THE VAULT, JUNE 2021:
Voices of the Morning (1992) & It Is a Crime (1996), dir. Meena Nanji
MY SIGHT IS LINED WITH VISIONS
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Voices of the Morning (1992) & It Is a Crime (1996)
These two experimental videos take the analog art of videotape mixing, and, while quoting both the text and formal structures of Muslim and South Asian women writers, deconstruct the narrative strategies of more straightforward media critiques.
"From her birth in Kenya as a third-generation South Asian to moving to the UK and then to Los Angeles at age 17, it’s no surprise Meena Nanji doesn’t consider herself an American—and yet it is this very diasporic internationalism that paradoxically defines her early video work’s place in the Asian American experimental canon. Nanji made Voices of the Morning towards the end of her time as a student at CalArts, and It Is a Crime shortly after graduating. In school, it was visiting British artists Black Audio Film Collective who most inspired her own visual investigations into cultural representation. This link between the UK’s Cultural Studies movement and 90’s stateside video art finds full expression in Nanji’s particular vision examining South Asian images and ideas as experienced within a dominant Western framework. "
Essay from Inney Prakash forthcoming
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