Studio Orta - Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale 2024

Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale 2024

20 February 2024 - 24 May 2023
JAX District, Diriyah, Saudi Arabia
Group exhibition

After Rain, 2024 Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale under the artistic direction of Ute Meta Bauer, opens up a moment of revitalisation and renewal, as a nurturing entity, filled with life, while acknowledging the necessity of water for all forms of life that dwell and seek shelter on our planet. The biennale hosts 100 artists and researchers situating their work in a wider narrative of the coexistence of humans and non-humans. All life-forms are exposed to the effects of climate change—torrential rains, lack of rain, unpredictable rain—and its effects of forced displacement, the destruction of habitats and livelihoods, and the extinction of species. Concerns about access to clean water, food, and shelter have become the norm. The biennale amplifies the need not only to listen but also to be heard as well as the capacity to cultivate kinship are therefore essential for a liveable future.

The installation OrtaWater Purification Factory by Lucy + Jorge Orta magnifies shared concerns about access to water, as this severely impacts the habitats of humans and other life forms. The work offers a potential solution for water purification and has already proved that the most polluted rivers and canals of Venice, Shanghai, Rotterdam, Paris, and Singapore can be transformed into clean, flowing life-sources. Here at the Diriyah biennale, the sculpture-assemblage looks out of the large windows to the Wadi Hanifah, an important seasonal riverbed that extends across Diriyah, suggesting a dialogue between this unique landscape.

Special thanks to DBF co-curators Ute Meta Bauer, Wejdan Reda, Rose Lejeune, Anca Rujoiu, Ana Salazar Herrera, Rahul Gudipudi with curatorial assistants Amina Diab, Dian Arumningtyas, Alanood A. Al-Sudairi.