born 1966 in Iraq,
lives and works in London.
Al-Ani works mainly with photography and film. Her work is a contemplation of the structure of media images and their impact on the understanding of armed conflicts. Al-Ani is a Senior Research Fellow at London’s University of the Arts.
The film forms part of the project “Aesthetics of Disappearance: A Land Without People”, began in 2007 and continued until the present day. Al-Ani refers to Paul Virilio’s essay “Aesthetics of Disappearance” (1980) and to the early slogan of the Zionist Movement: Palestine is “a land without a people for a people without a land”.
Consisting of a single shot, the work portrays a desert ant colony hollowed out in the ground. Filmed from very close, the nest acquires an abstract form. Only the insects that appear from time to time lend the image a realistic character. As with the other parts of the trilogy (“Shadow Sites I” and “Shadow Sites II”), the film is an experiment with scale. By juxtaposing photographs taken from afar with micro details, the images featured in the work become ambiguous and loosen their ties with reality.