Mariam Ghani: research as practice, practice as research

Mariam Ghani

June 9, 2015 12:00 pm

‘Research as practice, practice as research’ is a three-day workshop on research-based practices, that will consider both the embodied forms of research generated by studio and performance practices and the discursive forms of research that feed into or are presented as artistic practices. on day one, we’ll think about what ‘research’ does or can mean in the specific context of art, and how the uses of research in other disciplines inform the uses of research in art; on day two, we’ll trace some possible genealogies for and look at examples of current research-based practices, and discuss research techniques; and on day three, we’ll discuss the practical, conceptual and formal effects of working on long-term projects, while participants will be asked to present for group critique and discussion either a long-term research-based project already in progress or several ideas for research-based projects to be undertaken in future.

Increasingly, artists are choosing to define their practices as ‘research-based,’ or are finding their practices described as ‘research-based by the critical establishment. This workshop will begin by asking exactly what ‘research’ does or can mean in the context of artistic practice, and how this may or may not differ from what ‘research’ means in other contexts. in the simplest sense, a research-based practice is built on a framework of projects, each of which takes from months to years to develop, and each of which begins with a process of investigation, an inquiry into a specific topic that can proceed along scholarly, anthropological, scientific, experiential, or collaborative (among other) lines. We will trace possible genealogies for research-based practice in earlier art histories, and we will discuss research techniques. On the final day of the workshop, participants will either present several possible ideas for long-term research-based projects or present a long-term research-based project already in progress, for group critique and discussion.

Mariam Ghani was born in 1978 in New York. Her research-based practice spans video, installation, performance, photography, and text, and operates at the intersections between place, memory, history, language, loss, and reconstruction. ghani’s exhibitions and screenings include the international film festival Rotterdam (2013), Documenta 13 (2012), MoMA, new york (2011), the Sharjah biennials 10 and 9 (2011, 2009), the national gallery, Washington dc (2008), the Tate Modern, London (2007), d/art, Sydney (2006), emap, Seoul (2005), the Liverpool biennial (2004), and Transmediale, Berlin (2003).  Her public and participatory projects have been staged in Berlin, Amsterdam, Buffalo, Detroit, New York, and online. Recent texts have appeared in filmmaker, foreign policy, mousse, the radical history review, triple canopy, creative time reports, and the New York Review of Books blog. Ghani has collaborated with artist Chitra Ganesh since 2004 as the experimental archive Index of the disappeared; with choreographer Erin Kelly since 2006 on the video series performed places; and with media archive collective since 2012 on the digitization and dissemination of the afghan films archive. Ghani has been awarded the nyfa, Soros, and Freund fellowships, grants from the graham foundation, cec artslink, the mid-Atlantic arts foundation and the experimental television center, and residencies at lmcc, eyebeam atelier, smack Mellon, and the Akademie Schloss solitude. Ghani holds a B.A. in comparative literature from New York University and an MFA from the school of visual arts. She currently teaches in the MFA program at Pratt and is an artist in residence at the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU