Sophia Al-Maria: BCE
Exhibition at Whitechapel Gallery
15 January – 28 April
“Still there are seeds to be gathered, and room in the
bag of stars.” Ursula K. Le Guin, The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction, 1986
Speculative fiction writer Ursula K. Le Guin reimagines narrative as a feminist project. Instead of the heroic, masculine hunter as the framework for all storytelling, she urges us to consider the simplicity of the gatherer, and the container or carrier as the basis for narrative. These myths invite us to imagine another kind of history to shape a different future, where the binaries of light and dark, female and male, good and evil have dissolved.
The writings of artist Sophia Al-Maria (b. 1983, USA) gather untold histories, anecdotes, images, sounds and autobiography into her carrier bag of fiction. Drawing on a year of performances and readings, her audio-visual display centres around two creation myths: one from the ancient past, one from the distant future. One originates with the Wayuu tribe in northern Colombia; the other has been created in dialogue with artist and writer Victoria Sin.
Supported by Barjeel Art Foundation