the river runs slow and deep and all the bones of my ancestors / have risen to the surface to knock and click like the sounds of trees in the air
Saturday, February 3, 2024 — Sunday, April 14, 2024
With this new body of work, Sa’dia Rehman begins an insistent and urgent inquiry into family histories of place while tracing exile, human intervention, and environmental crisis. The pieces presented here also examine how a person might find themselves fastened between worlds, continents, and countries. Rehman describes this new work as a “window, doorway, or portal” to or through somewhere in between here and there and something reimagined.
In March 2022, Rehman traveled from the United States to Pakistan, where the artist visited the Tarbela Dam, Khanpur Dam, and Khalabat Township Reservoir, mapping paths through their family’s ancestral homeland as well as documenting their displacement from their village in 1974. The journey—part discovery, part research, and a retelling—located ports of origin and points of revelation as well as found objects and disrupted earth. Tracing these remnants of the past activated Rehman’s choice of materials for the exhibition, which include rebar, denim, and cotton rag paper, as well as moving imagery and sound.
Taking its title from a line of “My Aba’s Masjid,” a poem by Rehman’s sister Bushra, this solo exhibition presents a selection of drawings, sculpture, textiles, works on paper, and video. It is also a culmination of Rehman’s three years of working in residence with the Wexner Center’s Department of Learning & Public Practice, where they collaborated across program areas with other artists, educators, and community members. Rehman will continue this work through public practice and programs presented while the exhibition is on view.
Organized by the Wexner Center for the Arts and curated by Director of Learning & Public Practice Dionne Custer Edwards in collaboration with Chief Curator and Director of Exhibitions Kelly Kivland and Film/Video Studio Curator Jennifer Lange.
Still from There isn’t a stone I don’t remember, 2022, 2 channel video, 9:58, edition of 3. Courtesy of the artist.