A Force to Inspire: Standing at the RuinTALK - MISK Art Institute December 8, 2022
Many diverse resources can trigger nostalgia, from conversations to items of clothing, a photograph, a piece of music, or by celebrating Ramadan. Are such objects, materials, sounds, scents, or traditions tangibly nostalgic in themselves, or are they purely a device that can transport you to a moment in the past? What can creatives do to help harness and explore the rich possibilities that nostalgia offers us?
ICON.ICONIC. Art Here 2022, Richard Mille Art PrizeEXHIBITION - Louvre Abu Dhabi From November 18, 2022 to February 10, 2023
“How does contemporary art help us rethink the notion of an artistic icon in the 21st century? What is the role of the museum in both addressing and conferring the iconic status of art? These are questions Louvre Abu Dhabi seeks to answer five years after opening its doors to the world, with its second Art Here exhibition and art prize, centred on the notion of “The Icon”.”
With her artwork Sidelines(2016), Manal is one of the shortlisted artists for the Richard Mille Prize and part of the exhibition ICONIC ICONIC at Louvre Abu Dhabi, curated by Reem Fadda.
Songs From The ShoreEXHIBITION - Setouchi Triennale 2022 From September 27 to November 6, 2022
Manal opened her installation at Ibuki Island in Japan, as part of the Setouchi Triennale Curated by Fran Kitagawa. “Songs from the Shore” is participatory artwork sent from Saudi Arabia to Japan. A letter of hope and connection. The artwork is experienced by walking through a tunnel that carries the traces of a ritual performed by the people who live on the shore. A series of recycled fishnets with 200 baskets suspended in their weave. The baskets are handmade by a mastercraft omen in the art of “Khos”, palm waving in Saudi Arabia. The basket edges were burned, and then smothered in the sea water, leaving the baskets charred at the edges. This was conducted during a participatory session involving the community and residents of the Island of Ibuki,Japan. The artwork also includes a video.
Art Water Bottles Project - Fifa World CupCOMMISSION - Fifa World Cup From November 21, 2022
Manal has been commissioned to represent Saudi Arabia participation. The design was inspired from an existing work made 20 years ago. “The Choice” addresses the subject of women’s access to sports and physical education. Back in 2005, when Manal took this image, women were not allowed to play sports in the public space. Today, Saudi Arabia is looking to the future of sports for both men and women.
Oasis of Stories at Wadi Alfann Valley of the Arts in AlUlaLANDART PROJECT - Royal Commission of AlUla Expected to open at the end of 2024
Manal was commissioned to create a major land art artwork as part of the Wadi Alfann Valley of the Arts in AlUla - Saudi Arabia
Wadi AlFann, meaning ‘Valley of the Arts’, an awe-inspiring new global cultural destination for contemporary art, where era-defining works by some of the most compelling artists from around the world will be permanently placed in the monumental landscape of AlUla, the extraordinary desert region of north-west Saudi Arabia steeped in thousands of years of natural, historical and cultural heritage.
New, large-scale, site-specific commissions by Manal AlDowayan (b. 1973, Saudi Arabia),
Agnes Denes (b. 1931, Hungary), Michael Heizer (b. 1944, USA), Ahmed Mater (b. 1979,
Saudi Arabia) and James Turrell (b. 1943, USA) will be the first five works to be conceived for Wadi AlFann, a spectacular valley spanning approximately 65 square kilometres. These initial five works will be completed and unveiled by 2024, marking the start of a continued programme of commissions, with more artists and activities to be announced.
Ephemeral WitnessACQUISITION - The Centre Pompidou May 11,2022
"Epheremal Witness" is an artwork that imitates the form of a sand crystal called the Desert Rose, an archeological phenomena, found in very few deserts around the world. This specific Desert Rose was found near the home of the artist in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. In this soft sculpture, the layering of the petals allows for the showing and obscuring of the imagery printed on them, referencing the debate that exists when discussing the female body in the public sphere. The softness of the fabric speaks to the ephemeral status of the sculpture that can fall and fold into a pile of fabric with no meaning, but erect it solidifies the concept being presented. By placing the violent on the beautiful the balance has been achieved and follows the past works the artist has produced, works that also carry difficult debates on beautiful structures.
The Centre Pompidou has acquired the work for its permanent collection.
Dior Lady ArtCOMMISSION - Dior December 21, 2021
Manal has been commissioned by Dior to reinvent the Lady Dior bag for the sixth edition of #DiorLadyArt . Referencing her own past output and her Saudi heritage, the three banfs convey the aesthetics of her art practice and how it is transferred onto an objet of desire, utilizing photographic imagery, embroideries, and including a unique sculptural piece inspired by the desert rose crystal. In addition, she reinterprets the characteristics "DIOR" charms in Arabic lettering.
Feeling the Stones : Curated by Philip Tinari and Wedjan RedaEXHIBTION - First Ad-Diriyah Biennale of Contemporary Art From December, 2021 to March 11, 2022
In the section “Going Public” Manal AlDowayan’s shows the installation “Tree of Guardians” .
In Tree of Guardians, brass leaves inscribed with women’s names float in the air like a conversation, surrounded by more than 300 drawings of maternal family trees. In preparation for this work, AlDowayan organized workshops across three cities in Saudi Arabia, in which participants were invited to respond to the question “when do women disappear from memory?” Participants reflected on the women in their own families, recovering their memories from traditional patriarchal lineages. These narratives echo the oral storytelling traditions through which Saudi women keep cultural heritage and collective legacy alive across generations.
The 2021 installation for the biennale has two new elements: All the genealogical tree drawings made in the women's workshops were included in the exhibition, and in addition, it also has a participatory element: in an area by the entrance, visitors are invited to record the history of the maternal side of their families, joining in the work of these women as preservers, transmitters, and guardians of personal and collective histories. AlDowayan aims to inspire visitors to “engage others in conversations about the past, present, and future” and continue to “create a ripple effect of active preservation.”