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At the core of Sarah Dobai’s photographs and films is an ambiguous relationship between psychological and actual reality. Taking in the traditional genres of portraiture, interiors and, largely urban, landscapes, her work seeks to represent something of life as it is lived today. Using both documentary techniques and fictional scenarios, she explores physical and intuitive interactions between people – and between people and places – revealing the city as a social and sometimes political space, and its often alienating impact on individuals.
Recently Dobai has also drawn on literary references, from such writers as Tennessee Williams and Raymond Carver, to inform a series of photo-graphic portraits and a film work, Short Story Piece, that investigate how an image can represent the interior life of a sitter, how text and image relate to one another, and how narrative structure can be suggested, manipulated and disrupted within still and moving imagery. Exploiting a range of visual conventions, Dobai’s multifaceted works make you aware of the way images are constructed in art, film and popular culture.
This, her first major solo exhibition in the UK, coincides with the end of her two-year residency at London’s Delfina Studio Trust and features photographic and film works made during that time, including a new, specially commissioned, two-screen film installation, as well as key earlier works.