JEDDAH: The Saudi Art Council has announced that the 7th 21,39 Jeddah Arts will open on Jan. 28.
Titled “I Love You, Urgently,” the art initiative will be a call to action in response to the environmental emergency from the specificity of a local context.
At a time when Saudi Arabia is undergoing a rapid transformation, the council called on local and international artists, architects, designers and thinkers to seek tangible solutions, and to formulate alternative and symbiotic ways to inhabit our planet.
“The title is an unexpected address. As it departs from the scientific vernacular, it emphasizes the highly personal dynamics we are living today,” said Maya El-Khalil, the initiative’s curator.
She added that participants are invited to address three specific themes through exhibitions, commissions and a series of dialogues, talks and debates taking place in the gallery spaces of the Art Council and in Al-Balad — the historic city center of Jeddah.
The themes “are ideas of biomimicry, the imitation of the models, systems and elements of nature for the purpose of solving complex human problems, of adaptability and of specificity, how to think of alternative and symbiotic ways to inhabit our planet from a local context.”
21,39 Jeddah Arts aims to get its public engaged in environmental and sustainability dialogues currently taking place internationally, while encouraging an understanding of these debates within a local contex.
“The 7th edition will continue building on the work of the Saudi Art Council to fill a demand gap in the artistic education across Saudi Arabia,” El-Khalil pointed out.
Princess Jawaher bint Majed bin Abdul Aziz, chairwoman of the Saudi Art Council, said: “The city of Jeddah has long been at the forefront of Saudi Arabia’s contemporary art scene, and we are excited to bring creative responses to environmental concerns to the table with the 7th edition of 21,39 Jeddah Arts.
“As a culturally rich melting pot, Jeddah is a place of exchange for new ideas, and we look forward to presenting a multifaceted program that we hope will be the springboard for dialogue between local and international artists and audiences, and which will give voice to young people through an extensive educational outreach program.”