Alia Ali (Arabic: علي عاليه // Sabean: 𐩡𐩱𐩲|𐩲𐩺𐩡𐩱𐩲) is a Yemeni-Bosnian-US multi-media artist. Her work explores cultural binaries, challenges culturally sanctioned oppression, and confronts the dualistic barriers of conflicted notions of gender, politics, media, and citizenship. Through her practice, Ali critiques linguistics and inherited political structures and narratives, while simultaneously attempting to counter the polarization and miscommunication that imperils communities across the world, encouraging viewers to confront their own prejudices.
Working between language, photography, video, textile, and installation, Ali’s work addresses the politicization of the body, histories of colonization, imperialism, sexism, and racism through projects that take pattern and textile as their primary motif. Textile, in particular, has been a constant in Ali’s practice. Her strong belief that textile is significant to all of us, reminds us that we are born into it, we sleep in it, we eat on it, we define ourselves by it, we shield ourselves with it, and eventually, we die in it. While it unites us, it also divides us physically and symbolically. Her work broadens into immersive installations utilizing light, pattern, and textile to move past language and offer an expansive, experiential understanding of self, culture, and nation.
Ali has exhibited in numerous solo exhibitions and art fairs across the globe.. Her work is in collections at the British Museum, Princeton University, New Orleans Museum of Art, Montclair Art Museum, Tucson Museum of Art, Museum of Photography in Chicago, Benton Museum of Art, and a myriad of international private collections. Ali is the recipient of the ARTSY Vanguard Prize 2021-22 and is a NIKON Global Ambassador.
Ali is a graduate of Wellesley College and the California Institute of the Arts (CALARTS). She lives in New Orleans
and travels between her studios in Paris, Jaipur and Marrakech.