Past Exhibition / Ebtisam Abdulaziz
December 05, 2012 - January 16, 2013
The Third Line is proud to introduce Ebtisam Abdulaziz’s first solo show at the gallery entitled Autobiography. The Emirati artist presents works that seamlessly shift between intimacy and science, imparting details into the artist’s private thoughts and the visual coding that symbolizes her systematic thinking.
Autobiography continues Abdulaziz’s exploration of 'system art', a term used to describe a type of abstract art characterized by geometric forms, placed either in a single concentrated image or repeated in a system. In this series, works presented include found objects, small works on paper and large drawings on canvas, which all embody numbers and codes, rules and equations, from her everyday life into visual cryptograms and grids that only the artist can understand.
Using the Duchampian approach of readymade objects, Abdulaziz maps the number plates of cars from her frequent trips between Abu Dhabi and Dubai to matrices of domino layouts, each number corresponding to a certain color or domino shape. The found objects works retrace Abdulaziz’s footsteps and daily journeys, where she finds and collects objects, cleans and paint them, and carefully arranges them in glass cylinders, as if creating a time capsule to preserve the moment. Finally, the small works on paper, each one with its distinctive cipher, are representative of pages from the artist’s personal daily diary and memoirs, allowing a glimpse into the life of an otherwise isolationist society.
The pieces lure the audience in with their abstraction and curious cryptography but the real hook is in the voyeuristic opportunity to glimpse into the life of the artist through her eyes, by drawing attention to the details we normally take for granted. The work challenges the mind scientifically and visually, and yet, still caters to the deep-rooted human need to understand oneself vis-à-vis the roles in societies that are equally dominated by hidden rules and structures.