‘Poltergeist’ by Farah Al Qasimi at C/O Berlin

On view at C/O Berlin is “Poltergeist” a show by Farah Al Qasimi.  A multidisciplinary media artist born in 1991 in the UAE, her works comprise a compelling fusion of photographs and video art, exploring the elusive realm of the poltergeist and its playful yet unsettling presence within domestic settings. Influenced by 1970s and 80s horror films set in homes, Al Qasimi captures the mischievous activities of a poltergeist, blurring the lines between reality and the supernatural.

Hand print, 2021 © Farah Al Qasimi. Courtesy of the artist and The Third Line, Dubai

A prominent piece in the collection features a close-up of a red-pink couch adorned with diverse patterns. At the centre of the image lies an enigmatic print, suggesting the recent presence of an unseen entity. This play between presence and absence engenders an eerie and playful aura, leaving viewers pondering whether it represents mundane everyday scenarios or attempts at contact from beyond. The challenge of photographing intangible phenomena further adds to the mystique.

Al Qasimi’s unique style is characterized by her keen eye for cultural details and a distinct aesthetic that transcends place-specific contexts. She navigates private spaces with her camera, documenting mundane objects and everyday situations in interiors and immaculate bathrooms, drawing inspiration from a diverse array of locations, from Abu Dhabi to Detroit. Her compositions display surrealism, skillfully juxtaposing artificial pastel tones with textiles reminiscent of camouflage.

Fish Sandals, 2022, © Farah Al Qasimi. Courtesy of the artist and The Third Line, Dubai

Through her art, Al Qasimi delves into contemporary post-internet culture, exploring complex themes such as identity, feminism, consumerism, economic growth, and the politics surrounding synthetic materials. Her visual storytelling strikes a delicate balance between documentation and fiction, metaphor, and the ordinary.

The exhibition “Poltergeist” combines earlier works with recent photographs, offering a fresh perspective on her art. Accompanying video installations explore the origin of objects in an overwhelming capitalist cityscape, where even ghosts fall prey to the branding of consumerism.

With “Poltergeist,” C/O Berlin presents the first solo institutional exhibition of this Al Qasimi in Europe, having already established herself as a prominent artist in the United States. Visitors can expect a journey through enigmatic and thought-provoking narratives, filled with uncanny charm and a touch of humour, as Farah Al Qasimi invites them to explore the mysterious and multifaceted world of the poltergeist.

Leopard Print Blanket, 2022 © Farah Al Qasimi. Courtesy of the artist and The Third Line, Dubai

About Farah Al Qasimi

Farah Al Qasimi, born in 1991 in the UAE, divides her time between New York and Abu Dhabi. In 2017, she earned her Master of Fine Arts in Photography and Music from the Yale School of Art. Since then, her art has garnered recognition, and her works have found their place in collections such as the Museum of Modern Art and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, and Tate Modern in London.

Throughout her career, Farah Al Qasimi has held solo exhibitions at various venues, including the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis in 2021, Wayne State University Undergraduate Library in Detroit in 2020, and the Jameel Arts Centre in Dubai in 2019, among others. Additionally, her works have been featured in numerous group exhibitions, such as Rencontres d’Arles in 2021, Pera Museum in Istanbul in 2021, Yokohama Triennial in 2020, Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto, Aperture Foundation in New York, and the Biennial of Contemporary Arab Photography in Paris.

In spring 2020, her photography was featured at over 100 bus stops across New York City, courtesy of the Public Art Fund. Moreover, her book titled “Hello Future,” published by Capricious in 2021, received accolades and was shortlisted for the Aperture Foundation Photobook Prize in the same year. Farah Al Qasimi’s artistic journey exemplifies a profound exploration of visual storytelling and has left a mark on the contemporary art scene.

Location: C/O Berlin, Amerika Haus, Hardenbergstraße 22–24, 10623 Berlin

Date: May 13 – September 7, 2023





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