Video documentation of 30 Days of Running in the Space will be brought to Venice, alongside footage from the uprisings in Tahrir Square.

One of this year's most ambitious projects, and a symbol the Middle East's firm presence at the Biennale, is The Future of a Promise - a 22-artist show that spans the creative output of 18 different countries in the Arab world, which opened yesterday.

The Future of a Promise has been brought together in the Maggazini Del Sale, the network of evocative 700-year old salt warehouses that sit on the water's edge in the Dorsoduro district. In this red brick space, curator Lina Lazaar has had the grand task of crafting a truly pan-Arab show.

"The formation of the show started in December," says Lazaar, who earned her stripes organising the first Arab and Iranian contemporary art auction in Sotheby's London branch in 2007. "I was thinking a lot about this idea of giving one's word to somebody and why that is so important in the Middle East. I was concerned with how I can try and translate that relevancy of promises and commitment in Arab societies into visual art."

Lazaar's final selection of artists for the show is suitably expansive, and serves to showcase a broad outlook of very contemporary artwork from across the region.

The exhibition has been organised concurrently with Edge of Arabia, the initiative set up to promote and exhibit the foremost names in contemporary art from Saudi Arabia. As a result, a number of prominent Saudi artists are featured, including Ahmed Mater and Abdulnasser Gharem. In addition, there are works by Lara Baladi, photography by Taysir Batniji and a fantastic video work by Yto Barrada, among others.

Lazaar is keen to emphasise that this show has many dimensions beyond the recent political events that have swept across the Arab world.

"Perhaps 2011 is one of many promises, but it's certainly not the sole one. There's also a promise of an artwork being explored here; that very interaction between a piece of art and the viewer," she says.

"I find it frustrating to think that there's an artwork there and it's not talking to me - whether it's too abstract, too heavily grounded in theory or as a continuum of art history. The minute that a work offers suggestions, an exchange, then in that is a message and a promise. The works in this show do that on a physical and conceptual level, and I think it's what makes the show very exciting."

With the recent events across the Middle East as a backdrop, international curiosity in these national contributions is high. But beyond that, the pavilions speak for themselves - expressions of the wealth of creative output coming out of the region right now.

نوشته شده در تاریخ پنجشنبه 12 خرداد 1390    | توسط: solmaz nilineshan    | طبقه بندی: اطلاع رسانی، هنرهای تجسمی،     |