Objects in the Mirror are Closer Than They May Appear

Objects in the Mirror are Closer Than They May Appear

Objects in the Mirror are Closer Than They May Appear

Through the use of analog photography, text, video, and sound – this work foregrounds a seemingly improvised yet coordinated interplay between public dumpsters, stray cats, and humans. Deceptively complex, this dumpster ecosystem acts as a point of convergence between society, public administration, and commercial entities. Embedded within it are both virtue and a violence made mundane due to its very omnipresence. Being both a feature and signifier of Gulf rentierism and capitalism, this work utilises the dumpster ecosystem’s metaphoric and speculative properties to discuss the current social condition, the causal circumstances that brought us here, and where we may be heading. 


About the Artist

Ali Milad

Ali Milad (b.1992) is a Bahraini artist based in London, UK. His current interest lies in questioning ‘Khaleeji Exceptionalism’ as a trend in regional contemporary art by confronting it with emblems of its own decline and decay. ‘Objects in the Mirror are Closer Than They May Appear’ marks his first solo exhibition.

Ali holds a Masters of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation from Ontario College of Art and Design University (Toronto, Canada). His thesis investigated the lived experience of Bahraini artmakers to develop policy recommendations for arts sector development in Bahrain.

Ali was a part of the summer 2022 NEXUS cohort at Al Riwaq Art Space.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Is the residency only for visual arts?

No, it is open to all artists from different disciplines.

How long is the residency programme?

12 working weeks, from 28 January to 28 April 2024.

Please note the residency will coincide with the holy month of Ramadan as well as the Eid Holidays. Studio opening hours will be adjusted as appropriate during that period. 

Will there be an exhibition at the end of the residency?

Yes, participants' artwork and projects will be showcased in an exhibition at the end of the residency. The exhibition concept will be formulated and developed in discussion with the artists in residence. 

The exhibition will be developed in collaboration with Al Riwaq’s curation team, led by William Wells, and will open on 25 June 2024. 

Does this programme support research residencies?

Al Riwaq is open to receiving research-based resident artists, within Application 003 or independently. 

Artists seeking the unfamiliar around the corner, are welcome to apply for a  research-driven residency that can revolve around peer-to-peer exchange, and knowledge and understanding, not just in the arts but also in society.

Is there an age restriction for the applicants?

This residency is open for all above 18 years of age.