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Sara Naim: Building Blocks
Sara Naim’s second solo exhibition at The Third Line extends the artist’s preoccupation with micro images and dichotomies between proximity and distance into an examination of memory and cognitive associations. Building Blocks maps the cellular make up of three elements nostalgic to the artist: jasmine, soil and Aleppo soap.
Using an electron microscope, Naim scans the cellular structure of each sample, magnifies it, and reveals its complexity through imagery mounted on wood and plexiglass. The large-scale renditions include deliberate glitches such as formal distortions, light leaks or reticule cross-lines – interferences that further abstract the works and hint at the imperfection of memory and thus of human nature.
The process is illustrated by a short film that places the viewer’s eyes in front of the microscope as its lens explores the relief of all three samples morphed into one. Conversely, one of the elements magnified in the series, the Aleppo soap, morphs from micro to macro in the form of soap brick structures on the gallery’s floor. In part broken, cut and fragmented, the towers’ intentional defaults imitate glitches witnessed on Sara’s photographs. Their carefully orchestrated arrangement, on the other hand, performs a cellular analogy to the building blocks of life and further intimates the vastness of the microscopic universe extant within us.
This is a strong opening to the new year for The Third Line, and it could be one of the most interesting Dubai shows of the year.
To 27 February.
Above: Sara Naim, Form 5, 2018