Brand New Ancients

15 Mar 2023

Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Arts Hall


15 Mar 2023 - 15 Jun 2023


Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Arts Hall

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“When they excavate the modern day, they’ll find us, The Brand New Ancients”

4:00 - 10:00 p.m. 

Click here to view the virtual exhibition 

Click here to view (and download) the exhibition catalog

The poet Kae Tempest addresses our relationship to history in the poem “Brand New Ancients.” Taking inspiration from the poem and its title, the exhibition expands on the connections between our present, our ancestors, and our cultural history. Rather than being static and archaic, Brand New Ancients considers how traditions continue to evolve and inform our contemporary lives.

The exhibition proposes the notion that without innovation traditions die, and without tradition there is nothing to innovate.

Bringing together works by seventeen artists, Brand New Ancients highlights the role of contemporary art in innovating and expanding our understanding of today’s world. By tapping into a vast history of culture and tradition, the artists build upon or pay homage to stories, objects, artistic approaches, and gestures that have shaped their view of the world. A few themes that emerge include the use of traditional material culture in contemporary art practice, the significance of language and the written word, and traditional methods and ideas used as a way to imagine futures.

The works of art in Brand New Ancients reveal a multitude of ways for reconnecting with traditions, and how this can be an innovative and valuable tool in navigating the challenges of today’s ever-changing world.

Participating Artists:

Abraham Cruzvillegas. Ahmed Mater. Dana Awartani. Derek Fordjour. Hamra Abbas . Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige. Lotus Laurie Kang. Maha Malluh. Nasser Alsalem. Ornaghi & Prestinari. Pacita Abad. Sarah Brahim. Sophia Al-Maria. Tarek Al-Ghoussein. Wardha Shabbir