Manal AlDowayan – Now You See Me, Now You Don’t (2020)
Commissioned by Desert X and the Royal Commission of AlUla, photo by Lance Gerber courtesy Manal AlDowayan and Desert X
In 2020, commissioned by Desert X and the Royal Commission of AlUla (Saudi Arabia Ministry of Culture), Manal created a set of puddle-like installations made out of huge trampolines that could be touched, laid on, jumped on and observed by the public, with this experience allowing people to reflect on the environment this artwork has been placed in, the very dry desert of AlUla. Now You See Me, Now You Don’t, are the words that a humble puddle in the desert of Saudi Arabia would say to any of her curious visitors. She knows that she is only here for a brief moment of time.
Climate change and irresponsible man made irrigation practices has made water scarcity one of the most important issues facing my country today. These puddles are indicators of the impending water crisis and the disappearance of these puddles is what I want to examine in this artwork, conceptually speaking I am using this artwork to underline the impact of absence and the politics of visibility.
— Get to know Manal by viewing her interview below where she discusses another body of her work