Misk Art Institute’s Annual Flagship Exhibition Explores the Universality of Identity
By Global Art Daily Editorial Board
Published on October 7th, 2021
Misk Art Institute (MAI), the non-profit institution dedicated to Saudi Arabia’s growing art scene, opened Here, Now / اآلن، هنا , the third exhibition in a series of annual flagship exhibitions in which MAI collaborates with a curator on the central theme of Misk Art Week 2021, the Institute’s annual celebratory event. Here, Now / اآلن، هنا is curated by British critic and writer Sacha Craddock, working in close partnership with MAI’s assistant curators Alia Ahmad Al Saud and Nora Algosaibi.
Responding to Misk Art Week’s 2021 theme of Identity, the curatorial collaboration behind Here, Now / اآلن، هنا brings international artists into conversation with Saudi talent. Participating artists include Ayman Yossri Daydban (Saudi Arabia/Palestine); Filwa Nazer (Saudi Arabia); Manal AlDowayan (Saudi Arabia); Piyarat Piyapongwiwat (Thailand); Salah ElMur (Sudan); Sami Ali AlHossein (Saudi Arabia); Sheila Hicks (USA); Vasudevan Akkitham (India); Young In Hong (South Korea) and Yousef Jaha (Saudi Arabia).
Through interactive maze-like stacked sculptures Saudi-Palestinian artist Ayman Yossri Daydban’s Three House deconstructs archetypal narratives related to cultural heritage and identity, as well as the region’s historical relation to Western colonial powers. Working with a logic that grows out of the arbitrary nature of words and language, Daydban’s work insists on the existence of the material that remains after function or meaning have moved on.
“I hope that the exceptionally fluid and open process that brought Here, Now / اآلن، هنا together is mirrored by the experience of the audience. Layers of curatorial knowledge and familiarity, on my part, have merged with totally new influences, innovations and traditions to produce a sense of perpetual discovery for all,” said Sacha Craddock, exhibition curator. Reem Al Sultan, CEO of Misk Art Institute, reflects on how the exhibition “respond[s] to and map[s] out the universality of identity.” Inviting artists from more than five countries to enter in dialogue with Saudi voices, the exhibition “echoes our year-long work and programming, which is to provide a laboratory for creativity and discovery and invite the public into the creative process.”
“Here, Now / اآلن، هنا” will run from October 3, 2021 – January 15, 2022 at Prince Faisal bin Fahd Arts Hall in Riyadh and online via Misk Art Institute’s website.
Follow Misk Art Institute on Instagram.
Sacha Craddock is an art critic, writer and curator based in London. She is the co-founderof Artschool Palestine, member of Abbey Council, co-founder of the Contemporary Art Award at the British School at Rome, trustee of the Shelagh Cluett Trust, co-president of AICA-UK, the British section of International Association of Art Critics, a chair of the selection process of New Contemporaries and chair of the board since 1996. After completing a degree in fine art painting at Central St Martins, and a post-graduate painting degree at Chelsea School of Art, Craddock began writing art criticism for The Guardian newspaper in 1988.
About Misk Art Institute
Founded in 2017 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Misk Art Institute (MAI) is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering and catalyzing the growth of a creative community in Saudi Arabia and regionally. Collaborative in spirit and diverse in thought, MAI boasts a dynamic program featuring exhibitions, publications, creative development opportunities and residencies. The Misk Art Grant is the largest artist support scheme of its kind in the region. The annual Misk Art Week convenes thought leaders in the creative industries to deliberate the Kingdom’s art arena and its ambitions. The Art Library is a significant literary initiative documenting the work of seminal Saudi and Arab artists.