Project Native Informant

Sophia Al-Maria

Tender Point Ruin

LUMA Westbau, Zurich

Tender Point Ruin is a single-channel projection, with surround sound. Combining a wide variety of narratives, Al-Maria constructs a mysterious and metaphysical journey through history, mythology, experience, and subjectivity. Unfolding events are illustrated in the manner of an exquisite corpse, using collaborative techniques to assemble an intense visual and audio collage based on individual stories.

Tender Point Ruin is inspired by the experimental Luma Foundation production To the Moon via the Beach (2012), which culminated with the creation of a lunar landscape in the centre of the amphitheatre of Arles (France). Al-Maria evokes a sense of connection and continuation with reference to this production, parts of which she is combining into something new, while reflecting simultaneously on personal experiences, memory, and collectivity. Found footage, spoken and written word, objects, interviews and online documentation are juxtaposed with newly created material as Al-Maria navigates across extremely diverse sources. An interview with Hans-Ulrich Obrist, or a poem read by Etel Adnan appear alongside personal recollections, intimate conversations and recordings that reveal questions extending on the production of the self, the current state of the world and science fiction, among other. All together they examine the construction of subjectivity, human experience, and notions of otherness.

Tender Point Ruin, as an exquisite corpse, unfolds like a psychogeographical process through multiple fragmented and fractured moments in time, a form of continuous dialogue in space which is evolving in time. It reveals an astute awareness of current cultural, political, and existential questions. Through sublimated textures, introspective processes and derives between multiple traditions and pathways, it renders the human condition with extraordinary tenderness and intimacy.

Al-Maria employs a language where symbolism and spiritualism confronts scientific reason, art and cultural identity to create a dynamic encounter between history, the past and the present. The subtle, contemplative approach complexifies established narratives and suggests a radical new approach to rituals, the idea of ruins of previous civilisations, the future, but also colonisation, memory, community, and individuality.

Tender Point Ruin was commissioned by the Luma Foundation and features cameos by artists including Josh Woolford, Wai Kin Sin, Wu Tsang and Leila Dear. It was shown at Luma Arles, Parc des Ateliers in 2021 as part of the exhibition Prelude — A group show with Sophia Al Maria, Kapwani Kiwanga, P. Staff and Jakob Kudsk Steensen.

For the presentation in Zurich, Al-Maria has included annotated drawings, and other elements that are part of the video but also intimately connected to other collaborative projects, notably the project of Moby Dick; or, The Whale, realized together with Al-Maria’s long-term collaborators Wu Tsang, Tosh Basco and Moved by the Motion.

Units 1 and 3
48 Three Colts Lane
London E2 6GQ
United Kingdom

Wednesday - Saturday
12:00 - 18:00