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Maymanah Farhat

Maymanah Farhat is a writer and curator living and working in California.

Jean Conner: Collage

To say that Jean Conner’s first museum exhibition is long overdue is an understatement. Belonging to a generation of Bay Area artists that solidified the idea of artist as alchemist, she has been active since the late 1950s, shortly after moving to San Francisco from the Midwest with her husband, conceptual artist Bruce Conner.

Sirkhane Darkroom’s i saw the air fly

Photographs produced using this mobile darkroom for children capture mundane carefree scenes. The overall feeling of this poignant book is that children are not only inquisitive but resilient, even experimental, and that no matter the context, photography will always be magical.

Andrés Hernández’s we used to move through the city like doves in the wind

A book of delicate autobiographical drawings tells the story of two lovers’ forced separation. The book’s 5.5 inch-square format complements the intimate nature of its captioned images, as holding the book in one hand and flipping its pages with the other feels like unfolding a note that has been passed in secret.

Jordan Stein’s Rip Tales: Jay DeFeo’s Estocada & Other Pieces

This takes the idea of an artwork that has gone from creation, to destruction, to reanimation as the premise for a book that offers a much-needed glimpse into the ecology of the Bay Area art scene. It presents a template for how documentation and analysis can be used to honor the region’s idiosyncratic art making practices.

Hoda Afshar’s Speak The Wind

These photographs summon the ghosts of the Strait of Hormuz, alluding to the psychic energy that lies beneath the sediments of the arid islands. These are perceptive portraits of men and women who appear undeterred by the harshness of the environment and its various elements, outwardly confident in a centuries-old ability to weather such forces.

Kimowan Metchewais: A Kind of Prayer

Kimowan Metchewais: A Kind of Prayer is edited and designed to honor the poetics that distinguished the artist’s multi-disciplinary practice. Color reproductions in the monograph do not appear in chronological order but instead are placed in relation to one another, highlighting how Metchewais tended to carry ideas over space and time, regularly bridging different experiences and periods of his life.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s ABJD and Tomorrow We Inherit the Earth

This collection of screenplays and essays illustrates the artist’s theory that certain Islamic traditions can be folded into the larger discourse of Queer theory. All of the visuals are otherworldly, with overlapping realities and references to the afterlives of martyrs and political leaders.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2023

All Issues