• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7674

    International Modern and Contemporary Art

    30 October 2008, Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel

  • Lot 83

    Jananne Al-Ani (Irish/Iraqi, b. 1966)

    Untitled l & ll

    Price Realised  


    Jananne Al-Ani (Irish/Iraqi, b. 1966)
    Untitled l & ll
    signed, titled, numbered and dated (each on label on the reverse)
    Fibre based silver gelatin prints dry mounted on 3mm, 2200 micron, 100 cotton rag Heritage museum board backed with 5mm Gator Board, framed in a 510 x 600mm steamed beech profile stained black with 99 UV filter, 4.4mm Luxar anti-reflective laminate glass
    each 48 x 71 5/8in. (122 x 182cm.)
    Executed in 1996, this work is number five from an edition of five

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    "I decided to try and make a piece of work that said something about this idea - that costume or dress can represent an entire group of people or culture. In much of my work, I use my family as the 'performers'. One of the reasons I use them, particularly in the context of my ideas about anthropological photography, relates to the fact that my mother is Irish and my father Iraqi. So the family embodies a kind of cultural mixing which I wanted to preserve in this work, an ambiguity and sense of unfixed identity that reflects, to some extent, the methods of the Orientalist painters who often used European models dressed up as 'Oriental' women. I wanted to use models who represented various stages of Arab-ness or Muslim-ness or European-ness. In the first image, the women appear in 'ordinary' Western dress and in the second image, by placing apparently oriental costumes on them; the viewer begins to interpret the identity of the women quite differently. The costumes themselves are part reality and part fiction. Some of them are 'genuine' while others were bought from tourist shops in the Middle East, so they represent a kind of fictional 'Oriental' dress." Jananne Al-Ani, transcript of a lecture presented at Home Works Forum in Beirut, Transcript of a lecture presented at the Home Works Forum in Beirut in April 2002 and published in Christine Tohme and Mona Abu Rayyan (eds.) Ashkal Alwan/Home Works the Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts, Beirut, 2002.

    These images won the John Kobal Photographic Portrait Award in 1996, touring four major galleries within the UK.

    Others are in the collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum London (22.8cmx15cm A/P of Untitled l) and anothe from this edition is in the Smithsonian Institution Washington DC (edition 1/5).


    Others from this edition have been exhibited in
    Washington DC, Freer Gallery of Art/Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Smithsonian Institution, Facing East: Portraits from Asia, 2006
    New York, Museum of Modern Art ,New York, Without Boundary: Seventeen Ways of Looking,2006 (another from this edition illustrated)
    Paris, Institut du Monde Arabe, and Seville, Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporaneo, Regards des Photographes Arabes Contemporains, 2005 Frankfurt, Fotografie Forum International Frankfurt, Women by Women, 2004 (another from the edition illustrated)
    Barcelona, Centre de Cultura Contemporania and Lyon, Musée d'Histoire Naturelle de Lyon, Harem Fantasies and the New Scheherazades, 2003 (another from this edition illustrated)
    Prato, Tuscany Toscana Fotografia 2002 , Dryphoto Art Contemporanea part of Prato, 2002
    London, Victoria & Albert Museum, Attitude: A History of Posing, 2000
    Arles, Musée Reattu, Les Rencontres de la Photographie, 2002 (another from the edition illustrated)
    Washington DC, Freer Gallery of Art/Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Smithsonian Institution, 1999
    Harriet Green Gallery London, 1997London, National Portrait Gallery, Bath, Royal Photographic Society, Edinburgh, Scottish National Portrait Gallery; Birmingham, The Midlands Art Centre, The John Kobal Photographic Portrait Award, 1996 (another from this edition illustrated)

    These images have also been published in

    Steven Bode, Richard Hylton, Claire Doherty and Angela Weight, Jananne Al-Ani (illustrated)
    Regards Des Photographes Arabes Contemporains, Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, 2005 (illustrated)
    Philip Mattar Thomson Gale, Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa (illustrated)
    Veil: Veiling Representation and Contemporary Art, InIVA/Modern Art Oxford, 2003 (illustrated)
    Christine Tohme and Mona Abu Rayyan Ashkal Alwan Home Works (illustrated)
    Rencontres dArles 2002 Actes Sud (illustrated)
    Fran Lloyd, Contemporary Arab Womens Art: Dialogue of the Present, 1999 (illustrated)
    T. Lawton and T. W. Lentz, Beyond the Legacy, Washington DC, 1998 Smithsonian Institution (illustrated)
    Val Williams, Modern Narrative, 1997 (illsutrated)