Tuesday 12th August 2014, 6pm 

Ahmed Mater in conversation with Lina Lazaar 

Internationally renowned Saudi artist Ahmed Mater will take part in his first public talk in the UK to discuss the role of photography in recording the often radical processes of social realignment that come hand in hand with the modernisation of cities, in particular across Saudi Arabia. In his most recent series of large-scale photographs, which have been displayed at the Armory Show in New York, Athr Gallery in Jeddah and in the Sharjah Biennial in 2013, Mater shows cities such as Mecca in forms of transition that have no precedent in the region. Bringing together a hybrid form of Islamic and western urban architectural models, the plans being used in cities such as Mecca make for an uneasy fit that does little to accommodate social and religious realities on the ground. From this starting point, Mater will also discuss this work in relation to other cities such as Medina and Jerusalem. 

This summer series of Tuesday Talks has been curated by Lina Lazaar and Anthony Downey. Lina Lazaar is founder of Jeddah Art Week, member of the Middle East North Africa Acquisitions Committee of the Tate in London and former curator of largest pan-Arab show at the 54th Venice Biennial Venice Bienale. Anthony Downey is an academic and writer as well as Programme Director of Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s Institute of Art. 

This cutting-edge series of talks coincides with the pre-sale exhibition in Sotheby’s London galleries of highlights from its Doha sale of Middle Eastern and International Contemporary art which will take place in Doha this October. The exhibition will be on view in London from 22nd July – 22nd August 2014. Please see a separate press release for further details.

DO1401_recirc_bisAhmed Mater, Magnetisme III, 2012

Born in Saudi Arabia, Ahmed Mater continues to live and work there. When he was 18, he became a founding member of Al-Miftaha Arts Village in Abha, the capital of Asir province in Saudi Arabia, while also studying medicine. In 2008, he co-founded Edge of Arabia and since found his work collected on an international scale. His interdisciplinary art, encompassing photography, calligraphy, painting, installation, performance and video, explores the narratives and aesthetics of Islamic culture in an era of rampant globalization, consumerism and transformation. His work has been shown internationally and collected by Tate Modern, UK, The British Museum, UK, The Victoria & Albert Museum, UK, Los Angeles County Museum, USA, Mori Art Museum, Japan, Green Box Museum, Netherlands, Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE, and Art Jameel, Saudi Arabia.