(1) Sophia Al Maria, Age Defiant, 2017. Digital print, 24 x 42 cm. (2) Sophia Al Maria, Assault, 2017. Digital print, 24 x 42 cm. (3) Sophia Al Maria, Mist, 2017. Digital print, 24 x 42 cm.
Sophia Al Maria
EVERYTHING MUST GO
February 22–April 1, 2017
Preview: February 22, 7pm
The Third Line
Al Quoz 1
The Third Line is proud to present the first solo-exhibition by Sophia Al Maria in the UAE. The exhibition EVERYTHING MUST GO is an iteration of Black Friday—Sophia’s solo exhibition at The Whitney Museum of American Art in 2016—and takes its name from a new series of work. The exhibition creates an immersive experience, capturing the chaotic, almost apocalyptic act of consuming. The viewer is invited to experience illusions of order in underlying confusion and pandemonium.
Black Friday (2016) shown here outside museum context for the first time, is a projected video featuring primarily empty malls in Doha (Qatar) and offers a moody, sinister take on shopping. Designed at seemingly impossible scale with incredible heights, the malls featured in the video appear as dizzying temples dedicated to artifice and capitalism, showing how scripted environment of the shopping mall is a form of default religious architecture in a culture of consumerism.
In her new series of works, EVERYTHING MUST GO, Sophia introduces a playful twist, juxtaposing emblems of consumerism with military jargon and captures the crux of the end of days where chaos and destruction are met by a violent military attempt to reinstate order. EVERYTHING MUST GO consists of a large series of stills taken from Black Friday‘s “The Litany” series‚ an installation of numerous electronic devices displaying flickering, short and glitching loops of countless consumption references—each printed with either a fake beauty product term or military idiom. When read together or even at random, the grouping of words result in absurd and obscene combinations.
Throughout her practice, Sophia has been finding ways to describe 21st century life in the Gulf through art, writing, and filmmaking. She has explored different complexities such as environmental damage, religious conservatism, and historical contradictions that the Gulf has encountered. Sophia is a young artist aware of the rapid changing times and capable of articulating the controversies that cause friction in contemporary Gulf cities.
About The Third Line
The Third Line is a Dubai-based art gallery that represents contemporary Middle Eastern artists locally, regionally and internationally. In addition to this, The Third Line publishes books by associated artists and hosts non-profit, alternative programs to increase interest and dialogue in the region.
Represented artists include: Abbas Akhavan, Ala Ebtekar, Amir H. Fallah, Arwa Abouon, Babak Golkar, Farhad Moshiri, Fouad Elkoury, Golnaz Fathi, Hassan Hajjaj, Hayv Kahraman, Huda Lutfi, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, Laleh Khorramian, Lamya Gargash, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Pouran Jinchi, Rana Begum, Sahand Hesamiyan, Sara Naim, Sherin Guirguis, Shirin Aliabadi, Slavs and Tatars, Sophia Al-Maria, Tarek Al-Ghoussein, Youssef Nabil and Zineb Sedira.