Al Burda has provided Dh500,000 worth of financial support to the selected candidates.

 

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Abu Dhabi Art brings together ancient and futuristic creative designs

November 21, 2019 - Rawaa Talass_ Arab News

Curated by Dr. Omar Kholeif – who was recently appointed senior curator of the Sharjah Art Foundation – the handpicked “Focus: Drawing, Tracing, Mapping” section was dedicated to understanding the medium of drawing in profound depth.

Kholeif said: “Here, drawing is not the simple act of applying graphite to paper, but rather, drawing is performance and social sculpture, as much as it is about the study, diagramming and impression of a portrayal. Here, drawings reveal hidden histories and contour realities. Drawing becomes a means to see the unseen.”

Among the eight participating galleries in the section was the Saudi Athr Gallery, with a solo booth of serene drawings of circles by the Saudi-Palestinian artist Dana Awartani. Created especially for the fair, the gallery said the works symbolized “acts of meditation and moments of contemplation as part of her (Awartani’s) daily rigor of being an artist, a method she frequently adopts to quiet the mind.”

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Get the best of Islamic art at this exhibition

November 21, 2019 - Ismail Sebugwaawo_ Khaleej Times

The exhibition was supported by curatorial advisors, Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath.

Ten artists who received Al Burda Endowment grants in 2018 are now showcasing their works at Al Burda Endowment exhibition-Abu Dhabi Art 2019, which kicked off on Thursday at Manarat Al Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi.

The artists - Ebtisam Abdulaziz, Ammar Al Attar, Dana Awartani, Fatima Uzdenova, Khalid Al Banna, Zoulikha Bouabdellah, Aisha Khalid, Aljoud Lootah, Nasser Al Salem and Stanley Siu - comprise the first cohort of the Al Burda Endowment grantees with works ranging from sculpture, textile-based work and photography to installation, virtual reality, experiential projects and more.

 

The exhibition was supported by curatorial advisors, Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath.

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