in the proper direction: forward/also the ache of (perceived) velocity
An installation by Kameelah Janan Rasheed
Printed Matter is pleased to present in the proper direction: forward/also the ache of (perceived) velocity, a new installation by artist, educator and writer Kameelah Janan Rasheed. Staged in the Project Room, Rasheed has developed a series of enlarged xerox abstractions and poetic gestures. Created primarily through Oulipian techniques combined with free writing, autocorrect algorithms and Rasheed’s preexisting writing, the installation explores the potential of non-narrative in the context of artists’ publishing. The exhibition will open with a public reception on Saturday, October 14, 5-7pm.
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For in the proper direction, Rasheed has created an immersive environment of abstractions and text fragments. The installation, dispersed across vitrines and wallspace, looks to the xerox machine as a way to explore notions of reproducibility, readability, expectation, and scalable form. The overlapping elements that comprise the installation – archival inkjet prints, vinyl lettering, acetate scrolls and black wall paint – began as photocopies that were created through a series of performance scores before being translated onto a new substrate.
On view as part of the exhibition, Rasheed has produced a series of new broadsheets, each featuring a short poetic text. Pieces of Rasheed’s existing writing are filtered through the Oulipian ‘N+7’ constraint, where each noun is replaced with another that follows in the dictionary. The works are then combined with saved autocorrected phrases from Rasheed’s text messages, or spliced with elements of her free writing. in the proper direction is interested in systems of language-making and of permutation, exploring how texts, like material arts, can be taken up as tactile things and bent to reveal parallel or buried strains of meanings.
With the help of a numerous reference texts, such as collocation dictionaries and online abridged dictionaries, Rasheed’s poems also consider the act of ‘misreading’ and the obtuse pairing of words/phrases as a productive tactic to challenge our concepts of predictability and progress. Like a stutter or glitch, the works can reorient the directionality of reading and destabilize our steady momentum toward an immaculate resolution. The assumptions we hold about how a sentence may play out presents the opportunity for the covert interjection of parallel, non-narrative systems.
On occasion of in the proper direction: forward/also the ache of (perceived) velocity, Rasheed releases a new B&W zine with Printed Matter, produced in an edition of 50.
Printed Matter will publish a new artists’ book by Rasheed in 2018.
Kameelah Janan Rasheed (b.1985) is a Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist, writer, and former high school public school teacher from East Palo Alto, CA. Through installation works that combine photography, printmaking, publications, poetry, and performance, Rasheed’s research and work examine language as it relates to constructions of Black subjectivity. Rasheed’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Her work has been presented at the 2017 Venice Biennale, Institute of Contemporary Art – Philadelphia, Printed Matter, Jack Shainman Gallery, Studio Museum in Harlem, Bronx Museum, Queens Museum, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Pinchuk Art Centre, and others. Her work has been written about Artforum, Guernica Magazine, The New York Times, Art 21, Wall Street Journal, and ArtSlant. Recently shortlisted for the Future Generation Art Prize in 2017, she is the recipient of several other awards and honors including the Denniston Hill Artist Residency (2017), The Laundromat Project Alumni Award for Art in Community (2017), Harpo Foundation Grant (2016), Magnum Foundation Grant (2016), Creative Exchange Lab at the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art Residency (2016), Smack Mellon Studio Residency (2016), Triple Canopy Commission at New York Public Library Labs (2015), Lower East Side Printshop Keyholder Residency (2015), A.I.R. Gallery Fellowship (2015), Queens Museum Jerome Emerging Artist Fellowship (2015), New York Artadia Grant (2015), Bronx AIM Fellowship (2015), Process Space Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Residency (2015), Art Matters Grant (2014), Rema Hort Mann Foundation Grant (2014), Center for Book Arts Residency (2013), The Laundromat Project Create Change Fellowship (2013), Center for Photography at Woodstock Residency (2012), among others. A 2006 Amy Biehl Fulbright Scholar to South Africa, she holds a BA in Public Policy and Africana Studies from Pomona College (2006) and an EdM in Secondary Education from Stanford University (2008). She is on the faculty of the MFA Fine Arts program at the School of Visual Arts and also works full-time as a social studies curriculum developer for New York public schools.