Sophia Al-Maria, Pidge – Modern Artwork Society

Friday Dispatch – 11 November 2022

Sophia Al-Maria, Pidge
Venture Native Informant, Three Colts Ln

2 November – 10 December 2022

A classic clock stands in the course of the gallery. It’s utilized in pigeon racing — a sport the place the birds return to their properties after touring a set distance. The clock factors to the again of the gallery, ushering you onwards to a pigeon-predator reproduction atop a damaged Apple cellphone. The round trajectory mimics the gap that pigeons journey when flying again dwelling. Right now, London pigeons lose their method again on account of cellphone radiation. How can they discover their method again? As technological units proceed to evolve inside human life, they start to have an effect on the habits of different species. People and non-humans turn into intwined.

Bodily and emotional journeys, distances, magic, and longing are current within the new works of Sophia Al-Maria. A drawing of pigeons is on the coronary heart of the tryptic stay, leaving, indefinitely (2022) – a collage referencing the choices given to foreigners ruminating everlasting keep within the UK. Two ionic columns stand facet by facet, superimposed by traces of poetry by the Arab thinker, poet and author Al-Ma’arri. It’s referencing the Abbasid dynasty, the centre of Arab-Muslim tradition the place the assimilation of Persian, Indian, and Greek thought which produced a wealthy and various cultural scene. A picture of a girl taking a selfie whereas flexing her fist and exhibiting her lean muscular leg is repeated on the panels. Her head is veiled and her physique is seen, underlining a sensual energy. Al-Maria explores the temporal collapse between a distant previous and a feminist technological future.

Such parts give clues to Al-Maria herself, an Iraqi-American based mostly in London, and a latest British citizen. Her follow consists of writing, movies, and collages which frequently deal with themes of belonging, migration, colonisation, feminism and expertise. Al-Maria creates hyperlinks between these themes utilizing non-narrative parts which create alternative routes of pondering. Pictures of pigeons, feminine figures, nazars (charms in opposition to dangerous luck), chook excrement, henna, actresses and members of the family.

These are all separate items of a jigsaw, not but put collectively. Within the press launch Al-Maria describes her personal feeling of being “un-homed from the world, from my dwelling, from myself”. Having lived in other places, one finds themselves bodily removed from your personal roots, but perpetually near them.

In prophylactic system (2022), a girl is elevating her pink hand whereas taking a selfie along with her Apple cellphone. One eye of the Lebanese actress Yumna Marwan is seen. Her cellphone cuts her portrait. The palm of her hand is embellished with pink henna, maybe an indication of happiness, or an extra filter to the self. Does the cellphone turn into a projection or is it a safety in opposition to dangerous luck?

This mirrored picture connects again to London pigeons who, disrupted by technological units, wrestle to seek out their method dwelling. Just like the birds, there are occasions in life after we may really feel unusually out of contact with ourselves, with the town we reside in. Then we can also’t discover our method dwelling anymore as that house is ever-changing, non-existent or comprised. Al-Maria articulates that feeling of what this implies geographically and emotionally in every one in every of her works.

Ilaria Pur Purini
Curator of Nationwide Programme

Dressage Court, 48 Three Colts Lane, London E2 6GQ
Opening Instances: Wednesday – Saturday, 12:00 – 18:00
Exhibition open till 10 December 2022