The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Thursday, October 18, 2018

Fly Over mesmerizing landscapes in "Shadow Sites: Recent work by Jananne Al-Ani"
Jananne Al-Ani (Iraq, b. 1966), Aerial VI. Production still from Shadow Sites II, 2011. Single channel digital video. Courtesy of the artist, Abraaj Capital Art Prize and Rose Issa Projects. Photography Adrian Warren.

WASHINGTON.- Vast deserts and ancient ruins have defined imagery of the Middle East since the advent of photography in the 19th century. These views of a landscape as a timeless and depopulated space have long fascinated Iraqi-born artist Jananne Al-Ani, culminating in a new work, “Shadow Sites II,” on view in the U.S. for the first time Aug. 25–Feb. 10, 2013, at the Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.

The 1991 Gulf War marked a significant moment in the history of visualizing the Middle East. Military technology produced long-distance cartographic images and transmitted them around the globe, sparking artistic responses to a war that seemed more virtual than real. Struck by these images, Al-Ani began to examine the relationship between photography and the enduring perception of the region as a blank canvas. Drawing on Paul Virilio’s writings in particular, Al-Ani developed “The Aesthetics of Disappearance,” an ongoing project of photography and video works, all set in the desert, that explore the absence of the human body.

“Shadow Sites: Recent Work by Jananne Al-Ani” features her latest work in the series, “Shadow Sites II” (2011). Composed of aerial film footage shot in Jordan, she seeks the traces of human presence from a vantage point far above the landscape, reminiscent of early archaeological and World War I reconnaissance photographs. Her camera slowly pans over ancient Roman ruins and remnants of Ottoman trenches, as well as active agricultural and industrial sites. The work is accompanied by “The Guide and Flock” (2008), an earlier two-screen video that led to the development of “The Aesthetics of Disappearance.” Filming an enigmatic figure wandering down a nondescript desert road, Al-Ani noticed subtle variations in the landscape that she would explore further from the air.

The project involved extensive research in various archives, including the Ernst Herzfeld Papers, a significant collection of archaeological documents housed in the archives of the Freer Gallery of Art and Sackler. A German archaeologist, Herzfeld (1879–1948) took numerous photographs during his pioneering excavations in Iran and Iraq. For the first time, “Shadow Sites II” will be exhibited along with a selection of his original panoramic prints.

“Herzfeld’s prints and Al-Ani’s video works are at opposite ends of the photographic medium and nearly a century separates them yet both take the desert as their subject, notes Carol Huh, associate curator of contemporary Asian art. “Exhibited together, they invite reflection on the human relationship to the landscape.”

“Shadow Sites: Recent Work by Jananne Al-Ani” is a highlight of the Sackler’s 25th anniversary year.

Visitors will have the opportunity to hear the artist at the Sackler on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2 p.m., as she joins curator Carol Huh in a conversation about her research into early photography of the Middle East, and the evolution of her work, from earlier portrait-based projects in the studio to shooting on location.

Jananne Al-Ani, born in Kirkuk, Iraq, in 1966 and based in London, uses photography and video to examine the relationship of the body to the photographic image, particularly focusing on visual representations of the Middle East. Her work is in the collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Tate in London; the Pompidou Centre in Paris; and Darat al Funun in Amman, Jordan. Exhibited as part of the first pan-Arab show at the Venice Biennale, “Shadow Sites II” was created by Al-Ani as a recipient of the prestigious Abraaj Capital Art Prize 2011, the world’s only art prize to focus on the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.

Today's News

August 25, 2012

Archaeologists find 15 burials with complete human skeletons thought to be 850 years old

Christie's First Open sale of Post-War and Contemporary Art includes a strong presence of female artists

Walter Rosenblum exhibition opens at Rosphoto State Museum and Exhibition Centre for Photography

Morse's Gallery of the Louvre exhibited at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Sotheby's Hong Kong to hold 20th Century Chinese Art Autumn Sale 2012 on 7 October

'Essential' film copyright protection passed by Congress in 1912 turns one hundred

Fly Over mesmerizing landscapes in "Shadow Sites: Recent work by Jananne Al-Ani"

Judith Barry's "Voice off", a gift from Dieter and Gertraud Bogner, on view at mumok

Third edition of Multiplied 2012 - Contemporary art in editions: Art you can buy

Historic New York City Green-Wood Cemetery vandalized, damage calculated at $100,000

A new global agenda for Indonesian art: Art Stage Singapore launches The Indonesian Pavilion

Rare Shreve & Co. gold quarta cane among the highlights at Clars September auction

Elizabeth McDonald and Seth Orion Schwaiger: Aesthetiac opens at 107 Gallery in San Antonio

Aperture Foundation announces the appointment of first Education Director, Sarah McNear

Young people take inspiration from Andy Warhol to produce contemporary prints

The Ukrainian Museum featured on Channel 13's NYC-Arts

where is the power: Major group exhibition opens at the Galleries at TCU

Auction cancelled for South Dakota land considered sacred

Yasumitsu Morito's sculptures on view at Bill Hodges Gallery

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- The Mummy poised to reclaim its title as the world's most expensive film poster

2.- Money museum showcases 1943 Cent valued at $1 million

3.- Is Robin Cunningham the Mysterious and Unknown Grafitti Artist Banksy?

4.- Freeman's autumn jewelry auction set to dazzle

5.- Phoenix Art Museum presents never-before-seen artifacts from Teotihuacan

6.- Sotheby's breaks auction record for any bottle of wine twice in one sale

7.- Buyer of shredded Banksy work goes through with deal

8.- The Frick Pittsburgh opens a major exhibition of works by Isabelle de Borchgrave

9.- Prime Minister Mark Rutte gives a history lesson in the Rijksmuseum

10.- Paris finds spot for controversial Jeff Koons tribute

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful