Wk 13 – Artist Conversation – Ihab Ali

Exhibition: Eye Witness
Media: Car, dry wall, black sheeting, lights,
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Marilyn Werby Gallery
Website: N/A 
Instagram: ihabali

This week’s artist is Ihab Ali. Ali is currently an undergraduate at CSULB. He majors in ceramics, and plans to graduate in May. Ali is from Europe, where he said the atmosphere was more hectic. This ultimately inspired him to make Eyewitness. His father was a political activist. This prompted him to move from Europe to the U.S. when he was fourteen years old. Originally he was an astrophysics engineer. But, he switched to pre-med. and finally settled down to major in ceramics. But Ali feels discontent, for he believes that people shouldn’t have to go to school to become an artist. His favorite foods are pizza and pineapples.

This exhibit was a maze/walk through! Throughout the maze it was very dark, or dim lighting. There appeared to be blood-inspired spots on the wall. There was a section with white sheets on the ground. Next, there was a television, but only static played. The next room contained a broken car. Along the way, there were pits of wood on the ground. Also, there was a white star on the wall. Throughout the exhibit, there was an ominous soundtrack playing. The scale was very huge, it too up the entire room. The main color scheme was gray, black, white, and cream. There was also use of dry wall, and black sheets.

This exhibit was mainly to mirror the scary, fearful atmosphere Ali felt when he grew up in Syria.  The important aspect is that this was to mirror what it was like. Ali took his parents to experience the exhibit and they said that the atmosphere was very similar to where they used to live. But, the ultimate goal was to allow other people to experience what it’s like in a “different world.” Ali also said that he used pits of the media to inspire him. This was helpful since it portrays a dark, and scary mood.

This art exhibit was very powerful. It was very cool to experience a walk-through such as this. It’s definitely one of my favorites, since it was nothing similar to what we have seen before. At first when me and my friend entered, we were joking around and we were kinda scared. But, after I realized the more serious message behind this exhibit. It really helped me appreciate and love this exhibit more. I’m thankful for this particular exhibit since it raises more awareness toward this subject. Overall, Ali’s exhibit was interesting and enjoyable. I hope he continues to spread awareness.



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