Iman Issa

Lives and works in Berlin

Iman Issa uses a variety of forms and strategies to investigate the political and personal associations of history, language and the object. She creates ambiguous, poetic displays through the juxtaposition of text and object. Heritage Studies, the artist’s most recent series, draws its name from a field of academic and applied inquiry that relates to the understanding and use of history. Rather than proposing a stable reading of history, Heritage Studies examine dynamic sets of relationships — between cultures, sites, and artifacts — to articulate their relevance today. They are neither formal abstractions, nor “pared-down citations of reality,“ but attempts to communicate the act of perceiving the original objects and the relevance that they might hold for the present. “What do these new elements share with their sources if it is not the material, color, appearance, or shape?“ Issa asks “…they share a speech act. They are addressing or saying something similar to each other, and it is perhaps through doing that that they become the same.“

She is a recipient of the 2017 Vilcek Prize, the 2015 Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award, the 2013 Abraaj Group Art Prize and HNF-MACBA Award in 2012 and was nominated for the Preis der Nationalgalerie 2017 among others. Recent group and solo exhibitions include DAAD, Berlin; Kunstmuseum, St. Gallen; Whitney Biennial, New York; Bielefelder Kunstverein, Bielefeld; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, Kunsthalle Lissabon, Spike Island, Bristol; Lisbon; MACBA, Barcelona; Perez Museum, Miami; the 12th Sharjah Biennial; the 8th Berlin Biennial; MuHKA, Antwerp; New Museum, New York; and KW Institute of Contemporary Art, Berlin. Her work is held in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; MACBA, Barcelona; Guggenheim Museum, New York; and Magasin III, Stockholm among others.