The Making and Breaking of an Icon: Dragging the Inside Out

Opening Saturday 18 May, 1 – 5 PM
Inauguration speech at 2 PM

18 May–14 September, 2024
Botkyrka Konsthall

In this exhibition, artist Nada Ali explores a conflicting relationship to a monument. In the ritualistic act of creating, breaking and reassembling, she illuminates our quest for meaning within our lives and how we are affected by the various guises of power embedded within symbols and icons.

The ongoing project The Making and Breaking of an Icon  is a ceramic sculpture made from 350 kg of clay. A monumental figure with multiple arms that embraces its own body, and that undergoes an eternal cycle of being built up and demolished.

Inside the sculpture is an inscription in Arabic where letters and numbers not only functions as a system for the reassembly process, but also as an inspiration for how a cultural heritage can be repaired.

The work was performed for the first time in connection to Nada’s graduation exhibition at the Royal Inst. of Art in 2021. Here in Botkyrka Konsthall, we get to witness the artist’s laborious process of rebuilding the sculpture before it is destroyed again.

The exhibition also shows several video installations and the site-specific work Dragging the Inside Out that deals with the embodiment of grief and guilt. The sculptural installation consists of a natural stone borrowed from the local area, whose body rests on a pillow, and on top of it, a glass ball. An image that moves from the inner existential landscapes to the outer worlds, and eventually further out to the public space.

Nada’s work is often based on personal experiences; although the themes speaks of collective traumas of grief and loss, as well as the act of comforting and healing.

Nada Ali (b. 1988) is a Syrian-Swedish artist living in Stockholm. She has a master’s degree in fine arts from The Royal Inst. of Art in Stockholm and a bachelor’s degree in fine arts specializing in oil and mural painting from the University of Damascus, Syria.

Nada Ali, foto: privat