In line with their mission to promote Middle Eastern art to a greater public, Ayyam Projects is supporting the group exhibition RHIZOMA (Generation in Waiting) during at the 55th edition of the Venice Biennale. The show is organized by Edge of Arabia and curated by art critic and independent curator, Sara Raza. The works on display showcase visual art alongside technology, science and natural philosophy.
Ayyam Projects is Ayyam Gallery’s philanthropic arm, which supports the further development and promotion of Middle Eastern art through a variety of funding initiatives. Ayyam Projects focuses on supporting charities, not-for-profit organizations and in some cases, individual artists working within the region. Each year, Ayyam Projects selects a number of projects to work with, either on an on-going or project-by-project basis.
Previous initiatives of Ayyam Projects include the bi-annual Khaled Ead Samawi Scholarship of $100,000, awarded to fund an individual artist through their Master’s program. The most recent recipient is Lebanese artist Lara Atallah who is currently in the first year of her Master of Fine Arts degree at Parsons New School for Design.
Ayyam Projects also runs a series of competitions to help launch the careers of undiscovered artists. The Kunooz Pan-GCC Shabab Ayyam New Media Competition is the most recent one. It was announced in February 2013 and was open to emerging artists born after 1975 who are citizens from or those residing within the GCC of Arabic origin. The top three winners of the competition were awarded a touring exhibition in Ayyam Gallery’s Jeddah, Beirut and Dubai spaces.
Staged in partnership with Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives, RHIZOMA is a Collateral Event organized by Edge of Arabia. The works on show explore the visual vocabularies of a new generation of Saudi artists. It aims to shed light on contemporary creative practices and networks in present day Saudi Arabia.The exhibition’s premise draws from the actual rhizoma, the ancient Greek word for the underground root of a plant that shoots its roots both horizontally and vertically. Raza uses it as a metaphor for a bold new generation of artists who are challenging the force
of gravity through inspiring projects.
RHIZOMA runs until 24 September.