Art Jameel, an arts organisation based between Saudi Arabia and the UAE, is due to open a new multidisciplinary art space on 11 November. The three-storey space designed by UK firm Serie Architects will take the form of a series of boxes in various dimensions in order to adapt to the diverse programming it will house.
As the centre responds to current needs that the region faces in terms of offering a Kunsthalle-type space for emerging artists to have their first shows, it will also feature quick-paced exhibitions and a platform to display permanent collections. Additionally, it will support large-scale sculptural and installation works, which will be initiated with the Art Jameel Commissions Sculpture 2018 winners Alia Farid and Aseel AlYaqoub. Their work Contrary Life: A Botanical Light Garden Devoted to Trees takes inspiration from the special Anouk Vogel-designed landscaping of the centre, as well as local flora and the concept of seven gardens each representing a desert environment.
Unique to the space however will be the introduction of a library dedicated to publications from the Middle East. Antonia Carver, director of Art Jameel, shares that this is a particularly exciting development as it will allow the public to trace the thought journey of each artist. Noting that the team believes in the idea of six degrees of separation, the library will aim to connect influences and through lines that have appeared in the cultural production within the region in the last few decades. This will be in the form of contemporary productions as well as older archival material, which while currently adopting a hands-on and first-hand collection, will eventually work towards digitalisation. The library will also serve as a research base upon which some of the rotating exhibitions at the centre will originate.
Further updates on the upcoming events and programming at Jameel Arts Centre can be found through hashtag #JameelArtsCentre, @Jameelartscentre on Instagram and Facebook, and @Jameelartsctr on Twitter.