First Solo Exhibition by Artist Farah Al Qasimi in the UK: “Error… Try Again”

First Solo Exhibition by Artist Farah Al Qasimi in the UK: “Error… Try Again”

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: The Delfina Foundation announced the organization of the first solo exhibition by visual artist Farah Al Qasimi in the United Kingdom, in cooperation with the Abu Dhabi Festival.

Artist Farah Al Qasimi’s works of still and moving images capture glimpses of daily life and the intertwined relationship between material culture and globalized societies. The exhibition will include new photographs, works of vinyl wallpaper, and a video specially prepared to form a multi-layered visual constellation.

The exhibition’s title, “Error… Try Again,” is inspired by the computer error message that used to appear on the artist’s family’s old computer, as this machine was considered the link between the artist and her family on the one hand and the world on the other hand during the early days of Internet connection via phone. Until recently, it served as a portal through which they could try to escape reality as a hacker, a motorcyclist, or a small ball, bouncing off the edges of the screen.

On this occasion, Her Excellency Hoda Ibrahim Al Khamis, founder of the Abu Dhabi Group for Culture and Arts, founder and artistic director of the Abu Dhabi Festival, said: “We are committed to empowering the Emirati art artist through the Emirati Art Gallery initiative and the programs it includes for acquiring and organizing exhibitions, seminars, databases, and much more.” She continued: “Our support… By artist Farah Al Qasimi in her first solo exhibition in the United Kingdom in cooperation with the prestigious Delfina Foundation. It reflects our commitment to sustaining the renaissance of Emirati art and enhancing its global standing. It also highlights our renewed endeavor to support Emirati creators in celebrating their experiences, and working to build bridges of communication between them and major international cultural institutions. “.

Her Excellency added: “Farah Al Qasimi’s exhibition highlights her exceptional ability to conjure and reshape the past with a purposeful blend of authenticity and modernity, values ​​and modernity, embodying her childhood and memories of family and society in an artistic embodiment of our relationship with technology, computers and games as a virtual world that promises a lot in the fields of knowledge, thought and creativity.”

The exhibition is considered a narrative of attempts to transcend or deny the natural world by entering an independent imaginary world through digital games. Many of the images in the exhibition focus on the players, their attention drawn to a screen that lies outside the frame of the photograph, and despite being firmly rooted in the physical world, they are transported. Voluntarily transported to another place and absorbed into imaginary worlds to explore and play.

“Anoud Plays the Sims” shows a young woman decked out in vibrant crimson and immersed in a world of bright colors and light, staring at a screen from which radiates a simple, ordinary gaming version of the desk and chair she sits on.

The exhibition includes photographs of players taken in the context of the artist’s habit of taking snapshots of unexamined daily life, in which images of ordinary places and objects converge in a theme that is referred to repeatedly in Al Qasimi’s works, namely the “distanced” relationship from the natural world, as one of the walls turns into An ode to the sun and a call to environmental awakening and awareness of the dangers of harming nature. The artistic scene was captured through forest fires or sand storms, and the sunset appears as a ready-made image whose edges we look at and is flooded with plastic bags and waste that disturb a peaceful scene, as the toxic orange color of the sun is repeated in other images. Includes pictures of apricots, masonry fences and plastic flowers.

On another wall, the figure of a woman appears covered in a red beam of light, appearing to be trapped behind an iron gate in a sea of ​​leaves, and a dolphin-shaped fountain from which water is rapidly emitting in a scene that initially appears sociable and funny. However, such synthetic versions point to our accelerating ecological collapse, from which escaping is urgent, but may not be sufficient.

Biography of the artist

Farah Al Qasimi (born 1991, United Arab Emirates) lives between New York and Abu Dhabi. She received a Master of Fine Arts degree in photography and music from Yale University of the Arts in 2017. Her work is acquired by a number of prominent museums and art collections, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Solomon R. Guggenheim in New York, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, and Tate Modern, London. She has a number of solo exhibitions to her credit, including C/O Berlin (2023), Art Gallery of Western Australia (2023), Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (2021), Wayne State University Library, Detroit (2020), and Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai ( 2019), and elsewhere. Her works have participated in group exhibitions at Rencontres d’Arles (2021), Pera Museum, Istanbul (2021), Yokohama Triennial (2020), Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto, Aperture Foundation, New York, and Biennial of Contemporary Arab Photography, Paris. In the spring of 2020, the Public Art Foundation displayed her photographs in more than 100 bus stops throughout New York City. Her book Hello Future, published by Caprisious in 2021, was shortlisted for the 2021 Aperture Foundation Photobook Award.

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An overview of the Abu Dhabi Festival

The Abu Dhabi Festival received the generous patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the State, may God protect him, from 2007 to 2011. The festival, which was established in 2004 under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Information and Culture at the time ( Currently the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the honorary founding sponsor of the Abu Dhabi Festival), the identity and spirit of the country of goodness, the country of Zayed, is based on the values ​​of dialogue, respect, tolerance, peace, and excellence in education and knowledge, pioneering creativity, craftsmanship of achievement, and building civilization. Annually, as a translation of its vision of investing in youth and empowering cultural and creative industries, the festival presents a large number of premiere works across the seven emirates and the world. It also commissions, produces, preserves and presents the greatest musical and artistic works to create rich cultural experiences in the Emirates and abroad as part of its commitment to enhancing the sustainability of the creative economy. To the state.

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