A learner, Kameelah Janan Rasheed grapples with the poetics-pleasures-politics of Black knowledge production, information technologies and belief formation. Her work looks at knowledge and how it is created, embodied, stored, cataloged, hidden, learned, and also unlearned, with particular focus on facets of incompleteness, information (il)legibility and the use of seemingly error-ridden image and text data.
Rasheed works primarily with paper and vinyl that she attaches to walls and public spaces, creating what she describes as "ecosystems of iterative and provisional projects." Based on a 1974 poem of the same name by American writer Lucille Clifton, her exhibition "i am not done yet" deals with questions of incomplete knowledge and continuous learning through "Black storytelling" and "Islamic mysticism." At the same time, the titular sentence "i am not done yet" can also be understood as an assertive, declarative statement in its own right.
This artist book is published on the occasion of Kameelah Janan Rasheed's first ever institutional exhibition in Germany at Kunstverein Hannover in 2022.
"When I think about the density of language, I imagine the material presence of the language in space. But I also hope there is acknowledgment that no sentence is a simple sentence. Every sentence holds meaning, exceeds meaning, moves in different directions simultaneously."
Kameelah Janan Rasheed
Kameelah Janan Rasheed (born 1985 in California) is an interdisciplinary artist based in Brooklyn. Rasheed's practice takes form across an ecosystem of provisional projects and experiments: large-scale text-banner installations, lecture performances, publications, sound works, library interventions, and xeroxed "architecturally-scaled collages" (Frieze,
2018), and other forms yet to be determined. Her installations act as a means of radical self-publishing, where words are taken off the page to interact materially with architecture, stretched or fragmented "to the edge of legibility" (Artforum
, 2017). With interests in intertextuality, literacy, archiving, and ecology, Rasheed explores Black experimental poetics, vernaculars, and non-linearity as ways of narrating Black experience and thinking about modes of learning/unlearning. The artist is the founder of Mapping the Spirit, a digital archive that documents Black spiritual life in the US through interviews, photography, video, and ephemera.
In 2022, Rasheed received her first institutional solo exhibition in Europe at the Kunstverein Hannover. She participated in the Front Triennale, Athens Biennale, and Prospect New Orleans. Rasheed has previously exhibited her work at the Glasgow International; Kunsthalle Wien; Future Generation Exhibition at the 2017 Venice Biennale; the Brooklyn Museum; The New Museum, New York; MASS MoCA, North Adams; Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia; Brooklyn Public Library, among others. Rasheed received the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 2021. In 2022, she was awarded a Creative Capital Grant and the Schering Stiftung Award for Artistic Research.