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Manal Al-Dowayan to Showcase Saudi Arabia's Artistic Vision at Venice Biennale 2024

Contemporary Saudi artist Manal Al-Dowayan has been chosen to represent Saudi Arabia at the 60th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, scheduled from April 20 to November 24, 2024. The announcement was made by the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Culture’s Visual Arts Commission, responsible for the Saudi national pavilion in Venice, where Al-Dowayan's exhibition will be hosted.

Al-Dowayan, born in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, in 1973, employs various mediums such as photography, sound, and sculpture in her artistic expressions. Her art explores topics such as gender representation, customs, and shared memories. Specifically curated for the Biennale, her installation will align with the event's theme, "Foreigners Everywhere," emphasizing the differences among cultures.

A graduate of the Royal College of Art in London, Al-Dowayan challenges socio-political norms in her homeland through her art. Some of her most well-known pieces include the portrait series "If I Forget You Don’t Forget Me" (2012), featuring Saudi oil workers, and "And I, Will I Forget?" (2016) is a photography series that weaves tales of Saudi culture across generations. Her most recent piece, "From Shattered Ruins, New Life Shall Bloom" (2023), at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum encouraged viewers to smash porcelain scrolls as a representation of women taking back control of their personal histories.

In a statement, Al-Dowayan expressed her excitement about the rare opportunity presented by the Biennale Arte 2024 to showcase her position in the context of her community, country, and the global art scene. Represented by the Madrid-based gallery Sabrina Amrani, Al-Dowayan has exhibited her work internationally, including at prestigious venues like the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the British Museum, and the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris. The Venice Biennale 2024 will mark Saudi Arabia's fourth consecutive year of participation, providing an international platform for Al-Dowayan to delve further into collective memory and socio-political tensions within the art world.

Details about Al-Dowayan's installation for the event are yet to be disclosed. 

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