Moza Almatrooshi is a rising star in the contemporary art world, and her work is gaining increasing attention for its unique and powerful exploration of storytelling, power, and identity.
Born in Dubai in 1991, Almatrooshi currently lives and works between Sharjah and London. She received her BFA in Arts and Creative Enterprises from Zayed University in Dubai (2013), an MFA from Slade School of Fine Art, London (2019), and a diploma in culinary arts from ICCA Dubai (2020).
Almatrooshi’s work is deeply rooted in her Emirati heritage and her experiences living and working in the UAE and abroad. She is particularly interested in exploring the erased mythology of the Arabian Peninsula, and how it intersects with present modes of seeing. Her work often takes the form of performances, moving image and audio media, and text-based work.
One of the most striking features of Almatrooshi’s work is its use of magic realism. In her work, she often reshapes historical narratives and plays with genres of stories, such as fables, to create alternative truths and herstories. She also strategically uses il/legibility and silences to critique hegemony and power structures.
For example, in her video work Irreversible Act I: Sugar Rush (2017), Almatrooshi captures an aerial view of a pot on the stove where mounds of white sugar slowly caramelize into auburn flecks. The video is both mesmerizing and unsettling, as it comments on the speed of urban development in the UAE and the way it has transformed the landscape and its people.
In her performance Bellyfull (2019), Almatrooshi recounts stories from her childhood while eating a traditional Emirati dish. The performance is both intimate and universal, as it explores the relationship between food, storytelling, and gender. Almatrooshi uses her own body as a vessel for these stories, and her performance is both powerful and vulnerable.
Almatrooshi’s most recent major work is the multi-channel video installation HUNNA/هُنَّ (2021). This work explores the stories of women and non-binary people in the UAE, through interviews, performances, and archival footage. HUNNA/هُنَّ is a powerful and moving work that challenges dominant narratives about gender and identity in the UAE.
Moza Almatrooshi is a young artist, but her work is already making a significant impact on the contemporary art world. She is a unique voice who is using her art to challenge dominant narratives and explore complex issues of identity, power, and representation. Her work is both timely and timeless, and it is sure to continue to resonate with audiences for many years to come.