Safdar Ahmed: Border Farce / Alien Citizen / Sovereign Murders

1 February

February 12, 2023

POP Gallery

Griffith University Art Museum (GUAM) is delighted to present Safdar Ahmed: Border Farce / Alien Citizen / Sovereign Murders from 2 to 12 February 2023, at POP (Postgraduate and Other Projects) Gallery, on Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley.

Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Destiny Disrupted curated by Nur Shkembi and currently on show at Griffith University Art Museum in Brisbane’s South Bank, Safdar Ahmed’s Border Farce / Alien Citizen / Sovereign Murders will be the Australian debut of this group of works, recently shown at documenta fifteen, in 2022 in Kassel, Germany.

At the centre of the exhibition is Border Farce (2022), created in collaboration with Kurdish-Iranian heavy metal guitarist Kazem Kazemi and cinematographer Alia Ardon, which includes documentary footage of Kazemi’s, traumatic experience at the Manus detention camp which resulted in his evacuation to Brisbane, where he remains stateless. The footage is combined with the discordant audio-visuality of Hazeen, the anti-racist Muslim death metal band that Kazem was invited to play alongside.

Hazeen is comprised of Safdar Ahmed (vocals and guitar), Kazem Kazemi (guitar) Can Yalcinkaya (drums and darbouka) and Kian Dayani (bass).

GUAM Director Angela Goddard says: “This is an incredible opportunity for audiences in Brisbane to experience Safdar Ahmed’s major installation developed with a diverse range of collaborators for one of the world’s most important surveys of contemporary art, documenta fifteen.”

Also featured is Ahmed’s latest zine, Alien Citizen (2022), created with Refugee Art Project, the community art organisation established following Ahmed’s first visit to Sydney’s Villawood Immigration Detention Centre in 2011.

Four short films made by four women – Tabz, Miream Salameh, MN, Tabz Jebba and Zeinab Mir – from Refugee Art Project will screen throughout the exhibition, and Hazeen’s debut vinyl LP Sovereign Murders (2022) will also be featured.

A free public program will be presented at 3pm, Saturday 4 February 2023, where Safdar Ahmed will share insights into the collaborative development of this installation.

 

ABOUT THE ARTIST:

Sydney-based artist, writer, and educator Safdar Ahmed works across a range of mediums, including drawing, graphic narratives, painting, zine-making, musical performance, and installation. He won a Walkley Award in 2015 for his web comic Villawood: Notes from an immigration detention centre. His latest graphic novel Still Alive: Notes from Australia’s Immigration Detention System has won numerous awards including the 2022 Multicultural NSW Award, at the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. With artists from Refugee Art Project, Ahmed has created numerous publications and zines.

Image: Safdar Ahmed, Sovereign Murders (2022). Album artwork for Hazeen’s debut record, watercolour on paper, reproduced on vinyl LP cover, Piranha Records, 2022.

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