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Miami

Spinning in Circles, Spinning by Ahaad Alamoudi

Curated by Zoe Lukov

Postponed until further notice because COVID19

Faena Bazaar, Fourth Floor gallery
3400 Collins Ave
Faena Miami Beach
Free and open to the public

FAENA ART is pleased to announce Spinning in Circles, Spinning the first solo exhibition of Ahaad Alamoudi in the United States which will feature  three multi-media video installations: Those who don’t know falcons grill them (2018), Self-Portrait as a Pomegranate (2017), and v=YGvLDDWwLEk (2016) which will be on view at the Faena Bazaar fourth floor gallery March 18th – 22th, 2020.

Ahaad Alamoudi is a multidisciplinary artist whose works involves ethnographical studies that trace the intersection between the past history and the current cultural climate in Saudi Arabia. Alamoudi’s research focuses on the way that video and digital expression, particularly in the internet age, allow communities to measure, define, reinterpret and translate their heritage. Her work approaches the archiving of historical narratives that are woven within and throughout families and communities while subverting them and making new connections.  The video works on view are conceived as entirely immersive environments that generally include installation elements which encourage a shift in the understanding of cultural and geographic space.

Appropriating the internet video and the homemade music video format, her works plumb traditional and folkloric symbols from Saudi Arabia while also highlighting and juxtaposing her personal narrative as woman artist living and working in the region. She creates hybrid collages in video and multimedia that are often sharply funny while at the same time underlining and revealing a kind of regional contemporary cultural DNA.

Ahaad Alamoudi affirmed “In an attempt to negotiate and accept change, I found that a lot of what I’ve been currently producing is a reaction of the time and not a reflection of it. Due to the rapid dissemination of information; appropriation of art and information has excelled into unimaginable speeds. This idea of motion and constant movement is what I examine within the works selected to the show Spinning in circles spinning”.

Zoe Lukov, Chief Curator of Faena Art stated, “The series of videos on view by Ahaad Alamoudi provide a brief snapshot of the way that a young, emerging video artist from the Middle East is engaging with her potential power to transform interpretations about culture. The three works explore the importance of music and dance in both Saudi Arabian traditional and contemporary culture and makes the case for cultural hybridity that draws on the past but reinterprets it for new audiences as a way of breaking down sociocultural divides.”

Self-Portrait as a Pomegranate is a work about womanhood, femininity and sexuality as well as the artist’s personal experience co-existing socially and politically between East and West. Alamoudi is interested in confronting the western gaze on Arabian culture with her own experience as a Saudi woman through the construction of a hyper staged reality.  Written by a Kuwaiti poet, Abdullah Hameed Alsaeed, the song recited within the work is an ode to a female lover that is upset. The song, “O Pomegranate” gained its popularity within the Arab world in the early 60´s and is still often interpreted by artists, actors and musicians from around the region sustaining and cementing its popularity and presence within Arab popular culture.

In Those who don’t know falcons grill them (2018), a group of young men perform the Khabayti, a hybrid dance influenced by both Hejazi and Sufi traditions, traditionally used by men in preparation and training for war and now more typically performed at social gatherings. The result is a choreography of swirling men and their swords. The male dancers are all wearing custom garments that while taking a traditional form of dress for this dance, in this case depict a collaged pattern of falcons—the national bird of Saudi Arabia which represents courage, power, and identity. The performers move to the sounds of the mizmar, a wind instrument common in traditional Arabic music.

v=YGvLDDWwLEk (2016) takes as its point of departure an underground song called Tini Warwar [the title itself is the YouTube address for the track] that has found its way into the mainstream of the Arab world and effectively took over the music scene in Saudi Arabia in 2013, becoming a touchstone for an emerging underground culture that was forming across YouTube and other areas of the internet. A wide variety of musicians and singers started making their own rendition of the song which were shared, and re-shared and reinterpreted via a burgeoning form of digital communication that liberated the young and creative Saudi community to communicate across divides of family, tribe and gender.  It was so completely absorbed eventually by the mainstream that it is still considered a favorite among Saudi wedding singers—an example of the underground fully emerging and influencing contemporary culture and society.

The song itself is a reflection of the effects of globalization and the struggle of hegemony that is occurring currently in Saudi Arabia. The composition is a hybrid of western influences like Bob Marley and traditional beats from Saudi, while the lyrics reflect a tension between past and present as well as contemporary views on power, money, social and political influence and hierarchy.



Exhibition and Opening Hours

Opening and reception: Wednesday March 18th from 6-10 pm
A conversation between Ahaad Alamoudi and Zoe Lukov, Chief Curator of Faena Art, will take place at 7 pm.

The exhibition will be open to the public on:
Thursday, Friday and Saturday March 19th, 20th and 21st from 12 to 8 pm
Sunday March 22nd from 12 to 6 pm.



About Ahaad Alamoudi

(b.1991, Jeddah, KSA) raised between England and Saudi Arabia, lives and works in Jeddah. Travelling between the two kingdoms, Ahaad’s work addresses history and representation. She graduated from Dar Al Hekma University in Jeddah with a BA in Visual Communication in 2014 and graduated with an MA in Print from the Royal College of Art in 2017. In her research about Saudi’s reforming ethnography, Ahaad’s photography, video and print installations aim at altering the historical rendition of Saudi Arabia.

Her most recent solo exhibition titled Heat Burns, Athr Gallery, Jeddah (2020) was presented during 21,39. Group shows include: Colour Bar, Maraya Art Center, Sharjah (2019); Screens Series, New Museum, NYC (2019); Public/Private, Historical Jeddah (2019); Out of Place, Athr Gallery, Jeddah (2019); Al Obour, SAC, Jeddah (2019;  Young Arab Exhibition, ArtX, NYC (2018); MANWAR, Hafez Gallery, Jeddah (2018); Refusing to be Still, SAC, Jeddah (2018); The Parallel Kingdom exhibition at the Station Museum in Houston; The Generation exhibition at Minnesota Street Project in San Francisco and in the Phantom Punch exhibition at Bates College of Art in Lewiston, Maine (2017 & 2016); We Need to Talk, Edge of Arabia, Jeddah (2012), Young Saudi Artists, Athr Gallery, Jeddah (2012) and others.


Support for the exhibition is generously provided by Red Bull.
Additional support provided by Perrier, Illy, Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Curio at Faena Bazaar

Ahaad Alamoudi

Those who don't know falcons grill them, 2018 (still). HD video, sound, color; 7:01 min.
Courtesy the artist and Athr Gallery, Jeddah.

Ahaad Alamoudi

Those who don't know falcons grill them, 2018 (still). HD video, sound, color; 7:01 min.
Courtesy the artist and Athr Gallery, Jeddah.

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