Lot 49 Tahir Carl Karmali (Kenyan, born 1987) Paper-WORK, 2018 , Art Auction East Africa 2019

Tahir Carl Karmali (Kenyan, born 1987)
Paper-WORK, 2018
Signed, ‘Signature, 2018’ (verso)
Handmade paper from photocopies of identity documents
57.5 x 34.5 cm each (approx.)

Ksh 150,000–220,000
(US$ 1,360–2,000)
Sold Ksh 140,880

Provenance: direct from the artist

Tahir Karmali makes work that foregrounds materials and processes as a means of commenting on geopolitics and global economic flows. The movement of people and resources across international borders and the implications for human life are an object of sustained investigation in his work.

PAPER:work is an ongoing body of work in which the process of paper-making is adopted as a metaphor for the means of controlling the movement of people internationally. Copies of travel and identification documents – passport pages, immigration applications etc. – are pulped and remade through a process of filtration and accretion into new sheets of paper, abstract compositions that draw on the history of migration and the lives shaped by it.

Based in Brooklyn, New York, Karmali received an MA in Digital Photography from the School of Visual Arts in New York, and has gone on to take up various residencies and participate in numerous exhibitions in Kenya and internationally. Recent exhibitions include: Tracing Obsolescence, Apexart, New York, 2018; Immigrant Artists and the American West, Tacoma Art Museum, Washington, 2018; New Threads, Circle Art Gallery, Nairobi, 2018; Biennal Forografica Bogota, 2017, Bogota, Columbia and PAPER:work, Pioneer Works, New York, 2017. Karmali’s work has featured in the Addis Foto Fest, Lagos Photo Festival and in 2015, he was the recipient of the International Contemporary African Photography Award, POPCAP’ 2015, for his Jua Kali series.