Equations of Sight-Similarity
On Stellar Rays and Sun\Ra are pleased to announce a group exhibition Equations of Sight-Similarity. The exhibition is the first in a series of collaborations between Candice Madey of On Stellar Rays and Sunny Rahbar, co-founder of the The Third Line Gallery, Dubai and of Sun\Ra, aiming to embrace open-ended collaborations with an international group of artists. This inaugural exhibition will take place at On Stellar Rays from January 12 to February 23.
Equations of Sight-Similarity is an excerpt from “Cosmic Equation,” a poem by the musician and mystic Sun Ra whose unconventional philosophy created connections between the experience of the individual and the cosmos. The exhibition presents works that explore various perceptions of time and space and question our ability to accurately perceive our present situation as individuals. Otherworldly, cosmic, and arithmetic references offer alternative vantage points and knowledge potential, placing a poetic emphasis on human and social interconnectivity.
About the artists:
Julia Bland’s large-scale canvases are generated through a labored process of cutting, sewing, weaving, and painting various textiles. Bland begins with geometric configurations generated from meticulously rendered drawings, often employing forms and patterns with cultural, religious, or spiritual significance. Bland then uses destructive methods to break down any representation or meaning inherent to the material, ultimately generating a more complex, layered geometry — an elaborate composition woven from divergent parts and materials.
Nate Boyce’s work asserts a singular voluminous form, slowly moving and presenting itself as sculpture, but in the terse and flattened space of an LCD screen. Referencing physical and temporal dimensions of structural film, futurist and cubist sculpture, and minimalism, Boyce adds another complicated dimension, that of virtual space, within which space and matter can be stretched, distorted, and morphed, where matter behaves in non-material manners. The works support the idea that technology — manifested as art or otherwise — invokes alternative experiences of time and space, thus affecting individual perception of the physical world.
Ala Ebtekar’s work frequently unites ancient traditions — Islamic architecture, Zoroastrianism, the Medieval Persian mystics Suhrawardi, Nizami and Hafez — with science fiction literature and other collective visions of the future. Posters advertising a 1960s sci-fi film about a joint European-US mission to investigate a planet found in a position parallel to Earth and behind the Sun are layered with ink drawings reminiscent of astrological charts. The layering of earthly and cosmic allusions within a singular work follows Ebtekar’s interest in the Sufi belief in the dual existence of the earthly and divine.
Mark Geffriaud will present the latest work in his Projectiles series, in which silver nitrate is applied to glass to create a mirroring effect. Various table-top elements are displayed at eye-level, in which the artist plays with ideas of optical phenomena; an architecture of light, shadow, and reflection shifts in relation to the viewer. The work is influenced by various archaic viewfinders, star finders, and sun clocks, whose often beautiful sculptural forms are determined by a more fundamental intention to connect the human gaze with complex and shifting universe.
Laleh Khorramian’s work weaves together elements of science fiction and subterranean worlds, into complex and layered narratives in an attempt to deconstruct and transcend a lived reality that is often just as fabricated. Mining the subliminal and the subconscious, images are generated and in turn inform her stories by actively seeking patterns in the visual landscape that relate to abstract concepts of time and space. Endless connections and cycles of regeneration present in nature, humanity, and the cosmos surface and intersect in Khorramian’s work.
Hajra Waheed presents her Video Installation Project (2013): a series of 10 short videos encased in small hand-crafted wooden boxes, each presenting a vignette of seemingly mundane and banal moments. Her interest in the gaze provokes closer inquiry, revealing discordant and uncanny details within each frame. Waheed works in the manner of an archivist, archeologist and anthropologist, capturing what she refers to as “magic moments,” while revealing interconnections and collective experiences that continue to shape the growth and development of our ever-shifting scapes.
Lantian Xie’s work Like a Universe depicts a scanned and redacted jacket back from legendary Hong Kong pop star 梅艷芳’s 1986 妖女 album. Like much of his work, the image becomes allegory for an experience of post-diaspora thirdness in the United Arab Emirates and explores an interconnected constellation of belongings and aspirations via the epicenter of the pop starlet.