For the opening Project Space exhibition of the fall season, The Third Line will be presenting The World is Sinking by photographer and musician Farah Al Qasimi, a series of new photographs that traces locations in and around Dubai. Exploring surfaces and facades meant to represent idealistic aspirations, the images provide an idiosyncratic and humorous approach to the multi-dimensional, multi-cultural and increasingly hyper globalisation of the UAE in the last few decades.
Farah’s art practice is based around photographing the unusual, and often overlooked, places where she finds herself positioned. For The World is Sinking, she takes a more introspective look at the Emirates, where she grew up. The artist is fascinated with the rapid change of local landscape in the name of growth and development, and finds that many rushed attempts end up in near comical results, at the same time creating a sense of alienation towards its own inhabitants. The sense of urgency, disembowelled by the lack of balance, repeatedly leads to changes that are unsustainable and often nonsensical.
The images are curious and amusing – almost like a private joke between herself and the viewer about the absurdity of the human condition – referring to hastily built buildings glimmering like an oasis in the midst of the barren desert landscape; or the pronounced presence of Westernization, brash as a giant McDonald’s sign on an empty desert highway. Other images include beauty salons, photography studios, advertisements, art murals, and other locales that are concerned with crafting aesthetics for their bodies or business, or as a general means of escape
Farah attempts to capture this strange landscape, reflecting the implications of change in a more personal language and deliberating how dreaming big has become second nature to the UAE and its inhabitants.