Don’t miss artist Manal AlDowayan as she introduces her body of work that is often described as participatory art. Manal has worked with hundreds of women across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on socially engaged artworks addressing themes of identity, voice, and memory. She will discuss the power structures that form in these communities of women and the spaces they occupy in a segregated public sphere.
Embracing diverse media, Manal AlDowayan's work encompasses black and white photography, sculpture, video, sound, neon, and large-scale participatory installations. Her artistic practice revolves around themes of active forgetting, archives, and collective memory, with a large focus on the state of Saudi women and their representation. She has documented social groups like the oil men and women of Saudi Arabia in her project If I Forget You Don't Forget Me, and has addressed the impact of mass media on propagating intentional erasing of identities in her project Crash, highlighting the unnamed Saudi teachers dying in car crashes across Saudi Arabia. Her participatory projects, like Tree of Guardians, Esmi-My Name, and Suspended Together, have attracted hundreds of women to use art as a new platform to address social injustice. In 2014, she was a recipient of a research fellowship from NYU AD and was invited in 2015 to the Robert Rauschenberg Residency in Captiva, Florida. She has shown her work in Prospect 3 New Orleans - The American Biennale (2014/15), in collateral shows at the Venice Biennale (2009/11), and at museums around the world like Gawngju Museum in South Korea, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark, The Victoria and Albert Museum in the U.K., and Mathaf Museum of Modern Arab Art in Qatar. Her artworks are part of public collections at the British Museum, LA County Museum, Louisiana Museum, and Mathaf. Manal holds a Master's Degree in Systems Analysis and Design and currently lives in London while completing her M.A. in Contemporary Art Practice in Public Spheres at the Royal College of Art.