Jananne Al Ani
BiographyJananne Al-Ani is an artist, researcher and lecturer working with photography, film and video. She studied Fine Art at the Byam Shaw School of Art and graduated with an MA in Photography from the Royal College of Art.
Al-Ani’s early photographic work focuses on the fetishised veiled body in Orientalist painting and photography. The first multi screen video installations she made, featuring members of her immediate family, explore the power of testimony and the documentary tradition, through intimate recollections of absence and loss in contrast with official accounts of historic events.
Her ongoing project The Aesthetics of Disappearance; A Land Without People, engages with the disappearance of the body in contested landscapes. The work examines the relationship between photography and flight in 20th century warfare and the impact the technologies of surveillance and aerial reconnaissance have had on a range of disciplines including art and archaeology.
The project began with a particular focus on the landscape of the Middle East, its archaeology and visual representation in the history of western art, and has since shifted to take in the desert landscapes of the American south west and parts of the British landscape in which the ghostly remains of decommissioned military and industrial sites remain visible from the air.
She has exhibited widely nationally and internationally with solo exhibitions at the Hayward Gallery Project Space, London; Beirut Art Center, Beirut; Freer and Sackler Galleries, Washington DC and Art Now: Tate Britain, London. Recent group exhibitions include Statues also Die, The Egyptian Museum, Turin; Film as Place, SFMOMA, San Francisco and A Bird's Eye View of the World, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art. She participated in the 9th Asia Pacific Triennial; 11th Sharjah Biennial; 13th Istanbul Biennial; 18th Biennale of Sydney and the 54th Venice Biennale. She has also co-curated exhibitions including Veil and Fair Play.
A monograph focusing on her moving image work was published by Film and Video Umbrella to coincide with a commission to make new work. Recent publications featuring her work include Aerial Aftermaths: Wartime From Above, Caren Kaplan, Duke University Press; Documents of Contemporary Art: Moving Image, Omar Kholeif, Whitechapel Gallery & MIT Press and Hanan al-Cinema: Affections for the Moving Image, Laura U Marks, MIT Press.
Recipient of the Abraaj Capital Art Prize and the East International Award, her work can be found in collections including the Imperial War Museum, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Darat al Funun, Amman. She is currently a trustee of The Photographers’ Gallery, London and a board member of Mophradat, Brussels.
Grants and awards
(Figures indicate amount awarded to UAL)
- Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), The Aesthetics of Disappearance: A Land Without People, £218,940.00, (2007-2010)
Current research students
- Kate Fahey, Towards an empathic encounter with absented bodies in the military’s propagation of warfare online (Joint supervisor)
- Kate Fahey, Conversations with Operational Images (Joint supervisor)