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Art Residency | Al Balad, Saudi Arabia

January 21, 2015

24 January–31 March 2015

Opening: 23 January, 8pm

Athr Gallery
5th and RF Floors, Office Towers
Serafi Mega Mall
Saudi Arabia
Hours: Saturday–Thursday 9am–6pm 

T +966 (12) 284 5009 ext 303
info [​at​] athrart.com


“The possibilities in Arabic for the use of figurative language are endless; its allusiveness, tropes and figures of speech place it far beyond the reach of any other language…Arabic loses on translation but all other languages gain on being translated into Arabic.”
Joel Carmichael, The Shaping of the Arabs: A Study in Ethnic Identity (1967)

Arabic, like all Semitic languages, is characterized by the use of certain morphological patterns (patterns of word formation) to derive words from abstract roots that represent general semantic notions or meanings. That, along with the syntax of Arabic, enables the language an extraordinary myriad of both literal and figurative applications. 

Although the Arabic language has gone through changes and development in it’s spoken form in many of the Arabic speaking nations, the modern Arabic script has not undergone significant phonological or syntactical change in its literary form. Therefore it has been accepted as a common and unifying bond among the Arabs; transcending their diversity in economic status, political realities, religious beliefs, and national aspirations. 

[insert range here] explores works that are centered on the use of Arabic text and language by Saudi artists from different generations, backgrounds and disciplines; their approaches and experiments vary from the conceptual to the formal, and stand in distinct contrast to its traditional aesthetics. The works are positioned as individual departing points that simulate the imagination, translating their meaning into limitless textual landscapes…Landscapes that are dependent on each viewer’s personal range of interpretation. 

To inaugurate the opening, Athr will be hosting a lecture performance by Slavs & Tatars titled Long Legged Linguistics

Participating artists include Ibrahim Abumsmar, Shadia Alem, Ayman Yossri Daydban, Basmah Felemban, Mahdi Aljereibi, Abdelkarim Qassem, Nasser Al Salem, Bakr Sheikhoon, and Batool Alshomrani.