Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale Announces Curatorial Team

Since April 2023, the Biennale Encounters program has been offering a regular series of public gatherings, artist talks, workshops, and other activities within the JAX District…reports Asian Lite News

The 2024 Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale, which will open on February 20, 2024, and run until May 24, 2024, announced the appointment of its international core curatorial team led by the Artistic Director Ute Meta Bauer. The event will take place in the JAX District in Diriyah, a town adjacent to the capital city of Riyadh.

DBF curator Wejdan Reda (SA) and curators Rahul Gudipudi (IN), Rose Lejeune (UK), and Anca Rujoiu (RO) will bring experiences and insights from diverse geographic backgrounds, extending the Biennale exhibition with artistic formats such as performance, sound, research-based practices, and digital forms.

The Biennale is being developed as a living entity rather than a static framework, with a strong focus on conversation and process. Collaborations and partnerships will connect the contributing artists and architects with local cultural producers, musicians, nonprofit entities, restaurateurs, traders, and farmers, pointing to how art practices today engage with society on multiple levels. The intention is to create spaces for personal encounters and exchange with and between diverse communities.

Since April 2023, the Biennale Encounters program has been offering a regular series of public gatherings, artist talks, workshops, and other activities within the JAX District.

Additional members of the core team include Laura Miotto and Savina Nicolini / SNA (scenography), Attitudine Forma (art fabrication), Kai von Rabenau / mono.studio (graphic design), Ebrahim Hassan (lead Arabic editor), Laura Schleussner (managing editor), and Lucas Goy / les éclaireurs (lighting design). They will support the curatorial vision of a multi-sensory exhibition experience.

In preparation for the event, Bauer and members of the core team undertook research trips to various regions across Saudi Arabia, including Dammam, Khobar, Al-hasaa, Riyadh, Jeddah, Khamis Mushait, Abha, and Rijaal Almaa. These visits focused on creating dialogues with Saudi artists of different generations to learn about the country’s rich and diverse cultural scene. 

Ute Meta Bauer said, “I am delighted and honoured to be part of this remarkable project. The team of the Diriyah Biennale Foundation and the team of this edition of the Contemporary Art Biennale bring together a breadth of expertise in terms of geographies and skills, which provides an invaluable context for our process-oriented approach. Saudi Arabia has a long, rich history of art, and it has been a privilege to encounter so many practices over months of research. Our aim is to engage deeply with the location and the conversations taking place here while creating new connections within the region and beyond.”

Aya Al Bakree, CEO of the Diriyah Biennale Foundation added, “It is with great pleasure that we announce the core team for the next edition of the Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale. The expertise that this strong team brings to the Diriyah Biennale Foundation not only expands our body of knowledge but also adds to the diversity of art forms that we showcase and the audiences that we reach.”  

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