About Alia Ali's series FLUX (2019)
FLUX is a series of shifting photographic artworks that embody silhouettes that are warped by textile, saturated in colors and a medley of motifs. Each frame is uniquely upholstered with wax print sourced from Cote d’Ivoire. While some of the images distort visibility, others create hypervisibility almost negating themselves into animated forms of camouflage. The outburst of saturated colors and hyperoptic motifs in these images, lend themselves to vibrating results obscuring the complex and sometimes iniquitous conditions by which these textiles came into fruition and destabilizing the source(s) from where they came from. The multiple dimensionality creates a kaleidoscope of perspectives, horizontally and vertically. Horizontally, in that this material has come into existence across borders over land and water, and vertically in that they draw from and evoke cosmic, mythical and religious inspirations. Furthermore, these particular wax prints are a key to mapping the colonial trade routes. While they certainly can be seen as escapist dreamscapes, they are also objects of oppression and capitalism.
FLUX has been endorsed by Venetia Porter, the curator for Islamic and Contemporary Middle East Art at the British Museum, and has most recently been shown at the New Orleans Museum of Art. It will also be presented at a solo show at the new Benton Museum of Art (formerly The Pomona College Museum of Art) later this year. For this occasion, Alia’s first substantial monographic catalogue will be published.
About the artist
Alia Ali (Austria, 1985) is a Yemeni-Bosnian-American multi-media artist. She is a graduate of the United World College of the Atlantic (UWCAC) and holds a BA in Studio Art and Middle Eastern Studies from Wellesley College and an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, Santa Clarita, CA, USA.
She has been awarded the Alice C. Cole '42 Grant of Wellesley College, LensCulture’s Emerging Talent Awards 2016 and Gold Winner in a Fine Art Category of the Tokyo International Photo Awards. Most recently, she’s been awarded the Chromatic Art Award as Photographer of the Year 2020 and the Lens Culture Portrait Award 2020 (juror’s pick).
Alia has exhibited internationally in museums, fairs and festivals including PhotoLondon 2019 in the UK, 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair in Morocco, Art Karlsruhe in Germany, the Lianzhou Photo Festival in China, the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam in the Netherlands, the Katzen Museum of Art in Washington DC, The Contemporary Art Center in New Orleans, the Kuala Lumpur Photo Festival in Malaysia, and Art Dubai. Alia has presented lectures and workshops at Harvard University, the LACMA, the Middle East Institute, Gulf Photo Plus and the Arab American Museum.
About Malte Sänger's series DAEMON (2019)
Smartphone technology for biometric identification runs obliquely in the background, measuring, recognizing, and recording the facial features of the user by projecting a grid. For this series, Malte Sänger modified a digital single lens reflex camera. He replaced the internal blocking filter of the camera with infrared filters and was thus able to capture infrared light at a certain wavelength. Using this construction, he was able to photograph the actual grid projected by smartphones for facial recognition. In these infrared photographs people are shown in silhouettes as they unlock their smartphone and are detected by the grid. The many grid points make the pictures looks like they are covered with static interference, and the dimension of the depicted person is diffuse.
About the artist
Malte Sänger (b. 1987) studied photography at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Offenbach with Martin Liebscher and philosophy and aesthetics with Juliane Rebentisch (Diploma 2018). He is a 2018/19 prize winner for "gute aussichten - new German photography". In 2015 he received the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation and HfG Award, and in 2019 the gute aussichten GRANT III. For both his books "Shifting Baselines" and “The Hinterland” he was awarded the German Photo Book Prize in silver (2018/19 and 2019/20).
In 2020, Malte Sänger was accepted for the MFA program at the California Institute of the Arts in Santa Clara, California, USA, and received a 2-year-scholarship by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for Master Degree programs abroad as well as the 2020/2022 Lilian Disney Scholarship at CalArts.
Malte Sänger’s works can be found in various collections, including the Art Collection of the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation and the Klingspor Museum Offenbach. His work has been shown at NRW Forum, Duesseldorf, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, Landesmuseum Koblenz and Technische Sammlungen Dresden, and Photo London 2019, to name just a few.
He has also been awarded various other scholarships and residencies, such as the Johannes Mosbach Foundation and the Frankfurter Künstlerhilfe, a catalogue grant from the Dr. Marschner Foundation, the second prize of the Marianne Brandt Competition, and the Casa Piccola Residency in Colloro, Italy, 2018.