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Portraits From the Kochi Biennale: Multimedia Artist Ahmed Mater

December 17, 2013

At the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in the Kerala State city of Kochi, India Ink interviewed several exhibiting artists about their work, their expectations for the biennale and the politics of art. The fair will continue until March 13.

The Newyork Times

Ahmed Mater: Desert of Pharan Statement by the artist about his project focused on the rapid urban development in the holy city of Makkah.

March 31, 2013

Desert of Pharan is an ongoing project that documents the rapid development of Islam’s holiest city. The title is taken from the ancient name for Makkah (Mecca), or the wilderness and mountains surrounding it, which is Faran

Nafas Art Magazine

Art review: Sharjah Biennial, Re:emerge: Towards a New Cultural Cartography

March 25, 2013

In an age of confusing, sprawling art exhibitions, the current Sharjah Biennial stands out as an intelligent, tightly curated show featuring some hard-edged works that ever so slightly unsettle the delicate political and cultural ecosystems in the Gulf.


Dubai: a safe place for unsafe ideas? Dubai may become an unlikely locus of artistic freedom in the region

March 21, 2013

The Saudi-based Athr Gallery is showing the work of Ahmed Mater, supersized aerial photographs of the fast-developing area around Mecca and a critique, Mater says, of overzealous planning. The pictures, all cranes and 

Financial Times

Mecca: Artificial Light

October 25, 2012

This week, approximately three million people are heading to Mecca for the hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage that is also one of the five pillars of Islam. For the past three years, artist Ahmed Mater has traveled 

Creative Time Reports

 Saudi Arabian artist Ahmed Mater - video

October 03, 2012

Artificial Light / Desert of Pharan by the Saudi artist Ahmed Mater shows sides of Mecca usually unfamiliar to western eyes, and possibly religious tourists. It shows Mecca as a living city, with markets and nightlife, as well as the commercial redevelopment of its holy sites

The Guardian

Pilgrims’ progress The British Museum’s exhibition about the Hajj shows that modernity and secularism do not always go hand in hand

January 27, 2012

It is a journey that has changed the lives of many of the millions who have completed it. Yet the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca that is one of the five pillars of the Islamic faith, has been relatively little studied and understood in the west. It is not for lack of curiosity. In the early 16th century Italian aristocrat Ludovico 

Finanial Times

The picture is changing Saudi artists and comedians are enjoying a thin breath of freedom

January 27, 2012

SAUDI ARABIA's response to the Arab spring might be described as allergic. The tiniest whiff of protest last March prompted the government to outlaw demonstrations. Even as women, in effect, continue to be banned from driving, and dissidents jailed or banned from travelling, a new media law has clamped tighter restrictions on the 

The Economist

The story of Mecca as it's never been told before

January 25, 2012

From a few thousand people traveling by camel in the 7th century to three million a year today: The story of the Hajj -- the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca -- is an epic journey.


Mecca at the museum Hajj exhibition

January 17, 2012

The British Museum is to stage a major exhibition dedicated to the hajj, the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. Hajj: journey to the heart of Islam will bring together historic and contemporary objects – including manuscripts, textiles, archaeological items and photography – to explore the experience and importance of the pilgrimage.

The Guardian

Contemporary Artists Rock the Boat Gently in Saudi Arabia

January 17, 2012

DUBAI — “Saudi artists want to talk,” Ahmed Mater says. “I think the world should listen.”

His works, along with those of 21 other Saudi artists, 9 of whom are women, are on display through Feb. 18 at the Al Furusia Marina in Jidda in an exhibit called “We Need To Talk.”

The newyork Times

Man of illumination

August 10, 2011

In Saudi, the old and traditional beliefs collapsed. I denied my ex- isting values. I went through an in- ner turmoil but still learned from traditional teachings imposed on me, whether religious, cultural, social or political. I assimilated all these ideas and then tried to de- stroy them.

NY Art Magazine

Saudi artist targeted over Jeruselum show

August 10, 2011

The Saudi artist Ahmed Mater has become the subject of an online campaign in Saudi Arabia calling for his immediate censure by the Saudi government, following the inclusion of his work Evolution of Man, 2010, in an exhibition in Israel.

Art Newspaper

From the inside out

August 10, 2010

With Contemporary art from Saudi Arabia continuing to turn heads, some of the trailblazing artists involved come from unusual backgrounds. Warren Singh Bartlett and James Parry discuss Ahmed Mater’s seemingly diverse set of skills and experiences into works that are both thought- provoking and profoundly beautiful.

Canvas Magazine

UAE rivalry strikes false Biennale chord

July 12, 2009

In fact, there is not just one Emirati pitch in the prestigious arts festival's most coveted area - the Arsenale - but two; a national pavilion in the name of the Emirates and a platform for the country's capital, Abu Dhabi.

But if the pavilion is national by name, you would be forgiven for mistaking it for a showcase for the UAE's most high-profile emirate, Dubai.

BBC News

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