Mariam Ghani’s video Like Water from a Stone will be on view alongside a series of photographs originally commissioned for the Rogaland Kunstsenter in Norway, as well as a series of prints based on the artist’s book Afghanistan: A Lexicon. Ghani’s work often plays on the relationships between place, memory, history, language, loss, and reconstruction. Like Water from a Stone (2013), a collaboration between Ghani and performer/choreographer Erin Ellen Kelly, was produced during a residency in Stavanger, a coastal city known as the “Oil Capital of Norway.” The series depicts some histories and myths of this pre-oil period on a roughly geological timeline, ranging from seaside rock formations formed by Ice Age glacier pressure to Viking rock graves to bunkers constructed during the German occupation to finally conclude in an urban playground made from repurposed oil rig equipment. By siting performances in landscapes that are simultaneously sublime and awful, existing on a scale that overpowers most human endeavor, Like Water from a Stone echoes the imagery of Norwegian Romantic Nationalist painters and Northern European folk tales.

Afghanistan: A Lexicon (2011) was originally produced as a notebook in the dOCUMENTA (13) series 100 Notes, 100 Thoughts, published by Hatje Cantz and later excerpted in the New York Review of Books blog. The Lexicon is a non-linear, speculative history of the twentieth century in Afghanistan, told through definitions of 77 terms from “Amanullah” to “Zenana,” most illustrated with archival or original images. The print series expands selected entries from the book, mimicking the format of a mid-twentieth-century encyclopedia.

Mariam Ghani: Bio

Ghani’s work has been exhibited internationally, including at dOCUMENTA (13), Sharjah Biennials 9 and 10, the 2005 Liverpool Biennial, Museum of Modern Art New York, Tate Modern London, and the National Gallery in Washington, DC. She was recently part of the Dhaka Art Summit 2016. Ghani has been awarded the NYFA and Soros Fellowships, grants from Creative Capital, Art Matters, the Graham Foundation, CEC ArtsLink, NYSCA, the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation and the Experimental Television Center, and residencies at LMCC, Eyebeam Atelier, Smack Mellon, the Akademie Schloss Solitude, and NYU’s Asian/Pacific/American Institute.