Sa’dia Rehman: the river runs slow and deep and all the bones of my ancestors / have risen to the surface to knock and click like the sounds of trees in the air
February 11, 2023 – July 9, 2023
Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University
1871 North High Street
Wex Artist Residency Award recipient Sa’dia Rehman’s solo exhibition explores the embodiment of memory, grief, displacement, and multiple histories and geographies.
Titled after a poem by Sa’dia Rehman’s sister Bushra, this new body of work is inspired by the displacement of their family from Pakistan in 1974 by the building of the Tarbela Dam on the Indus River. Beyond their family history, Rehman unearths a global history of land and water—along with narratives of passages and home—through archival research and dialogues with relatives, community members, scientists, and environmentalists.
The center’s unique, wedge-shaped gallery space acts as a vessel for a selection of drawings, sculptures, textiles, works on paper, and video generated from Rehman’s research. The project will evolve during the exhibition to evoke archiving in real time, as well as a sense of being suspended between homeland and migration.
Curated by Director of Learning & Public Practice Dionne Custer Edwards, the river runs slow is a result of three years in residence with the center’s Department of Learning & Public Practice, where Rehman collaborated with artists, educators, and practitioners in the community. They will continue this work through programming that coincides with the exhibition. A gallery guide will include a text by Dionne Custer Edwards and a dialogue between Rehman and curator, writer, and educator Regine Basha.
Two programs in conjunction with the show:
Wednesday, April 5th: A Conversation with artist Jean Shin.
Saturday, April 29th: A Conversation with writer Bushra Rehman