Misk Art Week
1 December - 5 DecemberFree
Misk Art Institute’s annual flagship event again showcases groundbreaking multidisciplinary art and critical discourse, this year exploring the theme of Takween: Form.
Programme highlights of the fifth edition of Misk Art Week include the Misk Art Grant exhibition, Masaha Residency showcase, the annual Misk flagship exhibition (Here, Now, curated by Sacha Craddock, which has been running ), and a schedule program of workshops, tours, and talks throughout the week-long event.
The creative forum, five days of talks, panels, roundtables, masterclasses, and workshops, is at the core of Misk Art Week. Guest speakers include some familiar names – Simon Njami (writer, curator, and a guest curator at Abu Dhabi Art this year); Wael Al Awar (architect, Co-Curator of the UAE Pavilion 2021 at the Venice Architecture Biennale); and Moath AlOafi (artist, cofounder of Erth Team).
Alongside the forum, Misk Art Week presents over 40 workshops, focusing on exploring identity through different mediums, with the aim of placing community engagement and outreach at its very core.
Once again, the event adopts a hybrid format, taking place at the Faisal bin Fahd Arts Hall in Riyadh and online via the Institute’s website.
On the art-in-practice front there are new works produced as part of the second iteration of the Misk Art Grant, probably the region’s most ambitious such programme; it gives emerging and mid-career artists the chance to realise their projects via rigorous mentorship with curators and specialists. For its second year, the Grant expanded its geographical scope to include other Arab artists alongside Saudi nationals, with the nine 2021 recipients also hailing from Algeria, Bahrain, Kuwait, and the UAE (artists Latifa Saeed and Afra Al Dhaheri, and architects Jawaher Almutairi and Mira Almazrooei). The fund was also doubled this year, to SAR 1 million (AED 979,320) .
Also on show is the Masaha Residency, part of the Institute’s vision to support both Saudi and international practitioners across artistic disciplines in the research and production of new works and provide them with invaluable mentorship opportunities. Its second iteration aligns with the Institute’s mission to cultivate a culture of art writing and criticism, presenting works by 10 visual artists and, for the first time in the region, one writer-in-residence, under the theme of HOME: Being and Belonging.
Virtual tours are available via the Misk Art Institute website for Here, Now and the Misk Art Grant exhibition (or so we’re told, but we couldn’t find it).
Above: Saad Alhowed, Memory Melting (2020)