Studio Orta - 70 x 7 The Meal Act XLVI⎟Diriyah

70 x 7 The Meal Act XLVI⎟Diriyah

16 March 2024
2024 Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale, Saudi Arabia

As part of the 2024 Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale public program, Lucy + Jorge Orta will stage a sohour meal for the local community, making this the 46th activation of their ongoing participatory project 70 x 7 The Meal

A long table installation for 300 guests will overlook Wadi Hanifah, a seasonal river and caravan route that historically led pilgrims along the valley to the market sustaining them with food and water along the way. The menu is prepared by Chef Hissa Alhuthaili (Suhail) based on local food traditions and interventions by local Saudi artists, botanists, heritage experts, farmers will punctuate the evening. The table artworks created by Lucy + Jorge specifically for the occasion include a limited edition of Royal Limoges porcelain plates and hand embroidered table centrepieces that draw attention to the natural fertility of the Wadi Hanifah and the garden city of Riyadh, faced with the encroachment of the urban development and loss of traditional knowledge. Field research on the native local species in collaboration with botanists from NCVC, and on the symbolic meaning of traditional Sadu motifs (Atharna), come together in these table artworks through a lexicon of figurative and abstract geometric shapes to share a new language of resilience.

Special thanks to the National Centre for Vegetation Cover Development & Combating Desertification (NCVC); Dr Dlayel bint Mutlaq bin Shafi Al-Qahtani (Atharna); DBF co-curators Ute Meta Bauer, Wejdan Reda, Anca Rujoiu with curatorial assistants Amina Diab, Dian Arumningtyas, Alanood A. Al-Sudairi.