Jeanno Gaussi

October 26th, 2014 New York City

Jeanno Gaussi’s talk shed light on folkloric and decorative traditions as viable strategies for making contemporary art, and the modes of production and collaboration in such processes. She introduced her recent works: Family Stories (2011-2012), a collaborative work exhibited at dOCUMENTA 13, that commented on memory and historical and personal trauma. Dreams on Wheels (2014) involved traditional Truck Painters (now a dying craft in Afghanistan) to paint skateboards for teenagers in Berlin. Her War Rug Project (2013) a series of digital drawings and sculptures subtract geometric forms from motifs of coveted Afghani War-Rugs in Kabul’s markets.

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Bio – Jeanno Gaussi (Berlin / Kabul)
Jeanno Gaussi (b. 1973, Kabul, Afghanistan) is a Berlin based mixed media artist. She was one of the participating artists at dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel and Kabul. Gaussi started her art career as a video and film artist and her short films were internationally shown in several festivals including International Film Festival Clermont Ferrand, France, Kara Film Festival, Pakistan, the International Film Festival Leipzig, Germany among many others. Gaussi’s work explores cultural identities, aspects of memorization and remembrance, and of identity. The artist often develops projects in close relation to the place in which they are created, examines the characteristics and unique aspects of her surroundings. Gaussi’s multi-cultural background – the artist grew up in Kabul, Delhi and Berlin – has a greatly influenced her artistic practice, yet her interest goes beyong national borders and categorizations.

Her work Three Notes (2007) won the first prize at the 54th International Short Film Festival in Oberhausen, Germany. It was also listed as one of the Best 100 German Short films and was nominated for the national Best German Short film Award. Gaussi was selected for the Berlinale Talent Campus 2007. The same year, she extended her art practice to also include photographic artworks and installations. Many of her installation projects were created during in residencies in Pakistan (International Diasporic Artists Residency Karachi), Jordan (International Artist Workshop Shatana), Turkey, Palestine (Al-Mamal Art Residency, Jerusalem) among others.

Gaussi received art grants from the Triangle Arts Fund, the Defa Film Fund and the Goethe-Institut. In 2010 the artist participated in the Jerusalem Show IV curated by Jack Persekian, and was invited by ArteEast to present her work at the Sharjah March meetings. Gaussi is now a member of the Afghan Contemporary Art Research team initiated by the Van Abbe Museum in Eindhoven, which is documenting the contemporary art scene in Afghanistan.


Jeanno Gaussi, Installation view of Dreams on Wheels, 2014. Courtesy of Galerie koal and the artist