This Year’s 21,39 Highlights

The event ends soon!

If you’re in Jeddah, you must know that the event of the season is happening right now, the eighth edition of the 21,39 exhibitions not to miss under any circumstances. Started in June and closing on September the 7th, the efforts of the Saudi Art Council for putting Saudi Arabia on the forefront of the Contemporary Arts scene internationally are taking the art wanderers to a journey of a whole new level. 

This year’s edition, entitled ‘The Secrets of The Alidades’ and curated by French art historian and academic Fabien Danesi, showcases the works of over 30 artists around the theme of the universe and the galaxy. For those who are unfamiliar with astronomy and space, an alidade is a scientific and astronomical device used many years ago for determining directions or measuring angles by pointing to a star to determine directions.

“This tool was used in the context of navigation, but here the alidade are the artworks. It means that my approach is allegorical. The subject of the show will be astronomy and cartography, but not necessarily in a literal way,” says Danesi.

Jeddah’s cultural staple features the works and collections from prominent regional artists including Nasser El Salem, Aisha Zakiya and Bashaer Hawsawi to name just a few. Now if you’re not in Jeddah but looking to take a peek at the artworks exhibited, we got you.

You can go through the journey here too.

Nasser Al Salem

The First Space Shuttle (2021)

Nasser Al Salem, The First Space Shuttle (2021)
Nasser Al Salem, The First Space Shuttle (2021)

The old and new meet through Nasser Al Salem’s artistic delivery. Drawing inspiration from the ancient world of Bedouins to more modern and futuristic personifications of space and exploration, The First Space Shuttle is an eye-catching piece that’s worth watching take off.

Basheer Hawsawi

Untitled (2021)

Basheer Hawsawi, Untitled (2021)
Basheer Hawsawi, Untitled (2021)

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade or a diorama. Reminiscent of her own childhood, Basheer Hawsawi explores sun and light with a motorised lemon squeezer in a framework that only the artist can personally connect to.

Mohamed Alsanie

The Past That Didn’t Occur (2021)

Mohamed Alsanie, The Past That Didn't Occur (2021)
Mohamed Alsanie, The Past That Didn’t Occur (2021)

Ever imagined what a promenade through Jeddah felt like? That’s exactly what Mohamed Alsanie is trying to explore. Through 3D scenes, the artist’s video installation is an abstract one that strays away from most creations seen at this year’s expo.

Sarra Ouhaddou

Al Kalima (2020)

Sarra Ouhaddou

Al Kalima is a spheric piece of art that uses illusion and several crafts to serve it purpose. Very influenced by the artists own North African background, Sarah’s moroccan heritage can explicitly be felt through the colour, shapes and forms used in her latest endeavour.



Photos Courtesy of Saudi Art Council

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