Saudi Press

Saudi Arabia and the world
Thursday, Dec 08, 2022

Vertical Horizon artwork of Noor Riyadh connects historical cities of Riyadh and Rome

Noor Riyadh, one of the most exciting and ambitious festivals of light and art in the world, is to feature a light installation that connects the two historical cities of Riyadh and Rome.

Vertical Horizon is an interactive piece by Quiet Ensemble — founded in 2009 by Fabio di Salvo and Bernardo Vercelli — that revolves around a system of cameras and microphones set up around two light and video installations.

One is set up in King Abdullah Park in Riyadh, the other in Rome.

Nouf AlMoneef, the Noor Riyadh program manager, said: “In this interactive and interconnective work, Vertical Horizon turns Riyadh into the epicenter of this new artistic installation, making Noor Riyadh both a global compass and a conductor of what happens in other parts of the world.

“The installations will broadcast an abstracted livestream of the area around the site, so that visitors in the Saudi capital can see those in the Italian capital, and vice versa.”

Broadcasts of this incredibly thoughtful piece of work will be shown every evening from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. until the close of the Noor Riyadh festival on Sunday, Nov. 19.

Vertical Horizon is one of over 190 incredible artworks — and more than 500 fascinating activities — taking place at the second edition of Noor Riyadh, held under the theme ‘We Dream of New Horizons’.

Among them are the incredible artworks situated in the beautiful desert dunes outside Riyadh entitled OASIS by Arne Quinze, and AXION by Christopher Bauder.

Belgian conceptual artist Quinze’s 16-meter-high installation, spanning 40 meters in width, places observers in an open-air museum where public art seems larger than life.

The power of colors is strongly reflected in this aluminum light installation, which makes a clear statement that the effervescence of all spectrums of light is needed in our society.

AXION by German artist Bauder, meanwhile, explores the ultimate horizon: outer space. Created specifically for deserts and other dusty environments, AXION’S sprawling array of mirrors and spherical objects makes it look like a giant scientific device for space exploration or particle detection.

But once inside, it is a reflection on the potential of axions — a hypothetical elementary particle — dark matter, and the idea of the unknown.

But what most certainly is known at Noor Riyadh is the abundance of artistic choices on offer.

The comprehensive public program includes 10 live music performances scheduled throughout the festival’s duration. The music series can be heard at King Abdullah Park, and tickets can be booked free of charge on

Engaging guided tours of the five hubs — King Abdullah Park, Salam Park, Diplomatic Quarter, JAX District, and KAFD — are another way to immerse oneselves in Noor Riyadh.

Each tour will delve into the stories behind impressive artworks, including Amplexus by Grimanesa Amoros and Flightgraf’s immersive An Imaginative World.

Workshops are key components as well, with architecture, illumination, and calligraphy opportunities all on offer. Participants can venture into performance art, experiment with photographic and video techniques, and learn how to make their own camera obscura.

Elsewhere, creative experiences such as artist-led tours, an artistic hunt, and even a four-day collaborative installation activity are also available.

Talks and panel discussions in both Arabic and English will take place throughout the festival, with topics ranging from technology in art, lucid dreaming, meditative practices, and Noor Riyadh’s curatorial themes.

Family activities — encouraging young ones to delve into the enriching world of art as much as possible — are a big part of Noor Riyadh. Specific activities for children to learn and develop include Rainbows, Magnetic Marvels and We Light Riyadh.

Most of the outdoor citywide artworks for Noor Riyadh, which takes place across five main city hubs and 40 locations in the Saudi capital, are non-ticketed and open to all.

However, some artworks require prior booking. Special activities such as workshops and talks may be ticketed with a nominal charge. Noor Riyadh aims to donate all the funds raised through ticket sales to charitable causes.

The full program and tickets are available soon on Noor Riyadh’s website and app.


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