Tate Britain Art Now space
4 February – 10 April 2005
Art Now is a programme of exhibitions that aims to promote discussion and awareness of new art in Britain. For the latest in the series, Jananne Al-Ani will present The Visit, a two part video installation. The exhibition contrasts repeated scenes of a mysterious figure pacing in an empty landscape with a series of conversational exchanges between a group of young women.
In the large-scale projection work, Muse, the ghostly shimmer of a desert heat-haze disperses to reveal a smartly-dressed man restlessly walking across the same small strip of parched terrain. The camera returns to observe him over seven separate sequences, the passage of time marked by changes in the light, and by the play of lengthening, deepening shadows
Meanwhile, in the multi-screen piece, Echo, four women discuss a correspondingly absent figure. Talking amongst, and often over, each other, shared histories and affinities are pieced together, although the relationship between the subject of their conversation and the man waiting and pacing in the desert landscape is never resolved.
The Visit is Jananne Al-Ani’s most ambitious project to date, and adds to an impressive body of video and photographic work, distinguished by its evocative portraits and complex, often intimate narratives. The Visit was commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella and Norwich Gallery (where it received its first staging last year).
Jananne Al-Ani was born in Iraq in 1966. She lives and works in London. Exhibiting widely in Britain and abroad, Al-Ani has had solo shows at Dryphoto Art Contemporanea,Prato and the Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie, Arles (2002). Recent group exhibitions include The World is a Stage: Stories behind Pictures, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, 2005; Beyond East and West: Seven Transnational Artists at the Krannert Art Museum, Champaign (2004); And the One doesn’t stir without the Other, Ormeau Baths Gallery, Belfast; Disorientation, Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt,Berlin, 2003.
Al-Ani co-curated the exhibition Veil at The New Art Gallery Walsall touring to the Bluecoat Arts Centre and Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool; Modern Art Oxford and Kulturhuset Stockholm (2003/4) and Fair Play at Danielle Arnaud Contemporary Art, London touring to Angel Row Gallery, Nottingham (2001/2). Al-Ani was the recipient of the East International Award (2000) and her works can be found in public collections includingthe Arts Council of England and the ImperialWarMuseum,London; the Pompidou Centre, Paris and the Smithsonian Institution, WashingtonDC.