This publication features works by Farah Al Qasimi made between 2017 and 2021 and accompanies the solo exhibition of the same name at the Art Gallery of Western Australia.
Both the book and the exhibition take their title from Al Qasimi’s 2021 photograph “Star Machine,” in which the artist portrays herself lying on a sofa in a room covered in projected stars, as a way of escaping the monotony of a two-week Covid quarantine. The photograph, like the other works included in the book, showcases the ways in which Qasimi layers fictions and realities and uses the camera as a tool to relate between the different worlds we inhabit—individual, collective, meatworld-based, social media-intervened, real, shared, imagined, or personal.
“Al Qasimi’s work is characterised by her sophisticated use of light; specifically deploying transparency, opacity, radiance, and reflection to confound the eye and scramble space. Her compositions are often shallow, with no single focal point, and with a superfluity of texture, colour, and shine pushing up against the surface of the image …
To wit, Al Qasimi makes her critical position regarding colonial scopic regimes clear in a tongue-in-cheek photograph of a butcher shop. A brightly lit, refrigerate display of carcasses is visible through a store window; above it, and below the fully functioning two-word Arabic signage, only ‘perspective’ glows green. The punchline is in the title: ‘Perspective Butcher Shop’ (2022).”
― from Murtaza Vali’s afterword