Ithra of­fers artists chance to share pan­demic ex­pe­ri­ence

Arab News - - Front Page - Hala Tashkandi Riyadh

The King Ab­dul Aziz Cen­ter for World Cul­ture (Ithra) has launched its in­ter­na­tional COVID-19 Ex­hibit, a col­lec­tion of thoughts, mem­o­ries and re­flec­tions on peo­ple’s pan­demic ex­pe­ri­ence that can be ex­pressed through art.

Ithra started ac­cept­ing visi­tors again since the coro­n­avirus lock­down ended, but the ef­fects of the pan­demic re­main on peo­ple’s minds and in their ev­ery­day lives. The ex­hibit’s first phase is a vir­tual show high­light­ing ob­wel­come, jects that were par­tic­u­larly sig­nif­i­cant to mem­bers of the pub­lic dur­ing the pan­demic. Sub­mis­sions are be­ing in­vited for the sec­ond phase of the project.

Ex­am­ples of ob­jects be­ing sought in­clude new works of art or images of ob­jects of par­tic­u­lar im­por­tance: A pen, a photo of loved ones or

Ithra is in Saudi Ara­bia but, as a lead­ing cen­ter for global cul­ture, we want to in­clude peo­ple from around the world.

rel­a­tives, a diary, a mu­si­cal in­stru­ment, a book or a note from a fam­ily mem­ber.

The sec­ond phase, in 2021, will in­clude ob­jects se­lected by cu­ra­tors from the on­line sub­mis­sions. Th­ese will go on dis­play at Ithra in Dhahran. Ithra’s head of mu­se­ums, Laila Faddagh, said the ex­hibit was the per­fect op­por­tu­nity for the global com­mu­nity to tell their sto­ries dur­ing a dif­fi­cult and com­pli­cated time. “Art is about con­nect­ing peo­ple through cul­ture ... but we con­nect maybe even more eas­ily through com­mon ob­jects,” she said, adding that the ex­hibit was in­tended to be a fo­rum for cre­ativ­ity and self-ex­pres­sion for every­one. “Ithra is in Saudi Ara­bia but, as a lead­ing cen­ter for global cul­ture, we want to in­clude peo­ple from around the world. In the spirit of warmth and em­pa­thy — es­pe­cially now dur­ing the pan­demic — it is an op­por­tu­nity to con­nect with every­one, from any­where.”

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