Saturday July 30, 4pm
at the Atlanta Contemporary
535 Means St NW, Atlanta, GA
map + directions
The event is free, wheelchair accessible, and open to the public.
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 on Thursday, July 28. For more information on the Birmingham program, visit artsbma.org.
"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.
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, and a contributor to ART PAPERS magazine. 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, a founding member of Fondazione Prada's "Thought Council."
+ Sophia Al-Maria: Black Friday at Whitney Museum of Art
+ Shumon Basar website