Jumairy, AlHamra Sacred Tree Activated, 2019. Digital collage. Commissioned by AlHamra National Museum

The NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Art Gallery, the University’s academic museum-gallery, has opened its first-ever virtual exhibition, titled not in, of, along, or relating to a line. In this exhibition, nine artists and art collectives employ technology for self-expression and self-fashioning.

The artists appropriate technologies to narrate, alter, augment or invent their identities and histories. The idea of individual context, of experiential relativity, threads together the works in this exhibition, and structures its form and its content.

Co-curated by Chief Curator at NYU Abu Dhabi and Executive Director of The NYUAD Art Gallery Maya Allison, and NYUAD faculty member and artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg, the exhibition unveiled four new commissions, alongside fourteen existing artworks.

In her new commission, Cao Fei uses augmented reality to create an imaginary friend, a doppelganger of her son, who interacts with her real-life son.

Cao Fei, The Odyssey of Li Nova, Episode 2: Tai Chi, 2020. Digital video, sound. Duration: 2 minutes, 16 seconds. Commissioned by The NYUAD Art Gallery
Cao Fei, The Odyssey of Li Nova, Episode 2: Tai Chi, 2020. Digital video, sound. Duration: 2 minutes, 16 seconds. Commissioned by The NYUAD Art Gallery

Lee Blalock continues her Ev3ryd4y Cyb0rg series, bringing her human-machine hybrid character into the COVID-19 lockdown present.

Lee Blalock, Ev3ryd4y Cyb0rg (Season 1, Episode 3: L0:F1 loop), 2019. Video, motion graphics, sound. Duration: 1 minute, 24 seconds loop
Lee Blalock, Ev3ryd4y Cyb0rg (Season 1, Episode 3: L0:F1 loop), 2019. Video, motion graphics, sound. Duration: 1 minute, 24 seconds loop

Addie Wagenknecht takes on the YouTube makeup tutorial, using it to teach cybersecurity in an accessible and humorous way, with particular attention to the events in the US recently.

Addie Wagenknecht and Aiala Hernando, Alive Still No. 1, 2020. Digital photograph
Addie Wagenknecht and Aiala Hernando, Alive Still No. 1, 2020. Digital photograph

The Art Gallery’s Executive Director, Allison, describes a mysterious fourth new commission, “like other museums and galleries, we are proud to present a virtual tour of our physical space, where Maryam Al Hamra has curated an exhibition of sculptures from a museum in an alternate reality.”

Jumairy, AlHamra Sacred Tree Activated, 2019. Digital collage. Commissioned by AlHamra National Museum
Jumairy, AlHamra Sacred Tree Activated, 2019. Digital collage. Commissioned by AlHamra National Museum

These commissions, together with existing works by Sophia Al-Maria, Zach Blas, Eva and Franco Mattes, micha cárdenas, and the collective of Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh, and Hesam Rahmanian, explore how identities, histories, and futures are created, transformed, or invented.

Zach Blas, Contra-Internet Inversion Practice #3: Modeling Paranodal Space, 2016
Zach Blas, Contra-Internet Inversion Practice #3: Modeling Paranodal Space, 2016
Eva & Franco Mattes, My Little Big Data, 2019. Video, sound. Duration: 24 minutes
Eva & Franco Mattes, My Little Big Data, 2019. Video, sound. Duration: 24 minutes
Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh, Hesam Rahmanian, From March to April…2020, 2020. Video, sound. Duration: 7 minutes, 46 seconds. Courtesy of the artists and Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde
Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh, Hesam Rahmanian, From March to April…2020, 2020. Video, sound. Duration: 7 minutes, 46 seconds. Courtesy of the artists and Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde

In making visible both the restrictions and the freedoms of digital culture, the artists explore how identities and histories are created, transformed or invented. For some, technology is a means to an end: a memoir, a fictional history, an intimate view of a person’s life. Others interrogate the power relations of these same tools, from virtual gaming and ‘big data’ consumer portraits to facial recognition software.


Info is extracted from the press release.

The exhibition is on view until the 10th of July.

 

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