Inspired by the subliminal messages in John Carpenter’s high-concept/low-budget film They Live, Al Maria will devise a project that asks if there is a conspiracy against everyday people who look at art. In the same way that Carpenter’s film proposes that commercial advertising is an occulted mode of mind-control, Al Maria’s project will ask what an art fair is really saying to its visitors. Composing a combination of amusing and poignant statements to mark the walls of the fair and icons inspired by petroglyphs, she will look to expose the conspiracy.
Sophia Al Maria (b.1983, USA) is an artist, writer, and filmmaker, based in London, UK. She studied comparative literature at the American University in Cairo, and aural and visual cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her recent research has focused on the concept of ‘Gulf Futurism’, recently presented in a talk at ‘The Future of the Future’ hosted by Vancouver Art Gallery and Douglas Coupland. Al Maria’s work has been exhibited at the Gwangju Biennale, Frieze, London and the Architectural Association School of Architecture, London. Her writing has appeared in Harper’s Magazine, Triple Canopy and Bidoun. Her memoir The Girl Who Fell to Earth was published in 2012 and she is currently working a feature length rape-revenge film set in Cairo. Upcoming shows include ‘Virgin with a Memory’, a solo exhibition at Cornerhouse, Manchester.