In Conversation at Asian Art Museum San Francisco

July 8, 2012 - filed under Upcoming Events   

Artist Mariam Ghani speaks to independent curator Leeza Ahmady about the phantoms in her work, from the specters of real but repressed histories, to the horrors that haunt the edges of present politics, to the conceivable but unrealized futures that manifest as possible spaces hovering above or alongside actual, traversable spaces. Ghani and Ahmady will also discuss their work in Afghanistan, sharing their perspectives on their participation in dOCUMENTA (13)’s initiative in Kabul and Bamiyan, which included a series of seminars (Feb-June) and an exhibition at the Bagh-e-Babur Gardens in Kabul.

Ghani’s work addresses the intersections of place, memory, history, language, and loss, as seen in her recent video installation A Brief History of Collapses, commissioned by dOCUMENTA (13). The two-channel video traverses the ruined Dar-ul Aman Palace in Kabul and the restored Museum Fridericianum in Kassel, Germany in two parallel courses, in order to explore both similarities and differences in their structures, histories and myths. Ghani’s research-based practice also informs her recent publication Afghanistan: A Lexicon, a nonlinear history of 20th-century Afghanistan, and her Sharjah Biennial 10 commission The Trespassers, a video, sound and archive installation that examines the overlaps between translation, treason and trespass in the ‘global war on terror.’

Ahmady’s recent dynamic role as part of the dOCUMENTA (13) Agents team involved leading a series of workshops in Kabul spanning art theory, perspectives on international contemporary art, and the building of a critical art magazine. Noted for her ongoing curatorial efforts to contextualize and exhibit works of Central Asian artists, Ahmady is at the forefront of an influx of activities in the region, paving the way for extended opportunities for artists in their home countries and abroad. Since 2005, she has been the director of Asian Contemporary Art Week (ACAW), a biennial event initiated by Asian Contemporary Art Consortium (ACAC), New York, comprising a series of special exhibitions, lectures, and performances at leading city museums and galleries such as the Asia Society, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art.

Asian Art Museum
Samsung Hall
200 Larkin St.
San Francisco, CA 94102


An event of ACAC San Francisco:


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