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Prognosis/Saudi Arabia

Prognosis/Saudi Arabia

ISBN: 9781861543875
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Text and Art by Ahmed Mater, Introduction by Gilles Kepel, Epilogue by Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi, Edited by Stephen Stapleton
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Saudi Arabia’s foremost contemporary artist explores the story of his region since 1979—its politics, theocracy, petroculture, technologies, urban and rural communities, and its future—in a visual history encompassing his artwork and autobiography

Prognosis/Saudi Arabia explores Ahmed Mater’s life and work against the backdrop of 40 years of transformation and conflict across the Arab and Islamic world. A doctor-turned-artist, Mater has continually confronted his traditional context, exploring Islamic culture in an era of globalization and conflict to uncover the unofficial histories that have shaped the present. Mapping his life and work against a timeline of historical images that form artworks in their own right, he offers an unprecedented insight into changes forged by and in the Kingdom, and its significance in world religion, culture, and geopolitics. From the year of his birth in 1979, when Islamic revolution reconfigured the region, his training as a community doctor on the Saudi/Yemeni border, and his rise as one of the Gulf’s most radical young artists to his insider’s role influencing national cultural policy, Prognosis/Saudi Arabia is a complex artistic journey into one of the most talked-about societies on earth. Through his personal and historical archives, Mater has created a book that gets to the very heart of contemporary Saudi society, its origins, and its uncertain future. Celebrating 20 years of Mater’s art-making, organizing, and activism, this book is not only a mid-career survey of an essential artist, but also an urgent prognosis of a society in dramatic transition.