Zineb Sedira: Sands of Time

The Third Line, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
29 Apr 2015 - 30 May 2015

Zineb Sedira: Sands of Time

Zineb Sedira, Sugar Silo (Diptych II), 2013. Digital c-types, 160 x 200 cm.

The Third Line presents Sands of Time, Zineb Sedira’s first solo show in the region. The acclaimed artist will be showing photographs and sculptures that document the economic, political and geographical movements around sugar trade.

She will also be exhibiting the video Transmettre en abyme, which will be shown in a three-channel installation in the Project Space. Zineb’s photographs and video works use the intimate perspective of her own experience to investigate more universal ideas of mobility, memory and transmission, as well as explore issues concerning the environment.

A relatively new body of work, Zineb’s photographs for the Sugar Routes series have all been produced in 2013. The documentation traces the movement of sugar, starting its journey from locations across the world, and ending in the Port of Marseille, to form the sugar silos of St. Louis Sucre. The warehouse storage rooms become backgrounds to a new kind of landscape, where the heaps of different coloured sugar resemble mountains. After filtering, the sugar is packaged off as a global commodity, its own local identity being lost somewhere along the trade routes. However, the sugar leaves behind traces of its presence on the walls that temporarily house it. These are documented by the artist as symbolic commentary on human mobility, presenting concepts of legacy and its transmission, and mankind’s impact on his environs.

The video installation in the project space, Transmettre en abyme, is a unique documentation of the late Marcel Baudelaire’s compulsive photographic “ship spotting” of the vessels that arrived and departed from the port of Marseille from 1935 to 1985. The archive is looked after by Helene Detaille, who is seen in the video passionately explaining the systems of documentation—counting, ordering and classification of Baudelaire’s archive—as well as her methodology in preserving the archive. The collected images speak of the endless flow of goods and human cargo transported by the vessels Baudelaire photographed.


Zineb Sedira was born in Paris to Algerian parents in 1963. She studied at the Central St Martin’s School of Art and the Slade School of Art, followed by research studies at the Royal College of Art.  Zineb’s work has been included in many solo exhibitions such as at Charles H. Scott Gallery, Vancouver; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Pori Art Museum, Finland; Centre Culturel Francais, Algiers; Photographers Gallery, London; and Cornerhouse, Manchester. Her work has also been included in extensive group exhibitions, including MMK Museum fur Modern Kunst, Frankfurt; 54th Venice Biennale; Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Sharjah Biennal 8; Museum Kunst Palast, Dusseldorf, Hayward Gallery, London; Tate Britain, London; and 49th Venice Biennale. Zineb has won several awards including the Dazibao Prize (2011) and the Prix SAM pour l’art contemporain (2010). In 2015, Zineb was nominated for the Prix Marcel Duchamp. Zineb lives and works between Algiers, Paris and London.

The Third Line is a Dubai based art gallery that represents contemporary Middle Eastern artists and also hosts non-profit, alternative programs to increase interest and dialogue in the region. In addition to this, The Third Line publishes books by associated artists from the region. Represented artists include: Abbas Akhavan, Ala Ebtekar, Amir H. Fallah, Arwa Abouon, Babak Golkar, Ebtisam Abdulaziz, Farhad Moshiri, Fouad Elkoury, Golnaz Fathi, Hassan Hajjaj, Hayv Kahraman, Huda Lutfi, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, Laleh Khorramian, Lamya Gargash, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Pouran Jinchi, Rana Begum, Sahand Hesamiyan, Sara Naim, Sherin Guirguis, Shirin Aliabadi, Slavs and Tatars, Sophia Al-Maria, Tarek Al-Ghoussein, Youssef Nabil and Zineb Sedira.


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