On Thursday, July 28, we partnered once again with Art Papers to present Art Papers Live. During the event, Extreme Gulf Present, the Museum hosted a screening by artist Sophia Al-Maria and conversation with special guest curator and author Shumon Basar.
“The ‘Extreme Present’ is the realisation that the causes of the modern condition are not going to go away. If anything, the forces driving the current world can only keep accelerating. This leads to enormous changes in the texture of life. These changes include new ways of consuming old and new forms of culture, new relationships with history, and new ways of perceiving both the near future and the distant future.” — The Age of Earthquakes
Sophia Al-Maria (b. 1983) is part of an emerging generation of international artists who are mining the intersections of technology, culture, and identity. In 2016, she will receive her first solo museum show in the country with the premiere of a new series of videos at the Whitney. Her exhibition is inspired by the Gruen Transfer, a phenomenon in which a controlled environment—combined with visual and auditory stimuli—is used to distract and manipulate consumers. Over the past nine years, Al-Maria has been finding ways to describe 21st-century life in the Arabian Gulf through art, writing, and filmmaking. Her first solo exhibition,Virgin with a Memory, was presented at Cornerhouse, Manchester, in 2014 and her memoir, The Girl Who Fell to Earth, was published by Harper Perennial in 2012.
Shumon Basar is a writer, thinker and cultural critic. He is co-author of The Age of Earthquakes: A Guide to the Extreme Present with Douglas Coupland and Hans Ulrich Obrist (Penguin/Blue Rider, 2015). His edited books include Translated By, Cities from Zero and Hans Ulrich Obrist Interviews Volume 2. He is Commissioner of the Global Art Forum in Dubai, Editor-at-Large of Tank magazine, contributing editor of Bidoun magazine, director of the Format program at the AA School and a founding member of Fondazione Prada’s “Thought Council.”