Jeddah

Rund Alarabi, Mahjoub Sharif, 2019, HD video, color, sound, 2 minutes 24 seconds. From “Durational Portrait: A Brief Overview of Video Art in Saudi Arabia.”

Rund Alarabi, Mahjoub Sharif, 2019, HD video, color, sound, 2 minutes 24 seconds. From “Durational Portrait: A Brief Overview of Video Art in Saudi Arabia.”

“Durational Portrait: A Brief Overview of Video Art in Saudi Arabia”

ATHR

“Durational Portrait: A Brief Overview of Video Art in Saudi Arabia,” curated by Tara Aldughaither and Afia Bin Taleb, brought together work by forty-eight artists from the late 1990s to the present, with sections labeled “Beginnings,” “Identity,” “Connection,” and, for the most current work, “Recovery.” Though it didn’t claim to be exhaustive, it was an outstanding exhibition, one of the first to essay a proper historical survey of an important medium in Saudi art.

The works reflected global political events as well as internal changes in the kingdom. Some of the works in the “Identity” section underlined the political responses to the anti-Muslim and anti-Saudi sentiment that proliferated after September 11, 2001. The reaction to the Arab Spring (in works in the “Connection” segment) was also striking: The region’s calls for democratic reform reverberated within the kingdom, coming just

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