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1001 Nights

Jananne Al-Ani
1998
6 mins Colour Video

1001 Nights

Jananne Al-Ani does not present in 1001 Nights a continuous narrative in one tone, one voice. It is fragmented, made up of many different events dreamt, imagined.

It is rooted in political events. Told from the individual perspective of family members, it concerns how public events in the outside world impinge on private individuals. This sense of the personal is painfully enhanced by the sometimes matter-of-fact, sometimes surreal scene evoked; plus the use of the conjunction “and” to link successive clauses which continues and increases the tension. Many of the vignettes have a hallucinatory , dream-like, nightmarish quality about them: people physically attacked for no reason, bureaucracies and their required papers wielding complete control; and the sudden; unexpected eruption of violence in an up-to-then peaceful scene.

Extract from ‘Untitled' by David Prochaska in the exhibition catalogue for Beyond East and West, Krannert Art Museum, Illinois 2004.
Commissioned by Margaret Harvey Gallery

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