Rehana Zaman

is an artist based in London working with moving image and performance. Her work considers the interplay of multiple social dynamics that constitute subjects along particular socio-political formations. These narrative based artworks, often deadpan and neurotic, are frequently generated through conversation and collaboration with others.”

Zaman explains that in the last 3 years quite distinct themes reoccur in her work. She showed us a tenderpixel video piece entitled “TELL ME THE STORY OF ALL THESE THINGS” which was an intimate snapshot into world of Farrah and her aspirations. She was born in Pakistan but lived most of her life in the UK. What was anchored into the piece was appropriated material from educational “prevent” government schemes. CGI animation was also interjected. Zaman explored a woman coded as Muslim and the instability assembling and disassembling with her trying to remain individual and navigate the world.

Zaman later showed us a piece developed in 2015-16 which was initially 22 minutes which she had shortened to a 7 min clip. There was a succession of female narrators which were made up and some scripted. Beauty salon scenes interrupted the video. It took the form of an audition tape where Zaman invited actors to read a text prepared that responded to devised questions. The idea behind this was the testimony and the sharing of accounts. The scripts were a culmination of experiences Zaman had.

Zaman then showed an early show from the first film. GIANTESS is multiscreen work which featured crude fetish animations. The body of the giantess emerges from a mining site and her developing precursor figure appears later. 

3 years ago was a strong turning point in Zaman’s work. A film she devised was ambitious in scale as it was a 6 part video 2004 at the tetley gallery. It tracked the earlier moments in the history of the brewery that explored parallel narratives. The workers narratives acted as a dramatization which explored a working class identity. It also explored themes of Immigration and women’s roles. Conversations of domestic workers  were interjected with drama and initially it was not clear how the immigration groups’ involvement in the film would be. They discussed what needs would be a campaign issue and how to raise awareness. The film sought to put questions on the table. The film emerged from the process of the continued work within the group. What was a running thread within the Melodrama was the character of Sue as everyone gets laid off apart from Sue which Zaman described as her smashing through the glass ceiling. She later becomes pregnant which describes that the moment feminism was achieved, labour is unrecognised in the home and gets outsourced. 

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