East of West marks its final regularly-scheduled exhibition in Santa Fe by presenting “BORDERLAND,” a show of 12 large-scale photographs taken by Yemeni/Bosnian/American multimedia artist Alia Ali.
Opening on October 20 and running through November 9, “BORDERLAND” is a series of photos in which Ali looks at artificially-imposed, human-made borders between countries and examines how pronounced and perceptible these demarcations can be.
Ali traveled for nine months across 11 regions of the world to connect with textile artists living in communities that have beens scarred by the imprints of power and destruction. Each photograph depicts an individual artisan posing beneath their own creation. Stories and cultures are expressed through color, texture and pattern.
“Language is a barrier between people when we don’t speak the same language, but visual symbolism transcends language,” says East of West’s founder/director L.E. Brown. “We don’t need to know what the women behind the textiles are saying. These visual images have their own powerful narrative. The inability to know anything about the cloaked subject encourages reflection on our individual relationships with belonging, exile, inclusion and exclusion.”
Ali is a resident of Los Angeles whose work is exhibited worldwide. Her aesthetic interests stem from people, place and the processes that unite and divide us. Her work reflects on the politics and poetics of contested notions surrounding the topics of identity, physical borders, universality, mental/physical spaces of confinement and the inherent dualism that exists in everything.
“Alia is an extremely prolific artist with an international reputation,” says Brown. “I’m so thrilled to be able to show her work in Santa Fe.”
Since Brown is moving to Istanbul to become the project director for a Turkish company of designers and artists who do massive installations around the world, East of West won’t be hosting regular shows in Santa Fe. However, Brown plans to come back to Santa Fe every summer and continue presenting exhibits in town on a periodic basis.