Exhibition: 21 Feb – 2 Aug 2020
Fri 13 Mar
New Orleans Museum of Art
1 Collins Diboll Circle
70124 New Orleans
Wed 12-20, Thu-Sun 10-17
13 March, 7 pm | Alia Ali in conversation with Katie Pfohl, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art on FLUX
Yemeni-Bosnian artist Alia Ali explores cultures at geographic crossroads. Her work considers how politics, economics and histories collide in fabric patterns and techniques, showing how fabric both unites and divides us. Focusing on wax print fabric—a form with roots in Indian, Japanese, Chinese, Javanese, Dutch and African traditions—FLUX captures the way textiles move and migrate across different cultures. This series of photographic portraits present people who are at once concealed and highly visible, their silhouettes warped by textile patterns, their faces covered over by vibrantly colored fabrics. Surrounded by upholstered frames, these portraits convey both the intimacy of fabric—a material worn close to the body—and the way its seductive colors and prints often obscure the violent colonial histories and exploitative global economies of which it is a part. Reflecting on how wax print came into existence across borders on land and water, FLUX reveals how these histories are woven into the very processes and production of the wax print. The resultant portraits evoke the cultural flux resulting from today’s mass migrations and increasing geopolitical instability across the world.
Presented in NOMA’s Great Hall, the museum’s neoclassical entrance lobby, the exhibition draws attention to the museum itself as a crossroads: a space that represents the coming together of the many different cultures represented in NOMA’s collection. _Alia Ali: FLUX_ will be on view at NOMA from February 21 to August 2, 2020, with the artist presenting a talk about her work on Friday, March 13.