Exhibition Statement

One Room After Another

In One Room After Another, Ali AlYousefi presents several art projects centering on a single theme: rooms. The projects include watercolor and ink paintings drawn in the language of architectural floor plans, where each artwork portrays a single room. Another project presented for the first time is AlYousefi’s forthcoming book, The Labyrinth of Rooms: An Architectural Allegory (2024), which pairs pixel art with short literary texts. 

But why rooms in the first place? Rooms are interesting because they can be defined in two contradictory ways: as the physical form of the enclosure (walls, floors, ceilings), and as the occupiable space created within. The solid and permanent form stands in contrast to the ephemerality of action and event that it hosts. The artworks in this exhibition explore this double possibility: each depicted room is differentiated by its shape and color, and that difference in form implies a difference in occupation also. But it is left to the viewer to imagine that difference, or what happens in each room: a birth, a dance, a rite, a fight, a passing?

This is AlYousefi’s first solo exhibition, and it follows his debut in the group exhibition of the SADI 2022 artist residency. As with his previous work, the artworks shown in One Room After Another are grouped in distinct series, each having strict rules of composition and color, where the change from one artwork to the next is tightly controlled and limited to a few variables. The goal is to create strong relationships between artworks of the same series, so that they are not only engaging as individual works, but equally as an evolving set.