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| World Premiere
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Wex Artist Residency Award recipient Sa’dia Rehman’s solo exhibition explores the embodiment of memory, grief, displacement, and multiple histories and geographies.
Titled after a poem by Sa’dia Rehman’s sister Bushra, this new body of work is inspired by the displacement of their family from Pakistan in 1974 by the building of the Tarbela Dam on the Indus River. Beyond their family history, Rehman unearths a global history of land and water—along with narratives of passages and home—through archival research and dialogues with relatives, community members, scientists, and environmentalists.
The center’s unique, wedge-shaped gallery space acts as a vessel for a selection of drawings, sculptures, textiles, works on paper, and video generated from Rehman’s research. The project will evolve during the exhibition to evoke archiving in real time, as well as a sense of being suspended between homeland and migration.
Curated by Director of Learning & Public Practice Dionne Custer Edwards, the river runs slow is a result of three years in residence with the center’s Department of Learning & Public Practice, where Rehman collaborated with artists, educators, and practitioners in the community. They will continue this work through programming that coincides with the exhibition. A gallery guide will include a text by Dionne Custer Edwards and a dialogue between Rehman and curator, writer, and educator Regine Basha.
Sa’dia Rehman: 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, installation view at the Wexner Center, photo: Stephen Takacs.
Sa’dia Rehman, There isn’t a stone I don’t remember, 2022 (still). Two-channel video with color and sound, 9:58 mins. Image courtesy of the artist and their family.
Sa’dia Rehman, Khalabat Township Reservoir, 2022. Digital photograph. Image courtesy of the artist.
Sa’dia Rehman, Khanpur Dam Sign, 2022. Found object, public sign, wood, paint, stencil. Image courtesy of the artist.
Sa’dia Rehman, Hemorrhage, 2022. Artist’s, sister’s, and partner’s jeans. Image courtesy of the artist.
Sa’dia Rehman, Hemorrhage (detail), 2022. Artist’s, sister’s, and partner’s jeans. Image courtesy of the artist.
Sa’dia Rehman (they/them) explores how contemporary and historical images communicate, consolidate, and contest ideas about race, empire, and labor. Rehman has exhibited work at venues including the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Queens Museum, Kentler International Drawing Space, Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU, and Pakistan National Council of the Arts, among others. Rehman received the Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Fellowship and the Meredith Morabito and Henrietta Mantooth Full Fellowship and was awarded several residencies. Rehman’s work has been featured in the Brooklyn Rail, New York Times, Harper’s Magazine, Hyperallergic, Colorlines, and Art Papers. Learn more on Sa’dia Rehman’s website.
Sa’dia Rehman: the river runs slow is 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.
WINTER/SPRING EXHIBITIONS MADE POSSIBLE BYCardinal HealthKaren R. LaneNancy and Dave Gill
EXHIBITION 2022–23 SEASON MADE POSSIBLE BYBill and Sheila LambertThe Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual ArtsCarol and David AronowitzCrane Family FoundationMike and Paige Crane
FREE GALLERIES MADE POSSIBLE BYAmerican Electric Power FoundationAdam FlattoMary and C. Robert KidderBill and Sheila Lambert
ADDITIONAL SUPPORT FOR FREE GALLERIES PROVIDED BYCoverMyMedsPNC Foundation
WEXNER CENTER PROGRAMS MADE POSSIBLE BYGreater Columbus Arts CouncilThe Wexner FamilyNational Endowment for the ArtsOhio Arts CouncilL Brands FoundationThe Columbus FoundationNationwide FoundationInstitute of Museum and Library ServicesVorys, Sater, Seymour, and Pease
ADDITIONAL SUPPORT PROVIDED BYMike and Paige CraneAxium PackagingCampusParcJeni’s Splendid Ice CreamsPresident Kristina M. Johnson and Mrs. Veronica MeinhardNancy KramerLarry and Donna JamesLisa BartonJohanna DeStefanoJones DayAlex and Renée Shumate
Sa’dia Rehman: 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