“Al Qasimi’s photographs are filled with flowers but they are rarely real. Instead, they are represented metonymically as object, ornament, pattern, and image. In a series of flower studies, their natural forms are translated materially into a glinting crystal trinket, a perishable garnish carved from a tomato or carrot, and a sugary decoration piped in pink frosting. By capturing this material metamorphosis Al Qasimi amplifies the ways in which flowers are commonly consumed as ornamental commodities intended to embellish and entice.”—Murtaza Vali
Titled after Farah Al Qasimi’s photograph Star Machine (2021)—a self-portrait in which the artist uses the star machine to transcend the monotony of her surroundings after two weeks of quarantine—this publication accompanies the homonymous exhibition at the Art Gallery of Western Australia, curated by Rachel Cieśla. Presenting a selection of photographs from across new and existing bodies of work, which are wrapped in found images sourced from Alibaba merchants, this book speaks to our shared aspirations for transcendence beyond our daily lives. Understanding the camera as a relational tool, Al Qasimi’s hyper-colourised and richly textured photographs focus our attention upon how we see, feel and initiate contact with people, places, or ways of being within today’s world. Published in collaboration with the Art Gallery of Western Australia and the Simon Lee Foundation Institute of Contemporary Asian Art.
Published by Mousse Publishing, 76 pgs, 30.5 × 23 cm, Softcover, 2023, 978 886 749 5856