Art Now / Sophia Al-Maria
Sep 20, 2019 – Feb 23, 2020

Sophia Al-Maria / Photo Laura Cugusi

A new film exploring the erasure and revision of identities and histories past and future, the work features performances by Yumna Marwan, Elizabeth Peace and boychild, and by Sophia Al-Maria. Each one is cast against the science fiction backdrop of a solar battle, as evoked by Etel Adnan’s in her 1989 war poem, ‘The Arab Apocalypse.’ Beast Type Song was shot in the derelict former campus of Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design in Holborn, London.

In the poem, Adnan uses drawing to communicate what cannot be expressed in words. Similarly, Al-Maria explores the revision of history through graphic and bodily gestures. When words cannot express trauma, a new language of drawings, movement and music gives voice to the speechless.

 

Sophia Al-Maria / Photo Project Native Informant

Drawing on personal heritage and fictional future projections, the protagonists reflect on the narratives and languages they have inherited as children of various colonial legacies. Each figure encounters some form of violence either through the hostile gaze of the camera or through the imposition of narrative. We are told stories of a violence inflicted on the body, but at the same time are asked to consider the violence of the storytelling itself.

By weaving together music, literature, oral history, film and dance, Beast Type Song serves as an escape route from from the repetition of dominant narratives of an oppressive past.

The work is accompanied by an installation of script pages, correspondence and photographs relating to the research and making of the work.

Art Now

Art Now is a series of exhibitions at Tate Britain focusing on new work by emerging artists. Since the 1990s, Art Now has recognized talent at its outset and provides a platform for artists who have gone on to become established figures in the British and international art scene.

 

Frank Auerbach, Figure on a Bed 1967–70. Tate. © Frank Auerbach

Alice Channer, Fourteenth Scarf Drawing 2007

Jess Flood-Paddock, Broadway Market, E2 2012 © Jess Flood-Paddock

Doris Salcedo, Unland: audible in the mouth 1998. Tate. © Doris Salcedo

Hurvin Anderson

Installation views: Art Now: Jesse Darling: The Ballad of Saint Jerome 2018 © Jesse Darling. Courtesy the artist and Arcadia Missa.

Joanna Piotrowska, Untitled 2015

Sophie Michael Chapters One to Five 2012 Courtesy of Sophie Michael, Seventeen Gallery © Sophie Michael

Truly, Madly, Deeply #2, 2017. Courtesy of the artist. © Simeon Barclay

Alice Channer, Fourteenth Scarf Drawing 2007

This exhibition is made possible with the kind assistance of Anna Lena Films. Curated by Nathan Ladd

 

Art Now
Sophia Al-Maria / Beast Type Song
September 20, 2019 – February 23, 2020 / Tate Britain
Visit the exhibition page >

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