Art Papers Live: Sophia Al Maria

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Art Papers Live: Sophia Al Maria
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Sophia Al Maria w/ Shumon Basar

Following the opening of her solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, artist, author and filmmaker Sophia Al-Maria joins ART PAPERS LIVE in Atlanta for “Extreme Gulf Present”: a video presentation followed by a Q&A with author and ART PAPERS contributor Shumon Basar. This event is presented as part of an ongoing collaboration between ART PAPERS and the Birmingham Museum of Art, which will host a corresponding event in on July 28. For more information on the Birmingham program, visit

“The ‘Extreme Present’ is the realization that the causes of the modern condition are not going to go away,” writes Basar. “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.” In “Extreme Gulf Present,” Al-Maria will present and discuss work that has its conceptual origins in the Arabian Gulf, but that applies to the political and emotional questions of identity, technology, and commerce globally—including the American South.

This event is free, accessible, and open to the public.

Sophia Al-Maria (b. 1983) is part of an emerging generation of international artists who are mining the intersections of technology, culture, and identity. This July 2016, her first solo museum show in the United States debuts in New York at the Whitney Museum of America Art, with the premiere of a new series of videos. 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 School of the Architectural Association in London, and a founding member of Fondazione Prada’s “Thought Council.”
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