As if god themself had not given us the ability to look away from the ground and up at the infinite sky and wonder
How many stars
How many worlds
How many ways of being alive?
Reaching into deep time and queering our relationship to the origin of life, this performative event features readings by Sophia Al-Maria and a live performance by artist Victoria Sin in collaboration with costume designer Paula Sello, to coincide with their new display at Whitechapel Gallery BCE.
This event launches Sad Sack, a new anthology of writing by Sophia Al-Maria, published by Book Works.
Sophia Al-Maria (b. 1983, lives and works in London) studied comparative literature at the American university in Cairo, and aural and visual cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her first solo exhibition Virgin with a Memory was presented at HOME, Manchester in 2014. Al-Maria has also shown at the Whitney Museum NY, USA (2016); New Museum, NY (2015); Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2013); Waqif Art Centre, Doha Qatar (2007) and townhouse Gallery Cairo (2005). Al Maria participated in the 2016 Biennale of moving images (BIM), organized by the centre d’art contemporain in Geneva. In 2015 she guest edited issue 8 of The Happy hypocrite (Fresh Hell). Her memoir, The Girl Who Fell to Earth (2012), was published by Harper Perennial. Her writing has also appeared in Harper’s Magazine, Triple Canopy and Bidoun.
Victoria Sin is an artist using speculative fiction within performance, moving image, writing, and print to interrupt normative processes of desire, identification, and objectification. This includes Drag as a practice of purposeful embodiment questioning the reification and ascription of ideal images within technologies of representation and systems of looking.
Drawing from close personal encounters of looking and wanting, their work presents heavily constructed fantasy narratives on the often unsettling experience of the physical within the social body. Their long-term project Dream Babes explores science and speculative fiction as a productive strategy of queer resistance, imaging futurity that does not depend on existing historical and social infrastructure. It has included science fiction porn screenings and talks, a three-day programme of performance at Auto Italia South East, a publication, and a regular science fiction reading group for queer people of colour.