Jamilah Sabur: DADA Holdings

November 27th, 2021 - January 8th, 2022

Nina Johnson is pleased to present Jamilah Sabur’s second solo exhibition at the gallery, DADA Holdings, a new body of paintings. The exhibition is intended to exist in tandem with Bulk Pangaea, Sabur’s multifaceted video work as part of Prospect 5, New Orleans, which traces the sites of aluminium ore extraction, poetically recalibrating our understanding of geography, the new space exploration economy and warfare.  In Sabur’s new body of paintings we peer through arch-like openings at repeated archival images, video stills, and geometric form. The paintings function as a vision system mounted in varying configurations.

How does an empire transmit images of itself across its colonies? What is the “self” of an empire?  DADA Holdings is a continuation of Sabur’s panel based wall works linking image to language. We speak of taking land, of inscribing it with a shape, we must also speak of its depiction.  To own a resource, mines, rivers, timber, we must first describe it, not only in technical terms but as a collective imagination.  The people must know where they stand, and how. Sabur’s paintings recall to mind the stereograph and its Victorian gaze upon exotic lands. 

  • Jamilah Sabur Video Still
    Jamilah Sabur, Cockpit Country (British Army base 1728-1795), 2021
Jamilah Sabur

Jamilah Sabur (b.1987, Saint Andrew Parish, Jamaica)  draws on geology, memory and language as points of reference. Her work considers what it means to see on a planetary scale, re-calibrating our understanding of place, time and history. Her recent solo and group exhibitions include: La montagne fredonne sous l’océan/The mountain sings underwater, Momenta Biennale, Fondation PHI, Montréal, Québec (2021), Observations: Selected Works by Jamilah Sabur, University of Maryland Art Gallery (2020); The Willfulness of Objects, The Bass Museum of Art, Miami (2020); Mending the Sky, New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans (2020); Here Be Dragons, Copperfield, London (2020). Sabur earned a BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore (2009), and an MFA from University of California, San Diego (2014). Her work is included in the permanent collection of the New Orleans Museum of Art, Pérez Art Museum Miami, The Bass Museum of Art, and TD Bank Group Art Collection.