DUBAI.- The Third Line
introduces Ebtisam Abdulaziz's first solo show at the gallery, titled Autobiography 2012. The Emirati artist presents works that seamlessly shift between intimacy and science, imparting details into the artist's private thoughts and the visual coding that symbolizes her systematic thinking.
Autobiography 2012 continues Abdulaziz's exploration of 'system art,' a term used to describe a type of abstract art characterized by geometric forms, placed either in a single concentrated image or repeated in a system. In this series, works presented include found objects, small works on paper and large drawings on canvas, which all embody numbers and codes, rules and equations, from her everyday life into visual cryptograms and grids that only the artist can understand.
Using the Duchampian approach of readymade objects, Abdulaziz maps the number plates of cars from her frequent trips between Abu Dhabi and Dubai to matrices of domino layouts, each number corresponding to a certain color or domino shape. The found objects works retrace Abdulaziz's footsteps and daily journeys, where she finds and collects objects, cleans and paints them and carefully arranges them in glass cylinders, as if creating a time capsule to preserve the moment. Finally, the small works on paper, each one with its distinctive cipher, are representative of pages from the artist's personal daily diary and memoirs, allowing a glimpse into the life of an otherwise isolationist society.
The pieces lure the audience in with their abstraction and curious cryptography but the real hook is in the voyeuristic opportunity to glimpse into the life of the artist through her eyes by drawing attention to the details we normally take for granted. The work challenges the mind scientifically and visually,and yet still caters to the deep-rooted human need to understand oneself vis-à-vis the roles in societies that are equally dominated by hidden rules and structures.
Ebtisam Abdulaziz is a multidisciplinary Emirati artist and writer based in the UAE. Abdulaziz incorporates her unique perspective on mathematics and the structures of systems to explore issues of identity andculture through installations, performance pieces and works on paper. Abdulaziz has exhibited as part of the Inaugural UAE and ADACH Pavilions at53rd Venice Biennale, as well as at the 7th Sharjah Biennial; Languages of the Desert, the Kunst Museum, Bonn, Germany; Dubai Next, a collaboration between the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority and Vitra Design Museum, Basel, 2008; Arab Express, a group exhibition at The Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, 2012; 25 years of Arab Creativity, the Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris; Inventing The World:The Artists as a Citizen, Benin Biennial 2012, Kora Centre, Benin. Abdulaziz is a member of the Emirates Fine Art Society and Tashkeel editorial team, was a participant in the 2007 Emirates Foundation Grant Program Art Panel, and has recently been selected as one of the artists for the 2013 Artist-in-Residency Dubai program, a collaboration between Art Dubai, Delfina Foundation, the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) and Tashkeel. Abdulaziz work is housed in severalprominent public and private collections world wide including the Collection of Deutsche Bank AG, Germany; Farook collection, UAE and Ministry of Culture & Youth collection, Abu Dhabi, UAE. She currently lives and works in Sharjah, UAE.