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Sophia Al-Maria: Black Friday will be shown in the first-floor John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation Gallery, which is accessible to the public free-of-charge. Black Friday is Sophia Al-Maria’s first solo show in the United States. For nearly a decade, Al-Maria has been finding ways to describe twenty-first-century life in the Gulf Arab nations through art, writing, and filmmaking. She coined the term “Gulf Futurism” to explain the stunning urban and economic development of the Gulf Arab nations over the last decades, as well as the environmental damage, religious conservatism, and historical amnesia that have accompanied it. Her exhibition at the Whitney continues this examination by focusing on the Gulf’s embrace of the shopping mall. Her new video, Black Friday, is a rumination on shopping malls everywhere as secular temples of capitalism. Beneath the projected video lies The Litany, an installation of flickering electronic devices displaying short, glitchy loops—a heap of old screens that acts as a coded history of consumption, conflict, and desire.
The exhibition is organized by associate curator Christopher Y. Lew and is part of the Whitney’s ongoing series of exhibitions by emerging artists.
Sophia Al-Maria: Black Friday
July 26–Oct 31, 2016
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