January 24, 2024

Historic Jeddah exhibition puts new perspective on everyday objects

Historic Jeddah exhibition puts new perspective on everyday objects

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The Historic Jeddah exhibition, titled “Matters Through Matter,” revolutionizes how we perceive everyday objects. Held in the Jeddah Historic District, this display is a key element of the Balad Al-Fann arts and culture initiative. It boldly questions the conventional human-centric view of the world. Jeddah’s own Jumana Ghouth, in collaboration with Graham Harman, has curated this exhibition. It draws visitors into a realm where objects reveal their enigmatic and existential qualities, steering our reality from the known to the mysterious.

Historic Jeddah exhibition

Matters Through Matter’, part of Balad Al-Fann, challenges human-centric views.

This exhibition, open until March 9 at Sharbatly House in Al-Balad, ingeniously combines modern art with the area’s historical architecture. It features installations from 35 artists, both local and international. Marlon De Azambuja presents his first piece, “A Light That Crosses the Space and Shows Us a Strange Path,” at Rubat Al-Khunji. This work explores a personal inner space that reaches outward. Meanwhile, Saudi artist and architect Aseel Al-Amoudi has been actively involved in public interventions within this historic district.

‘Matters Through Matter’ exhibition in Al-Balad features 35 local and international artists. (Supplied)

The ‘Matters Through Matter’ exhibition in Al-Balad features 35 local and international artists. (Supplied)

Ghouth, serving as both curator and art advisor, emphasizes that “Matters Through Matter” extends beyond human confines. The exhibition employs object-oriented ontology to endow the artworks with their unique existence and agency. This approach enhances their complexity and renders them profoundly enigmatic. Harman, a philosophy professor and advocate for object-oriented philosophy, echoes this sentiment. He explains that the exhibition refutes the idea that objects are merely tools for human use. Instead, it positions them as central to our investigations, highlighting their dynamic interactions and elusive nature.

Reimagining Reality: The Transformative Power of the Historic Jeddah Exhibition

The Historic Jeddah exhibition also considers absence as an object, encouraging artists to focus on voids left by modern civilization. These aesthetic metaphors and interconnections spawn new realities, with interpretations led by the viewer’s perception, Ghouth notes. The exhibition thus celebrates each artwork’s inherent diversity.

An art enthusiast, Laila Hameed shares her experience: “‘Matters Through Matter’ is an extraordinary journey that redefines our reality perception.” She highlights how combining contemporary works with Al-Balad’s historical architecture creates a mesmerizing environment where objects captivate our attention. Another visitor, Rouad Mohammed, remarks: “This exhibition is a breath of fresh air for artists like me, pushing art’s boundaries and encouraging the exploration of objects’ hidden meanings.” He credits “Matters Through Matter” with reigniting his passion for creating transcendent art.

Source: Arab News

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