in cooperation with
Cortona On The Move AlUla
Time, Life and Longing
AlUla played host to an innovative photography exhibition from 9th February to 31st March, featuring the work of 19 artists from around the world, including works by photographers from Saudi Arabia.
As part of the AlUla Arts Festival, AlUla has collaborated with Cortona On The Move, the acclaimed Italian festival of documentary photography, to curate a special site-responsive experience in AlUla’s AlJadidah Village.
The first edition of the collaboration titled Past Forward – Time, Life and Longing. offered the opportunity to leading local, regional and international photographers to have their works exhibited on walls and courtyards, creating an exciting journey of visual narrative.
Past Forward – Time, Life and Longing was co-curated by Arianna Rinaldo, curator and artistic director of Cortona On The Move from 2012 to 2021, and Saudi-based visual artist and curator Kholood Al-Bakr. The concept at the heart of the exhibiting programme is the idea of time. Both AlUla and Cortona live and breathe the cultural legacy of their history, one in the stunning deserts of northwest Saudi Arabia, and one in the historic heart of Italy.
Artist Residency programme
A new Artist Residency programme for six photographers from Saudi Arabia and around the world. Selected participants from Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, Slovakia and Italy were mentored in an intensive training programme with international professional photographers and curators. The Artist Residency included a public ‘Photography Weekend’ (10-12 March) featuring talks and masterclasses delivered by the mentors and exhibiting artists whose work could be seen across AlJadidah, the emerging arts hub in AlUla, Saudi Arabia.
“This artist residency is an experiment of cross-pollination with international and Saudi photographers gathering together in AlUla to develop their work, be inspired by each other and by the unique environment.” said Paolo Woods, curator of the Cortona On The Move AlUla Artist Residency and the Artistic Director of Cortona On The Move 2022: “They will benefit from the guidance of some of the most respected industry professionals who will mentor them and help to nurture their talents.”
The photographers participants are offered an opportunity for training and cultural exchange during their 21-day stay – from 3 to 24 March 2022 – in AlUla. Here they were immersed in the extraordinary landscapes and creative communities of AlUla to develop photographic projects in total artistic freedom while being mentored by the group of international experts.
Paolo Woods is the artistic director of Cortona On The Move - international festival of photography.
He has been the producer and curator of numerous exhibitions, books, educational initiatives, slide and live shows across five continents, and he collaborated early on in the careers of now major artists such as Martin Parr, Nan Goldin, JR, Robert Doisneau, Wang Qingsong, Paul Graham, Raymond Depardon, Annie Leibovitz and Sebastiao Salgado. His most recent single projects include: Nan Goldin’s Ballad of Sexual Dependency (first shown in Arles in 1986 and most recently at the Triennale Mufoco in Milan in 2017); Raymond Depardon’s New York: A Picture a Day (FIAF/Libération 2017); and Josef Koudelka: Industries, (Editions Xavier Barral 2017). He was curator of Lucien Clergue (Grand Palais Paris), of Eaux trouble, eaux calmes (Fondation François Schneider Wattwiller, 2016); of 36 000 communes, 36 000 cicatrices (for the Centennial 1914-1918, Panthéon, Paris, 2016); and international curator at the Chongqing Photo Biennale in China, 2015.
Nathalie Herschdorfer will take on the position of Director of Photo Elysée starting June 1, 2022.
Based in Barcelona since 2012, Arianna is active as consultant, teacher, curator and editor. She participates in photo events and festivals around the world as speaker and portfolio reviewer; and she is regularly invited on jury panels and selections committees for international institutions and organizations. Arianna is intrigued by the amazing stories told through images. She is interested in contemporary documentary and original storytelling: visions on the current world and stories of humankind living on this planet, and beyond.
Six photographers were selected for the residency; Awoiska van der Molen (1972) a Dutch photographer and visual artist, selected for the Prix Pictet, a world prize dedicated to sustainability. Eleonora Paciullo (1993), an Italian photographer, book designer and photo-editor of The Light Observer magazine and Martin Kollar (1971), a Slovakian freelance photographer and director of photography, who has received several scholarships and awards, including the Prix Elysee.
The three Saudi Arabian photographers taking part in the Residency are Hayat Osamah (1993), who has been working on the theme of diversity using film photography since 2014. She was selected by the Ministry of Culture as a speaker at “Fashion Futures, 2019”, the first fashion platform in Saudi Arabia. Huda Beydoun (1988), who made her debut as a visual artist, has received several national and international awards and is currently a fashion photographer and art director; she exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 2013. Hussain AlSumayn (1992), a photographer, video maker and passionate visual artist, interested in cinema and art, created the first Phone Photography Tour in Saudi Arabia.