Tue 10 Oct 2023 to Sat 11 Nov 2023
Artist: Jananne Al-Ani
Ab-Anbar presents Landmarks, a solo exhibition by London-based Iraqi-born artist Jananne Al-Ani. The exhibition spans more than two decades of photographic and moving image work, focusing on Al-Ani’s longstanding interest in the power of the gaze in response to lens-based technologies, the significance of eye-witness testimony, and the disappearance of the body in highly charged and contested landscapes.
Marking the 20th anniversary of the Iraq War, an event that casts a long shadow over Al-Ani’s practice, Landmarks highlights preoccupations that have persisted over time and continue to reverberate throughout this distinctive body of work. From The Visit (2004), a multi-channel installation featuring intimate recollections of loss and trauma set against the desert landscape of the Middle East, to Black Powder Peninsula (2016), an aerial film focusing on the English landscape, including sites rich with the remains of British military, naval and industrial history. The film’s vertical perspective has the effect of flattening and abstracting the landscape and rendering it unfamiliar while revealing the ruins of a faded empire hidden in plain sight.
The exhibition includes the new film Sounds of War II, combining subtly animated archival photographs with contemporary aerial photographs of the ghostly footprints of US airfields across rural East Anglia which were decommissioned after the end of the Second World War. The work draws attention to the complex geopolitical relations that link the rise of American power and influence in the second half of the 20th century with the pivotal role played by Britain in the formation of the modern Middle East in the aftermath of the First World War.
About the artist
Jananne Al-Ani has had solo exhibitions at Towner Eastbourne; Beirut Art Center; National Museum of Asian Art, Washington DC; Imperial War Museum, London; Darat al Funun, Amman; and Art Now: Tate Britain, London.
Recent group exhibitions include Air, Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane; Trembling Landscapes, Eye Filmmuseum, Amsterdam; Theater of Operations: The Gulf Wars 1991–2011, MoMA PS1, New York; A Stitch in Time, Today Museum, Beijing; Please Come Back. The World as Prison? MAXXI, Rome; Film as Place, SFMOMA, San Francisco; A Bird’s Eye View of the World, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima.
She has participated in the ninth Asia Pacific Triennial; 11th Sharjah Biennial; 13th Istanbul Biennial; 18th Biennale of Sydney; and the 54th Venice Biennale. Her work can be found in collections including the V&A, London; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; and Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna.
Al-Ani is a trustee of The Photographers’ Gallery, London and a general assembly member of Mophradat, Brussels/Athens. She is Reader in Photography and Moving Image and Senior Lecturer in Photography at the University of the Arts London.