Kameelah Janan Rasheed

Installation Detail Shot from No Instructions for Assembly, Activation VII, 2015, 15 found photographs, xerox photocopied texts, self-authored texts, inkjet prints, woodblock prints, monoprints, newspaper clippings, vintage magazines, vintage books, fabric [felt, faux leather, vinyl, mesh, linen], embroidery thread, stockings, glass, human hair, paper [vellum paper, Japanese rice paper, kraft paper, chalkboard paper, post-it notes) black grocery bags, birch wood panels, black frames, Dimensions Variable, Vox Populi Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

As an artist-archivist, my work reckons with the complexity of memory, ritual, historiography, and archival practices as they relate to the construction of histories. 

In my interdisciplinary and research-based studio practice, I work with found objects, textual fragments, orphaned audio, and other historical residue excavated from sources ranging from flea markets to institutional archives. These excavated objects operate as ghosts—the past showing up in the present refusing to leave and begging for another temporal stage on which to perform. Haunted by these displaced objects, I create archival installations, prose, conceptual poems, text-based prints, photographs, audio mixes, and public programming that consider the archive as a site of agency to explore our active and passive roles in both the production and consumption of hermetic private histories as well as larger public histories. 

I am interested in the historical research process as art product and the ways juxtaposition, appropriation and repurposing of existing material culture is a means by which to choreograph new narrative possibilities, to reveal temporal glitches, and to explore new ways of reading, writing and troubling histories.

View the artist's exhibition here