Tahir Carl Karmali

presented by Alaina Simone Inc.

TAHIR CARL KARMALI 

USNEA, 2019

Using mosquito netting dipped in pulped immigration application documents suspended on steel poles, this installation discusses the ethics behind merit-based immigration. Ethereal and subtle the work hangs over the viewer slowly flaking and disintegrating. This installation is a continuation of his project PAPERwork that tackles the complexities of nationality, authenticity, documentation, and borders. With this work, he questions the nature paper as a material to confine, permit, limit, and contain. Like the border, the mosquito nets behave as a barrier trapping and filtering the paper. Mimicking usnea (beard lichen) and referencing its symbiotic relationship — he is expressing his comfort and discomfort of being a merit-based immigrant. The work is meant to question the different mutualistic, communalistic, or parasitic aspects of his immigration status. 

Tahir Carl Karmali (b. 1987) born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya; Brooklyn, NY based visual artist began his practice as a painter and sculptor. Karmali’s interest in photography started while traveling through East Africa and South East Asia – later received his Masters in Photography at SVA. His attention to material and process is integral to how he communicates narratives centered around global environmental, political, and socioeconomic factors. Karmali has exhibited in Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao; Kunsthal, Rotterdam; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Rachel Uffner Gallery, New York; Pioneer Works, Brooklyn; Brooklyn College Library, Brooklyn; United Photo Industries, Brooklyn; and Circle Art, Nairobi.

Tahir Carl Karmali
Paper:Screening
2017, Paper, aluminum wire mesh, wire, dimensions variable.
Tahir Carl Karmali
USNEA (material/form test view)
2019, Paper, mosquito netting, rust, dimensions variable
Tahir Carl Karmali
USNEA (detail view)
2019, Paper, mosquito netting, rust, dimensions variable
Tahir Carl Karmali
USNEA (detail view)
2019, Paper, mosquito netting, rust, dimensions variable
Tahir Carl Karmali
Paper:Screening
2017, Paper, aluminum wire mesh, wire, dimensions variable
Tahir Carl Karmali
PAPER:landscape
2017, Paper pulp made from visa application documents, toner ink, aluminum, variable dimensions with 25’ maximum length