Rhizoma (Generation in Waiting) is opening in Venice

Rhizoma (Generation in Waiting)
30 May–24 September 2013
Collateral Event of the 55th Venice Biennale
Magazzini del Sale
No. 262 Dorsoduro Fondamenta delle Zattere Venice
(ACTV stop: Line 1, Salute)
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–6pm
Admission free


RhizomeA plant stem that grows horizontally under or along the ground and often sends out roots and shoots. New plants develop from the shoots. Ginger, iris, and violets have rhizomes. Also called rootstock (Greek rhizma, mass of roots, from rhizoun, to cause to take root, from rhiza, root; see wrd- in Indo-European roots).

Curated by London-based curator Sara Raza and Saudi-based poet, artist and curator Ashraf Fayadh, Rhizoma (Generation in Waiting) refers to the newcoming artists in the Saudi Arabia art scene who are challenging the force of gravity with their projects.
Sara Raza explains: "Rhizoma is a curatorial project with infinite possibilities to form multiple endings and create new beginnings. The nature of Saudi Arabia's art production is comparable to an actual rhizoma. There is an exciting emerging art scene inside Saudi Arabia that exists at the grassroots and it is purposefully making its ascent upwards. These artists are part of a subterranean network, independent and distinctive in their styles and approach, technologically astute, experimental and possess the ability to break away from the mainstream."

Artists on show:
Abdulkarim Qassem, Abdullah Alothman, Ahaad Alamoudi, Ahmad Angawi, Basmah Felemban, Batool Alshomrani, Dana Awrtani, Eiman Elgibreen, Eyad Maghazil, Heba Abed, Huda Beydoun, Majid Althobaity, Mala'a Al-Amoudi, Mohammad Makki, Nasser Salem, Nora A. Almazrooa, Nouf Alhimiary, Omamah AlSadiq, Ramy Alqthamy, Saeed Salem, Sami Al-Turki, Sarah AbuAbdallah, Sarah Al Abdali, Shaweesh—many of whom are creating new work specifically for the exhibition. 

Edge of Arabia 
Edge of Arabia is an independent arts initiative developing the appreciation of contemporary Arab art and culture with a particular focus on Saudi Arabia. As a social enterprise Edge of Arabia is committed to reaching local and international audiences and improving understanding through free exhibitions, through publications, and through an education programme incorporating talks and seminars, artist residencies and vocational training. Following its launch in London in 2008, this grassroots initiative has travelled to Riyadh, Berlin, Istanbul, Dubai, Jeddah, twice to the Venice Biennale and most recently to London's Brick Lane with #COMETOGETHER. 

Sara Raza
Sara Raza is a PhD candidate at the Royal College of Art, London, an independent curator, editor forArtAsiaPacific magazine (West and Central Asia) and consultant editor for Ibraaz. She was the founding head of curatorial programmes at Alåan Artspace in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and is an associate curator at the Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah and the Artist Pension Trust. Since 2010 she has been a visiting lecturer at Sotheby's Institute of Art, London, for the MA Contemporary Art programme and is a former curator at Tate Modern.

Ashraf Fayadh
Ashraf Fayadh is a Palestinian poet, curator and artist currently living in Abha, Saudi Arabia. His collection of poems, Instructions Within, was published in 2007 by Al-Farabi Publishing House in Beirut, and was listed by the Al-Hayat newspaper in London as one of 2008's best-selling books across the Middle East. He is a founding member of the influential Shattah group of artists and recently curatedMostly Visible, a groundbreaking exhibition for Saudi contemporary art, as part of Jeddah Art Week.

Founding partner: Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives
ALJ Community Initiatives was established in 2003 as the corporate social responsibility programmes provider under the prominent ALJ Group. It has global coverage through its many initiatives and social programmes. ALJ Community Initiatives have developed and promoted a portfolio of globally applicable sustainable projects and solutions, supported socio-economic development by providing social programs for the needs of communities, and brought about a reduction of unemployment and poverty through novel and innovative schemes and mechanisms. www.aljci.com

Partners: Tamer Group / Ayyam Projects

Communications partners: Brownbook Magazine / GULF MEDIA PARTNERS / Oasis Magazine / Bespoke Magazine

I look forward to seeing the work by
(Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
[Documenting the Undocumented]
The series is an asymmetrical reflection of the interaction (or lack there of) between some undocumented immigrants- and I. It was challenging to take their pictures during street life exploration in Jeddah, since a lot of undocumented immigrants are being deported currently, masking their faces with Mickey and Minnie Mouse silhouette is a manner of hiding their true identity. Mickey Mouse is a character that everyone relates to, a figure of joy and happiness.. He is on the other spectrum of how the undocumented immigrants felt while taking their pictures... nervous and uncomfortable. 


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