Here in Los Angeles, I imagine a parallel art practice inside Baghdad; a practice where gender is bent, where performance is found in every gestural instant, where the city is a backdrop for routine survival, where the act of looking is a conceptual imperative and photography its mode of inventory. Smoke from a bomb in Baghdad burns my eyes; in Los Angeles I exhale its thick plumes through my nostrils.
My work is based around images — found, altered and those I’ve shot myself. Found images perform for a narrative I’ve constructed, or a narrative unfolds by the command of an image. Bodies perform as images or in tandem with them, and physical objects are documented in order to register the residue of psychological displacement. Text enters the equation in the form of a title, caption, narrative or a proposal for an action.
Recently, during a residency in a rural part of Jordan, I scavenged hundreds of abandoned shoes from alongside roads, in fields and around trash heaps. Since Jordan contains one of the highest populations of displaced Iraqis, it is not difficult to imagine that some shoes originally belonged on the feet of those who fled the war. I am interested in these kinds of crossings; metaphors desperately traversing an endless index of borders.
Select Solo Exhibitions and Screenings
Veronica, Pitzer Art Gallery, Claremont, Calif.
Recent Rupture Radio Hour, The Music Theater, Cal State University, Los Angeles
OÙ ? Scènes du Sud, Carré d’Art – Musée d’Art Contemporain de Nîmes, Nîmes, France
Open Day, Village of Shatana, Irbid, Jordan
The Whole World Is Watching, Glendale College Art Gallery, Glendale, Calif.
Happy Days, Bensousan Han, Thessaloniki, Greece
System Error: War is a force that gives us meaning, Palazzo delle Papesse, Siena, Italy
Eternal Flame, Gallery at REDCAT, Los Angeles
5 Shorts, S1F Gallery, Los Angeles
L.A. Live, Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery, Claremont, Calif.
Border Myths / Border Realities, University Art Museum, Long Beach, Calif.
Media Arts Festival, Friesland, The Netherlands
When Artists Say We, Artists Space, New York
Draw a Line and Follow It, LACE — Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions
Doing the Backstroke in the Lake of Fire, Walled City, San Pedro, Calif.
My Lover in Unequal Parts: A Found Photo Project, arteeast.com, Internet platform
Art in the Age of New Technologies, Armenian Center for Contemporary Art, Yerevan, Armenia
In/Visible, Arab American National Museum, Dearborn, Mich.
Lost In Translation, Aquaspace, Savannah, Ga.
A Bottle of Dirty and Other Coastal Tales, New Arts Cinema at Whalers Wharf, Provincetown, Mass.
Singular Identities, India Habitat Center, New Delhi
Images of Violence / Violence of Images, (Young Artists’ Biennial) Goethe Institute / META Cultural Foundation, Bucharest
Somewhere Elsewhere, Worth Ryder Gallery, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, Calif.
For A Stranger, Articultural Gallery, Santa Monica, Calif.
Middle East Cinema, Blinding Light Cinema, Vancouver, Canada
Personal Effects, Deep River, Los Angeles (solo exhibition)
Body of Conjoined Movements, Artcore Brewery Annex, Los Angeles (solo exhibition)
Beyond Text & Silence, Beyond Baroque, Santa Monica, Calif.
Barrelhouse, Regis Hotel, Long Beach, Calif.
Charm Offensive, Korean Cultural Center, Los Angeles
Grants and Residencies
Townhouse Gallery Residency, Cairo, Egypt
Arab Fund for Arts and Culture Grant
Shatana International Artist Workshop, Irbid, Jordan
University of California, Irvine
California Institute of the Arts