The renowned Saudi arts initiative Edge of Arabia, with support from the Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives, returns this year to the 55th Biennale di Venezia (Venice Biennale) in an exhibition entitled RHIZOMA (Generation in Waiting), curated by Sara Raza.

Sidana Installation by Basmah Felemban
Sidana Installation by Basmah Felemban

The name of the exhibition carries more meaning behind it than its literal definition. The literal meaning of the word comes from the ancient Greek word used for an underground root of a plant that spreads its roots both vertically and horizontally. Used in particular to name this exhibition, Rhizoma is a representation of the contemporary art movement of bold and hungry Saudi artists who are challenging the norms by creating inspiring projects using various forms of visual artworks.

Yoda by Shaweesh
Yoda by Shaweesh

Sara Raza, a London based art critic and curator heading the exhibition as the main curator, states, “Rhizoma is a curatorial project with infinite possibilities to form multiple endings and create new beginnings. The nature of Saudi Arabia's art production is comparable to an actual rhizoma. There is an exciting emerging art scene inside Saudi Arabia that exists at the grassroots and it is purposefully making its ascent upwards. These artists are part of a subterranean network, independent and distinctive in their styles and approach, technologically astute, experimental and possess the ability to break away from the mainstream.”

The exhibition will show the works of the following artists many of whom are creating new works unique to the exhibition; Abdulkarim Qassem, Abdullah Alothman, Ahaad Alamoudi, Ahmad Angawi, Basmah Felemban, Batool Alshomrani, Dana Awrtani, Eiman Elgibreen, Eyad Maghazil, Heba Abed, Huda Beydoun, Majid Althobaity, Mala’a Al-Amoudi, Mohammad Makki, Nasser Salem, Nora A.Almazrooa, Nouf Alhimiary, Omamah AlSadiq, Ramy Alqthamy, Saeed Salem, Sami Al-Turki, Sarah AbuAbdallah, Sarah Al Abdali, Shaweesh, and YouTube sensations Telfaz 11 and U-Turn.

The diverse and eclectic collections of works include photography, sculptures, video art, textiles, and installations, among other mediums.

A unique "rhizomatic" structure will be especially designed and built for RHIZOMA, will function as an extension to the exhibition, providing a physical platform for a number of artworks on display.

To accompany the exhibition, there will be a series of artist talks and panels which will be streamed live via the Internet, allowing audiences worldwide to take part in the RHIZOMA experience.

Surely a spectacle not to be missed, if you are anywhere in Europe, it is worth it to make the trip to Venice, one of the most beautiful cities in the world, not only to enjoy its beautiful scenery, but to delight in the great groundbreaking art brought to you by Saudi Arabia's most revolutionary artists.

RHIZOMA (Generation in Waiting) by Edge of Arabia will be at the 55th Venice Biennale from May 30th – September 24th September 2013 at Magazzini del Sale, No. 262 Dorsoduro Fondamenta delle Zattere, Venice (ACTV stop: Line 1, Salute) . For more information visit

– Sharifa Al Badi

Images courtesy of Edge of Arabia

Eiman Elgibreen - Do not Judge Me
Do not Judge Me by Eiman Elgibreen
Eiman Eligibreen Installation Does a Face Make a Difference
Does a Face Make a Difference Installation by Eiman Eligibreen
Huda Beydoun, Documenting The Undocumented
Documenting The Undocumented by Huda Beydoun
Still from Takki Trailer - Majed Produced by Cinema of Arabia & UTURN
Still from Takki Trailer – Majed Produced by Cinema of Arabia & UTURN
Telfaz11 Family
Telfaz11 Family
Widadi by Dana Awartani
Widadi by Dana Awartani
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