Maryam Jafri. Costume-Party: Colony & Native

Maryam Jafri. Costume-Party: Colony & Native

Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.)

Maryam Jafri, Costume Party, 2005,
3 channel video-installation, DVD-video, 15 min.

May 9, 2006

Maryam Jafri.
Costume-Party: Colony & Native
Duration: 13th May-25th June 2006

– an exhibition by the Video Forum -
Neuer Berliner Kunstverein
Chausseestr. 128-129,
10115 Berlin, Germany
Phone: 49-30-280 70 20
Fax: 49-30-280 70 19

Opening: Friday, 12th May 2006, 7 pm
Tue-Fr 12-6 pm, Sat Sun 2-6 pm

Curator: Kathrin Becker, NBK

The solo exhibition by Maryam Jafri at the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein focuses on the historical imagination and its role in shaping contemporary subjectivities. It consists of two parts, a three screen video installation titled Costume Party and Siege of Khartoum,1884, a photo-collage installation.
Costume Party centres on 18 characters attending a costume party dressed from defining periods of Western history from antiquity to the present, including a crusader, monk and a cowboy. Spread over three screens with one common soundtrack, the costumes and stage like setting present a series of narrative tableaux that seem to combine and recycle elements of myth, history, underground film and TV trash. By interrogating the norms and values that give rise to national and cultural identities, Costume Party reveals the dialectical effort to construct a certain history from the presumption of a certain community, and then employ this constructed history to argue for the existence of an essential commonality.

The second part of the exhibition traces the narratives of Empire at work in the present moment. The newly developed installation Siege of Khartoum,1884, appropriates iconic images from contemporary world events and combines them with excerpts of archival news texts from earlier points in history. The 29 photo-collage posters map the narrative arc of earlier colonial wars of conquest and its resurgence in the contemporary Iraq war and the War on Terror.
Maryam Jafri (b. 1972, Pakistan) is an artist based in Copenhagen and New York. Her work often focuses on the role of language and memory in the construction of identity, from the individual to the national. Her exhibition at NBK is her first major solo exhibition in a German institution.

To accompany the exhibition, Revolver-Verlag is publishing a bilingual (German/English) monograph on Maryam Jafri ed. by Kathrin Becker/NBK and including essays by Kathrin Becker, Sabeth Buchmann and Michael Eng.

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Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.)
May 9, 2006

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