Iman Issa (Cairo, 1979) lives and works between Cairo and New York, where she teaches at the Cooper Union School of Art. In a sober language, she makes installations that displace fragments of the collective memory into the realm of subjectivity, paying particular attention to commemorative monuments and their symbolism. Issa makes her installations with a critical incisiveness and visual maturity rarely found in artists of her generation. Author of a prolific body of work, she incorporates different media and techniques, paying particular attention to formal sense. Combining sculpture, photography, text, sound and video, her narrative works deconstruct the collective memory into isolated and abstract elements, yet loaded with an emotional content with which everyone can identify. Beyond their cryptic appearance, the works invite the viewer to develop new meanings. Issa connects personal history, perception and subjective experience with the forms that collectively represent history.
Among others, her exhibitions include participation in the biennials of Berlin (2014) and Sharjab, UAE (2012); Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp (2013); New Museum, New York (2012); KW Institute of Contemporary Art, Berlin (2011); Sculpture Center; New York (2011); and Contemporary Image Collective, Cairo (2011). She won the Fundación Han Nefkens-MACBA Prize for Contemporary Art (2012).
Gold does not take on any dirt. And gold, just are diamonds, is an exalted material. It possesses such a degree of abstraction that it encounters you –if you use it artistically– on an already exalted level.