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Ahmed Mater - Magnetism

Ahmed Mater Al-Ziad Aseeri (born 1979) is a Saudi artist and the most prominent member of the group known as “Edge Of Arabia” (or EOA), a group of Saudi contemporary artists. Although he studied drawing and photography in 1995, in 2006 Ahmed graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery and works as a resident doctor. He participated in some exhibitions in the British Museum in London, Venice Biennale, Dubai, Berlin, Los Angeles, Israel and many more.

Ahmed works in the fields of photography, calligraphy, painting, installation, performance and video. He explores the narratives and aesthetics of Islamic culture in an era of globalization, consumerism and transformation. His last work Magnetism was represented in a mayor exhibition in the British Museum dedicated to the Hajj. One of the Five Pillars of Islam requires every Muslim to perform the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in his or her lifetime if able to do so. Multiple parts of the Hajj require perform a series of rituals: hundreds of thousands of pilgrims to walk seven times around the Ka’bah in a counter-clockwise direction. Ahmed’s installation consists of magnets, iron filings and the black granite cube. These parts symbolise pilgrims of Islam performing rituals around the Ka’bah in Mecca. Hajj is not just a physical journey, it’s the most extraordinary spiritual journey every Muslim takes. Mecca is considered the spiritual center of Islam because it was where the Prophet Mohammed is said to have received his first revelations in the early 7th century. According to the Quran, the Ka’bah was built by Abraham and his son Ishmael.

Ahmed Mater’s installation Magnetism adds a modern touch to the rituals of Hajj, focuses on its origins and importance in Islam.

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