The Third Line at Cromwell Place: Gallery 5, Cromwell Place, London

2 - 10 June 2021

The Third Line is pleased to announce a group exhibition of works by Anuar Khalifi, Sara Naim and Sophia Al Maria at Cromwell Place in London. Featuring painting, sculptural photography and video, the exhibition provides unconventional insights into identity, image-making and history while probing the relationship between human memory and the material world.


Anuar Khalifi's paintings, which will concurrently be presented in an online exhibition, examine identity through the blending of real and imaginary worlds. These semi-autobiographical portraits are born out of the artist's mind. Inspired chiefly by current events, Khalifi depicts recognisable moments in present and past collective memory and superimposes his feelings and reactions about it. Physically and metaphorically inserting himself in the picture, and by extension, challenging representation as well as social and political responses to these events. Khalifi's clever manipulation of modernist painting techniques and the genre of portraiture play a critical role in challenging representation in art and asserting presence in cultural institutions; re-writing art history.1


Sara Naim’s sculptural photographs explore the notion of boundary and the way it shapes our perception. Using scientific tools to study micro formations, Naim explores the lack of boundary between things and highlights the sinuous line between perception and reality. Presented in this group exhibition is a selection from two recent bodies of work: Reactionand Tingling, Throbbing, Waves. The latter explores the materialisation of emotions and bodily sensations, with each artwork being composed of felt sensations and abstract gestures that create solid, physical forms. During various Vipassana meditation sessions guided by Naim, she asked the sitters to draw their sensations which she then detail-selected, magnified, printed and shaped to inform her photographic sculptures.The act of physically, mentally and emotionally translating sensations into form addresses the blurred boundary between imagination and perception. Reaction consists of sculptural photographs that magnify a small area of polaroid film, exposing the random microcosms formed by chemical reactions with light which are the basis of analogue photography. Naim emphasizes the process of photography at the molecular level by rendering these two-dimensional scans into organic three-dimensional shapes, raising questions about the medium and image-making as a whole.


Sophia Al Maria’s film The Blood Clot  acts as a trance-inducing tone poem meditating on deep time and history. Part of the Limerent Objectseries, the video explores myths and the life-cycle of the world, including the ruins of an apocalyptic future — a recurring theme in Al Maria's sci-fi-influenced practice. The video, originally commissioned in 2019 for Faena Art in Miami, will be presented in a fireplace towards which the viewer is drawn and transfixed.


1Text by Dina Ibrahim


Installation Views