About The Work
Working with ideas of the celestial, home to planetary and spiritual configurations that have fascinated humanity since the beginning of time, the artist combines early 12th Century traditions of Persian cosmic philosophy with modern-day scientific imaging of the heavens. Ala Ebtekar’s explorations over the years, into the union of both spectrums, and a search for the portals into imagined futures, culminate in this mystical homage to light. 'Zenith (VI)' was created using the Cyanotype method to imprint images of space onto canvas. Cyanotype is a photographic printing process that produces a cyan-blue print which dates back to 1842, when it was used to produce blueprints. Further completing the circle of his fascination with the cosmos, Ala develops his Cyanotype canvases by exposing them to the natural light of the moon and sun.
Ala Ebtekar (b. 1978) is an artist who works between his native San Francisco Bay Area and Tehran, Iran. Born
in Berkeley, California to Iranian activist/artist/architect parents, from an early age, he developed an affinity
towards various notions of in-between-ness, which has led him to explore the many spaces amongst the two
cultures, both shared and separated, momentary and boundless. Such experiences have evolved into a dynamic
practice that disquiets dominant notions of identity and complicates cultural difference. For the past twenty
years, he has situated his art practice as a multitude of spaces between, and even above.
Ala’s recent investigations have created liminal experiences to longer notions of scientific duration beyond
human timelines, cosmic travel and the phenomenology of light. These projects bring forth sculptural and
photographic possibilities of the universe gazing back through endless collapses of time and physical reworking
of centuries old processes of image making. Ala’s practice extends how our contemporary moments both live
together as minuscule and paramount amidst an infinite score of skies and stars.
The Third Line is a Dubai-based art gallery that represents Contemporary Middle Eastern artists locally, regionally and internationally. The Third Line also hosts non-profit, alternative programmes to increase interest and dialogue in the region.