Archival Aesthetics

29 May 2022

Prince Faisal bin Fahd Arts Hall


29 May 2022 - 11 Jun 2022


Prince Faisal bin Fahd Arts Hall

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Visual Art

Masaha Residency Showcase

4:00 - 10:00 p.m.

Misk Art Institute invited Saudi and international creatives across creative disciplines to explore the 2022 spring Masaha Residency theme “Archival Aesthetics”. The residency brought together emerging and mid-career creatives, hosting ten artists and one writer for a three-month period of discourse, research, and experimentation at Prince Faisal bin Fahd Arts Hall in Riyadh.

Images have changed history—and technology has changed what is remembered and how people react to memory. With the theme of Archival Aesthetics, this cycle of the Masaha Residency has brought together ten lens-based artists and one writer-in-residence to explore how their mediums redefine nostalgia, and how memory can collapse time and make experiences both shared and personal through their practice. 

Bringing together residents from Saudi, Kuwait, and Australia, this research-focused residency encompassed international mentorship, masterclasses with world-renowned practitioners, and a space for critical thought in this exciting moment in Saudi’s history. While each artist has approached the residency theme differently, commonalities in subject and style have evolved organically over time. Our residents have opened their studios for two weeks, inviting you to take an intimate look at their artistic practice and process by exploring their research.

Throughout the residency, many questions have arisen around the definitions of the archive. The collecting of records and objects around a particular theme or from a certain origin has been a cross-continental, human practice since time immemorial. Archives are often thought of as stagnant repositories—void of action. Some of our residents have explored the archives of their families, given new meaning to the records of their communities, while others have created new archives altogether, collecting fastidiously from the world around them at this moment in time. 

The showcase will be accompanied by eight days of resident led talks, workshops, and opportunities to listen and engage with the creatives-in-residence. You may find the programming schedule on our Public Programs page