The Visit is a two-part video installation in which repeated scenes of a mysterious figure pacing in an empty landscape are contrasted 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 prefigures the appearance of a smart-suited man restlessly walking across the same small strip of parched terrain. Over seven separate sequences, the camera returns to observe him - 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, the women discuss their feelings towards an absent, unnamed visitor. Talking amongst, and often over, each other, shared histories and affinities are pieced together. The relationship between the subject of their conversation and the man 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 finely-honed, evocative portraits and complex, often intimate narratives. The Visit was commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella and Norwich Gallery.
Born in Kirkuk, Iraq, 1966
1995–97 Royal College of Art, London
1986–89 Byam Shaw School of Art, London
Lives and works in London