The Saudi Art Council bills “The Secrets of Alidades” — which runs until September 7 — as an exhibition that “intertwines cartography and astronomy in an allegorical perspective.” The show’s name “alludes to the pointers found on astrolabes (among other astronomical instruments) that assist us in observing distant objects and determining directions.” So the work on display focuses on travel and exploration — whether physical or mental. Al-Salem’s Styrofoam, fabric and PVC sculpture present arguably the clearest link to the title of any work on display. 
Al-Salem, an artist and calligrapher who was born into a family of tent salesmen in Makkah, “establishes a direct link between the ancient world of the Bedouins and … the conquest of space” with this work, according to the exhibition’s catalogue.