Rehana Zaman: Jupiter in Aries, Moon in Virgo


Jupiter in Aries, Moon in Virgo
Rehana Zaman

03 April – 22 May 2021

Trinity Square Video
121-401 Richmond Street West, Toronto

A primary exhibition of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival

There is a familiar point of view when sitting in the passenger seat of a car or at the kitchen table absorbed in close dialogue with others. Whether it’s the passing scenery or the preparation of food that flickers in and out of your peripheral vision, the mundane becomes an otherworldly frame for discussion. Amongst the gestures, aromas and anecdotes, both intimacy and criticality form an openness in which conversation with kin can speak beyond the familial to the complex arrangements of sociality. Jupiter in Aries, Moon in Virgo is a solo exhibition by London-based artist Rehana Zaman that brings together two video works unfolding through the candid backdrop of family setting, offering an alternative lens through which to read tenderness, diasporic subjectivity, and the enduring presence of colonial regimes.

Tell me the story Of all these things (2017) is an accumulation of multiple threads uniting conversations between the artist and Farah (her sister), culinary performances of the body, material from the UK government’s counter terror legislation, Prevent and animated sequences of a metamorphosing body whose membrane is camouflaged against the surrounding landscape. Over the careful concoction of Machli ka Salan (fish curry), Farah muses on her upbringing in Pakistan, her life to date in the UK, and potential futures working in the Gulf. As the dish is prepared ebullient storytelling gives way to moments of radical honesty. In conjunction, an amorphous CGI figure emerges restless from a seemingly desolate, desert-like scenery. The texture of her skin mirrors her surroundings, and her idleness reflects a felt subjectivity as she maneuvers through her environment. The compounded patterns, gestures, and conversations run through Tell me the story Of all these things disassembling the multiple figurations of Farah as she both elides and is constituted through the technologies of the state.

Adjacent to this, a meditative conversation on belief and desire unfolds during a car ride with ‘Sajid’ in the work Your Ecstatic Self (2019). Viewed from the passenger seat, Sajid drives through nondescript semi-urban spaces relaying a journey of self-discovery that maps paths through astrology, Islam, and the philosophy and practice of Tantra. Sajid’s narration poses questions around the social function of the sexual where western perceptions of Brown Asian male sexuality undermine liberatory readings of an expansive and emancipatory erotic. Spatial and temporal shifts weave through the storytelling with archive footage of pre-islamic Indigenous shamanic rituals in the Hunza Valley, Pakistan – a site of both cultural contestation and popular tourist hiking destination alongside sequences of plant cultivation and conjuring in a green space, performed by Priya Jay writer, healer and botanist in communion with Zaman. The film transitions between the liminal space of the car, mountainside, or edgeland where alternative epistemologies and ritual offer possibilities to re-envision and transform.

Together, the films Tell me the story Of all these things and Your Ecstatic Self are instinctively kindred works, departing from intimate yet contested spaces to connect dreams, histories and realities with an unbound tenderness.

Rehana Zaman is an artist based in London. Her work speaks to the entanglement of personal experience and social life, where moments of intimacy are framed against bio politics, cultural orthodoxies and state coercion. An enduring concern is how racial capitalism and processes of racialisation, intersecting with gender, class and sexuality, become constitutive, seeking out disruption, elision and non-conformity. Liberatory strategies and cooperative methods underpin her process, structuring how works are initiated, produced and dispersed. Recent and upcoming screenings and exhibitions include Artist Film International Whitechapel, London (2021) British Art Show 9 (2021), Serpentine, London, UK (2021), Liverpool Biennial 2018, Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh, Bergen Kunsthall, Norway; Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2018; Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival; Sheffield Doc/Fest; ICA Miami; Oberhausen Film Festival and Bétonsalon Paris. In 2019 she co-edited Tongues with Taylor Le Melle, published by PSS. She was shortlisted for the Film London Jarman Award in 2019. She is currently a board member of not/nowhere artist workers cooperative and Lux Moving Image, who also distribute her films.

+ image: Rehana Zaman, Your Ecstatic Self, 2019


Trinity Square Video
401 Richmond Street West, suite 121
Toronto ON M5V 3A8

Opening Hours
Tuesday – Saturday
11AM – 5PM

COVID-19 Update: Our exhibition space is temporarily closed to the general public under current Toronto lockdown restrictions. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter for updates on opening details and information about online programming, as part of Jupiter in Aries, Moon in Virgo.

Members can access facilities by appointment during original opening hours. Email to book.

Trinity Square Video is Safe Sets COVID-19 (Level A) Certified. All activity is compliant with Ontario Public Health Infection Prevention and Control measures and safety guidelines relevant to our community of filmmakers, producers, crew, and industry professionals. Safety in all facets of production and presentation is our priority and we meet all necessary requirements of the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Skills Development and Training Section 21 Health and Safety Committee.

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