Toy World Farah Qasimi 
Toy World by Farah Al Qasimi 
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Emirati artist Farah Al Qasimi presents her solo exhibition Toy World which debuts a collection of her black-and-white still and moving images; some of her colourful art pieces are also featured in the show. The displayed images recreate the unreality of contemporary life and evoke a “glossy veneer of history” (as the artist says) and the fearful tensions engulfing our society today. The show is dedicated to the memory of Hamed Butti Altamimi. On view at The Third Line, it will remain open until 19 April 2024.

Evoking a historical lens, Al Qasimi’s pictures invite theoretical indulgence immune from personal responsibility. They are decoded through mediated trust in networks, detached from the reality they represent. The inundation of images desensitises the viewers and disconnects them from the pain they convey. However, they persist in their consciousness. Amidst the imagery, the spectator finds solace in the symbols, without which they are left alone in a barren landscape.

Farah Al Qasimi, Toy World (installation view). The Third Line, Dubai, 2024.

About the artist

Farah Al Qasimi (b. 1991, Abu Dhabi) is an artist, photographer, filmmaker, and musician who lives and works in New York (USA). She obtained her BA with Distinction in the Art Major from Yale University (New Haven, US) in 2012, which was followed by receiving an MFA in Photography from Yale School of Art in 2017. The same year, the artist completed the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture residency programme (Madison, Maine, USA).

Al Qasimi is famous for her vibrant photos in which she captures the fantastic in daily life in the Persian Gulf and the USA; some of her photos are also staged. In her works, the artist explores the connections between colonial history, contemporary identity, and consumer culture. She highlights the subtle remnants of colonial influence and plays with the geographies informed by migration, displacement, and foreign intervention. The artist also considers the diaspora in her works. Al Qasimi’s practice aims to encourage us to reconsider our understanding of reality and deepen our interpretation of symbols and meanings.

Farah Al Qasimi, Jarash, n.d. Archival Inkjet Print. 50.8 × 68.58 cm.
Edition 1/5 + 2AP

Al Qasimi has been the subject of many solo exhibitions including General Behavior (Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation, 2022); Lady Lady (Cooper Cole, Toronto, Canada, 2021); Funhouse (Helena Anrather, New York, USA, 2020); List Projects: Farah Al Qasimi, MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge (2019); and others. She has also taken part in some group shows such as Wetland, Venice Architecture Biennale (UAE Pavilion) (Italy, 2021); Yokohama Triennale (Japan, 2020); and Lahore Biennale 2 (2020), to name a few.

Among the awards Al Qasimi has been granted are the Art Basel Miami Legacy Purchase Program Prize (2021), the NADA Artadia Prize (New York, 2018), and the Creative and Performing Arts Award (Yale University, 2010). The artist is a recipient of the Knight Foundation and Wayne State University Grant (2019) and Aaron Siskind Individual Photographer’s Grant (2018). Al Qasimi has also undertaken a Light Work Residency (Syracuse, NY, 2021) and was an Artist-in-Residence at the Delfina Foundation (London, UK, 2017) and Burren College of Art (Ireland, 2011).

Farah Al Qasimi, Dune, n.d. Archival Inkjet Print. 50.8 × 68.58 cm.
Edition 1/5 + 2AP

The artist’s works are held in some esteemed collections which include the Museum of Modern Art (NY), Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Tate Modern (London), Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago, USA), Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (Spain); and others.

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

You may also be interested in visiting Immortal Mirror by Aref Montazeri.