Image: Now You See Me, Now You Don’t, Manal AlDowayan, 2020. Photo courtesy Manal AlDowayan and Desert X, photo by Lance Gerber.
UreCulture works for the Saudi artist Manal AlDowayan with ongoing advice and review of contractual agreements that are required as part of her studio´s projects, with a focus on public art which is becoming a core part of her artistic practice with her recent commission for Desert X Al Ula as an example.
Manal AlDowayan is long invested in interrogating the gender-biased customs that impact the condition of women in Saudi Arabia, Al Dowayan is a sensitive yet critical witness to the cultural metamorphosis engulfing the Kingdom. Her practice regularly shifts and evolves—from the assertive black and white photographic portraits of highly skilled working women in her early I Am series (2005), to the research-driven Crash (2014) documenting media silence on fatal road accidents involving commuting women schoolteachers. Equally recognized for her work in sound, neon, and sculpture, AlDowayan is perhaps best known for the participatory installations Suspended Together (2011) and Esmi-My Name (2012), the result of workshops offering channels for thousands of women in the Kingdom to address unjust social customs.
AlDowayan’s work has been exhibited regionally and internationally in such institutions as the Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE (2016); Santander Art Gallery, Madrid (2016); Los Angeles County Museum of Art, USA (2015); the Aga Khan Museum, Toronto, Canada (2015); Prospect New Orleans, American Biennial, USA (2014), Gwangju Museum of Art, South Korea (2014); Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha (2014), the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (2013), in collateral shows at the Venice Biennale (2009/11), among others. Her works can be found in the collections of the British Museum, London; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark and Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha. She participated in the Robert Rauschenberg Residency, Captiva, USA (2015) and the artist-in-residence program at the Delfina Foundation, London (2009). She also received a research fellowship from New York University Abu Dhabi (2014). She holds a Master’s Degree in Systems Analysis and Design and a MA in Contemporary Art Practice in Public Spheres from the Royal College of Art, London. Born in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia in 1973, Al Dowayan currently lives and works between London, Dhahran and Dubai.
Project type: Public Art, Cultural Management
Location: Various Worldwide