Iman Issa

Animal Masks for Tribunal Scene (2022)

Iman Issa’s installation is part of the ongoing series Surrogates, initiated in 2019. It is made up of a collection of displays, each of which is composed of elements extracted from a fictitious film set. Props, equipment, actors, locations, or other material once again assume a three-dimensional form. These elements are presented alongside a textual description of the main film sequence(s) in which they are featured. Together, they slowly unravel a newly devised narrative for a film titled Surrogates, a film about things, to be used, in order of appearance, by self or others, for touching upon larger, insidious, or different things.

The present installation relates to a cinematic sequence that describes an actor performing the various roles of perpetrator, victim and lawyer in a courtroom scene, as described in the freestanding text panel. In the context of the other works in the exhibition, it can be read as a negotiation of how artists deal with structures of domination––in which they are perpetrators, victims, and judges.

Iman Issa (1979, Cairo, Egypt) is a multidisciplinary artist whose work looks at the power of display in relation to academic and cultural institutions at large. Her work is driven by an intense interest in history and her insistence on questioning the preconceptions that govern knowledge. Recent group and solo exhibitions include Kunstmuseum St. Gallen; Whitney Biennial, New York; Bielefelder Kunstverein; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; Kunsthalle Lissabon; MACBA, Barcelona; the 12th Sharjah Biennial; the 8th Berlin Biennial; Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp; New Museum, New York; KW Institute of Contemporary Art, Berlin. She lives in New York and Berlin.

3D prints, acrylic, color, steel, wire, text panel

From the series Surrogates

Commissioned and produced by steirischer herbst ’22

With the generous support of the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen

With the friendly support of Gallery carlier | gebauer