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.