A box with photographs, letters, and postcards displayed in it.

Kelani Abass

Artist in Residence, 2018

A portrait of a person in front of the ocean.

Artist Statement

I am intrigued by the questions of how past and present coalesce, how an archive contributes to the practice of memory and historical recall.

I attempt to make a statement about the future that allows the interdependence of different moments, exploring the possibilities inherent in painting, photography, and printing, using archival materials to highlight personal stories against the background of social and political events that also engage time and memory.

My oeuvre increasingly probes the shared history and character of man and machines through a wide range of media, including installations and works in acrylic, oil, pastel, and charcoal.

While At Headlands

I will be working with archival materials from my collection as well as sourcing others whilst in San Francisco or other parts of California. I am excited about the possibility of extending my research in material culture, and I believe access to the Headlands Center for the Arts archives will be a great advantage as I interrogate further how the global archive contributes to the notion of memory and historical recall over time.

I will use my time principally in the library, deepening my research in themes and issues that have preoccupied me over the past years, notably technological development in relation to man, the conception of time, and memory and the archives. These will be complemented with discussions, debate, dialogue, and research with my colleagues and others during the residency.