Sophia Al-Maria is an artist, writer, and filmmaker. She studied comparative literature at the American University in Cairo, and aural and visual cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London.
Artists to Watch: Sophia Al-Maria
In her last series of works, EVERYTHING MUST GO (2017), Sophia introduces a playful twist, juxtaposing emblems of consumerism with military jargon and captures the crux of the end of days where chaos and destruction are met by a violent military attempt to reinstate order. EVERYTHING MUST GO consists of a large series of stills taken from Black Friday’s The Litany series – an installation of numerous electronic devices displaying flickering, short, and glitching loops of countless consumption references – each printed with either a fake beauty product term or military idiom. When read together or even at random, the grouping of words results in absurd and obscene combinations.
For the past few years, she has been carrying out research around the concept of Gulf Futurism. Her primary interests are around the isolation of individuals via technology and reactionary Islam, the corrosive elements of consumerism and industry, and the erasure of history and the blinding approach of a future no one is ready for.
Al-Maria is the author of Sad Sack, Virgin With A Memory and The Girl Who Fell To Earth and has also guest-edited an issue of the experimental art – writing journal The Happy Hypocrite, entitled Fresh Hell.
Al-Maria currently lives and works in London, UK
Text: Sam Kavanagh