The Ministry of Culture has actively participated in the opening ceremony of the "BIENALSUR 2023", the International Biennial of Contemporary Art of the South, at the National Museum of Decorative Arts in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The event was held under the theme "Strangers in the Palace". Notable attendees included the Cultural Affairs Officer at the Kingdom's Embassy to Argentina, Khaled bin Ibrahim Al-Laheeb, the general director of the BIENALSUR exhibition, Aníbal Jozami, a delegation from the Ministry of Culture, as well as numerous Saudi and international artists who were showcasing their artworks.
During the opening, the Artistic Director of BIENALSUR, Diana Wechsler, expressed admiration for the Kingdom's pioneering role as the first Middle Eastern country to join the BIENALSUR network. She emphasized that collaborating with Saudi artists offered an excellent opportunity to explore diversity, cultural pluralism, and human exchange.
Wechsler elaborated on the essence of the chosen theme, "Strangers in the Palace", which highlights the contrast between the contemporary nature of the artworks presented by the artists and the traditional surroundings of the host venue, the National Museum of Decorative Arts. Being housed in a historical palace filled with classical collections and works of art, the museum reflects its historical significance. The theme symbolizes the sense of "alienation" experienced by Saudi artists who have traveled from outside of Argentina to showcase their work, thereby fostering cultural and human exchange through art.
The BIENALSUR 2023, which commenced on Friday, July 28, showcases the artworks of over 400 artists from 27 nationalities, including ten talented Saudi artists.
During the exhibition's run, Saudi Arabia will serve as one of the international stations for BIENALSUR from July to December 2023. This extensive event spans 170 locations across 70 cities, encompassing 27 countries and featuring the participation of 400 artists.
This marks the Ministry of Culture's third time hosting the prestigious BIENALSUR exhibition. The Kingdom had the honour of being the first Middle Eastern country to host the event in 2019 at the National Museum of Saudi Arabia and the Jax neighbourhood in Riyadh. The second time was in 2021 at the Khuzam Palace in Jeddah, where five Saudi artists were featured.
The Ministry's decision to host this exhibition stems from its dedication to providing top-notch creative platforms for art enthusiasts in the Kingdom. It aims to foster communication between Saudi creators and artists worldwide while supporting their access to important international platforms. Furthermore, this endeavour aligns with Saudi Vision 2030's strategic goals of promoting international cultural exchange.