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Mathaf: INVISIBLE LABORS daydream therapy

“INVISIBLE LABORS daydream therapy”, an exhibition by Qatari American multidisciplinary artist, writer, and filmmaker Sophia Al-Maria, is now being held at Mathaf, Arab Museum of Modern Art. It will remain open until January 21, 2023.

“INVISIBLE LABORS daydream therapy” is focused on histories, dreaming, and futures. The center topic of the exhibition is the importance of storytelling as a way of survival, imagination and reclaiming stories. Apart from Al-Maria’s installations, videos, soundscapes, and drawings, the exhibition includes workshops, conversations, and online screening and meetings.

Sophia Al-Maria, Still: The Future was Desert Part 1, 2016. Single-channel HD video, 5 mins, 17 secs. Edition of 3 and 1 AP

Among the things which inspire Al Maria are pop culture, anime, Arabic poetry, sci-fi, and environmental issues, such as pollution and global warming. Through her art, she has been expressing her thoughts and feelings about the future, particularly in the current changing climate. In her works, Al Maria uses storytelling not only to imagine the future, but also to understand the past.

With her friend Fatima Al Qadiri she developed the term “Gulf Futurism”. The main idea is that the Gulf is living within the future: the region’s present which consists of municipal master plans and ecological collapse makes an almost perfect image of a global future. The themes explored within Gulf Futurism are wealth and religious conservatism, the destructive impact of consumerism and industry, the historical amnesia, and the isolation of an individual via technology. 

Sophia Al-Maria, taraxos, 2021. Serpentine × Modern Forms Sculpture. Commission. Photo: David Tett

Sophia Al Maria (born in 1983, Tacoma, Washington, US) resides in London. She studied comparative literature at the American University in Cairo and got a degree in aural and visual cultures at Goldsmiths, London. After that, Al Maria moved to the Gulf.

Al Maria’s artworks have been exhibited in numerous international art events: Beast Type Song, GARAGE, Moscow (2021); taraxos, Serpentine x Modern Forms Sculpture Commission, London (2021); Bitch Omega, Julia Stoschek, Dusseldorf, Germany (2020), and others. She was the Whitechapel gallery’s writer in residence 2018. Her texts have appeared in Harper’s Magazine, Five Dials, Triple Canopy, and Bidoun. In 2007, Al Maria published her autobiographical novel, The Girl Who Fell to Earth. She was invited to participate in the 2016 Biennial of Moving Images in Geneva, Switzerland. Besides, she has also taken part in the Inhabitation residency at Villa Empain, Boghossian Foundation, Brussels (2016).

To learn more, please visit the official web page of the exhibition.

You might also be interested in visiting the Vantage Point Sharjah photo exhibition.

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