Born Kirkuk, Iraq, 1966. Lives London, UK
Still from 'Shadow Sites II'
Single channel digital video. Duration 8 mins 38 secs
Photography by Adrian Warren
Courtesy the Artist and Rose Issa Projects, London
Al-Ani works with photography, film and video, producing bodies of work that explore the power of testimony and interrogate the documentary tradition, often characterised by an interweaving of intimate recollections of loss and trauma with more formal, official accounts of historic events.
This is a still from a video composed of a series of aerial views, which show that the desert is inhabited and not the unoccupied wilderness it is sometimes believed to be. The title draws on a phenomenon familiar to archaeologists: when the sun is at its lowest, shadows make visible the remains of otherwise undetectable settlements. Al-Ani’s images are presented without explanation and the scale of the landscapes is difficult to interpret. They are deliberately ambiguous and point to the limitations of photography.