This is the updated version covering both events taking place the coming days in Jeddah: The Jeddah Art Week and 21,39.
Highlights include the opening of the renovated Jeddah Art Park along the Corniche, a mural performance in the old city of Jeddah by the globetrotting calligraffitist El Seed, a group exhibition in Ayyam Gallery, exhibitions by veteran artists such as Abdulaziz Ashour, Maha Mullah and Nja Mahdaoui (from Tunis), a large number of contemporary artists by the Arabian Wings gallery, and ‘Kaikabang Jeddah’, showing the perspectives on Jeddah by 15 Filipino photographers.
Simultaneously (and a bit confusingly) another art event is taking place in Jeddah, the 21,39 Jeddah Arts organized by the Saudi Art Council from 4 to 8 February. We only have the VIP program so far – see the pdf linked in the sidebar. The planned events definitely are worth the trip, as you’ll get to know all the main players in the Saudi West Coast art scene: a lively bunch!
Meanwhile, it seems that Ashraf Fayadh, the main curator of the acclaimed exhibition Mostly Visible which was the main attraction of last year’s Jeddah Art Week, is still detained by the police on charges of supposed atheism, because of a poetry book he wrote; or because of a video he posted on youtube of the Saudi religious police forcing a young man into submission.
As this incident underscores, organizing these kind of art events in the Kingdom is still more difficult than in most other countries of the region, and we commend the organizers of both events for their efforts. We hope that international visitors will manage to obtain their visas on time, to witness this double event, that is bound to provide an enormous boost to the local art scene.