23 May 2023–21 July 2023

Isthmus - Lamya Gargash

Curated by Sophie Mayuko Arni

The Third Line

Curated by Sophie Mayuko Arni, Lamya Gargash’s fifth solo show at The Third Line.

Starts 23 May 2023

Ends 21 July 2023

Venue The Third Line

Warehouse 78


Curated by Sophie Mayuko Arni, Lamya Gargash’s fifth solo show at The Third Line – Isthmus – is an exhibition that celebrates the artist’s poetics of space and recounts human experiences throughout different geographies, all without the direct presence of the human figure. Photographing selections of objects, furniture pieces, window details, and wall trimmings speaks louder than the sum of these individual design decisions – each interior element embodies a human quality and expectations of audience preferences of a certain decade, socio-economic situation, and culture.

The exhibition debuts a new series of works as Gargash travelled from Dubai, UAE to Atami, Japan to photograph Hotel Acao Annex. In dialogue with an older body of work, we find Gargash’s pictures of the Queen Elizabeth II (QE2) cruise ship, an iconic British ocean liner converted into a floating hotel that is permanently floating in Dubai.

The word “isthmus” is a metaphor for capturing interiors in spaces as disparate as the Cultural Foundation in Abu Dhabi, Hotel Acao in Atami, and the QE2 in Dubai. “Isthmus” comes from a Latin word referring to a narrow strip of land between two seas, connecting two large land areas on either end. “Isthmus” is also a simile, as the exhibition connects two places that are fundamentally different yet share similar qualities. Arni invites viewers to look around the exhibition with a blank mind and guess which photograph was taken where.

Allegory is the third figure of speech in our toolbox. The last section of Isthmusis dedicated to the artist’s never-before-seen still-life photography that shows precious objects each symbolising a member of her immediate family. Gargash’s analogue camera, placed in between these objects, marks the artist’s presence. From finding poetry in existing curated interiors to curating her own assemblage of objects, Gargash is on a new journey.

Text by Sophie Mayuko Arni