Reasonable Characters in Familiar Places
Iman Issa

Kunsthalle Lissabon presents Reasonable Characters in Familiar Places, the first solo show in Portugal of New York-based, Egyptian artist Iman Issa.

Exhibition Reasonable Characters in Familiar Places
Artists Iman Issa
Venue Kunsthalle Lissabon
Installation photo's Bruno Lopes

Iman Issa’s practice spans a variety of media, such as sculpture, video, sound, photography or text and her works can be defined by their ability to raise questions. The exhibition now being presented at Kunsthalle Lissabon addresses some of Issa’s most narrative works as well as explores the artist’s ability to develop a discourse through fiction.

The Revolutionary (2010) is an audio piece, written by the artist and generated using text-to-speech software, in which a disembodied narrator traces a portrait of a character that seems to be a revolutionary and, in this process, directs the listener’s attention to the term, and what it may refer to.

The exhibition also includes the installation Thirty-three stories about Reasonable Characters in Familiar Places (2011). This multidisciplinary project works as a book that unfolds in the exhibition space. It consists of three independent, yet connected parts: a book of fiction written by the artist, an epilogue to the book consisting of videos, images and sculptures that the artist produced in relationship to the memories evoked by the process of writing the book and an index that offers titles and descriptions to the artworks independent of the memories that evoked their making. Although the different sections are linked, the viewer can choose to follow these links through or to approach each element independently.These thirty-three stories narrate events or situations about characters in what one would consider familiar places. A set of portraits of everyday situations, emotions and locations, all of them experienced by anonymous characters, simultaneously familiar and abstract.

Iman Issa (born 1979, Cairo) is an artist based in Cairo and New York. Recent group and solo exhibitions include MACBA, Barcelona, Perez Art Museum, Miami, the 12th Sharjah biennial, the 8th Berlin Biennial, MuHKA, Antwerp, Tensta Konsthall, Spånga, New Museum, New York, and KW Institute of Contemporary Art, Berlin. Books include Common Elements published by the Glasgow Sculpture Studios and Thirty-three Stories about Reasonable Characters in Familiar Places published by the SculptureCenter in 2011. Awards include the HNF-MACBA Award (2012) and the Abraaj Group Art Prize (2013). Issa also teaches at the Cooper Union School of Art.

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