iman issa


18 April – 13 June 2015

Glasgow Sculpture Studios (GSS) was pleased to present Parables, an exhibition of work by Iman Issa. This was Issa’s first exhibition in a UK public institution, and GSS’ first exhibition with an Egyptian artist.

Issa’s work explores the relationship between history, memory, language, and objects. She does this through the presentation of multiple forms, including sculpture, text, video, photography and sound. Primarily interested in how forms can carry personal and political significance, her sources for the works are taken from existing material. This material is then stripped back to its essential elements and re-imagined by the artist into another form.

At GSS, Issa presented Common Elements 2013, an installation of sculpture, text panels and photographs. The work references the objects and displays at numerous museums across the world that are dedicated to subjects such as agriculture, textiles, transportation, folk art, military history, antiquity and war. The text panels are fragments taken from five autobiographies of four major public figures. The installation explores how objects, displays and text often carry inherent and generic meanings. For this exhibition, GSS also commissioned Issa to create an Artist Book to accompany the installation, which shares the same title – Common Elements. As many of her works are ongoing investigations, this publication can be read as an additional element to the installation providing a further layer and understanding of the work as a whole, but also as a stand-alone artwork.

Iman Issa (born 1979, Cairo) is an artist based in Cairo and New York. Recent group and solo exhibitions include Rodeo gallery, London, Sharjah Biennial 12: The past, the present, the possible, 8th Berlin Biennial, MuHKA, Antwerp, Tensta Konsthall, Spånga, New Museum, New York, KW Institute of Contemporary Art, Berlin, Sculpture Center, New York, and the Contemporary Image Collective in Cairo. Books include Thirty-three Stories about Reasonable Characters in Familiar Places published by the SculptureCenter in 2011. Awards include the HNF-MACBA Award (2012) and the Abraaj Group Art Prize (2013). Issa teaches at the Cooper Union School of Art.

For any enquiries relating to this exhibition please contact Louise Briggs, Programme Coordinator

The exhibition was generously supported by Creative Scotland, The Elephant Trust and The Henry Moore Foundation.