Perwana Nazif

  • Mariam Ghani, What We Left Unfinished, 2019, DCP, color and black-and-white, sound, 71 minutes.
    interviews September 22, 2021

    Mariam Ghani

    Our conversation began as a requiem for Afghanistan—its violent unwinding corresponds horrifically with the name of Mariam Ghani’s film. What We Left Unfinished (2019) is a feature-length documentary on five unedited Afghan films made during the country’s Communist era of state-funded cinema (1978–991), a time deluged with coups, conflict, and censorship. Ghani’s film attests firstly and mostly to the significance and precarity of cultural workers in Afghanistan—their voices were recently gathered in an Open Letter from Arts for Afghanistan—and the Afghan histories and imaginaries that depend

  • Pierre Huyghe, Mind's Eye (L), 2021, synthetic and biological material aggregate, microorganisms, generative adversarial network software, and 3-D printing materials (glass, synthetic resin, silicone, copper alloy, colophonium, minerals, bone, calcium, protein, sodium, sugar, agar-agar, bacteria), 39 x 69 x 32".
    picks August 23, 2021

    “The Poet-Engineers”

    In the accompanying reader for “The Poet-Engineers,” an eighteen-person exhibition installed across both of this gallery’s locations, the equation “idea = question = problem = riddle” is used as a way to understand how the artworks in this show—created with advanced software, innovative fabrication techniques, and novel materials—have come to fruition. Here, invention doesn’t lead to the production of new things as such but rather, as philosopher Reza Negarestani writes in his essay for the reader, of “better visions and versions,” objects and notions that “remix, recognize and revision what we

  • Miho Dohi, Buttai 70, 2019, plaster, brass, wood, sponge, paper, copper wire, acrylic paint, 15 3/4 x 30 3/4 x 7 1/2''.
    picks February 13, 2020

    Miho Dohi

    Small-scale, lightweight, and delightfully off-kilter amalgams of yarn, paper, wire, wood, and other humble materials abound on walls and tables at Galerie Crèvecoeur, marking the Kanagawa, Japan–based artist Miho Dohi’s first show in Europe. To construct these sculptures, Dohi follows an experimental and intuitive process, manipulating and rotating her components and shifting their centers of gravity to produce uneven, variegated surfaces.

    One of the works in the exhibition that most resembles a living form, Buttai 70 (all works cited, 2019), recalls a rib cage, with its skeleton made up of

  • View of “Supreme Baba,” 2019–20. Photo: Aurélien Mole.
    picks January 03, 2020

    Mostafa Sarabi

    The supernatural and natural spheres conjoin in “Supreme Baba,” the Iranian painter Mostafa Sarabi’s first show in France. Nude people bathing with blackbirds, veiled black and white figures amid many-branched trees, a whimsical take on the simurgh from Persian myth: Each painting here welcomes the unsettling and unknown. The red, yellow, black, and white suns or moons that light his works—not unlike the apocalyptic, phantasmagorical suns and moons that artist-poet Etel Adnan writes of—become interchangeable and render obscure such demarcations. 

    Although much of the life Sarabi depicts consists