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.
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.