Born 1946 in Cairo, Egypt
Lives and works in Cairo and itinerant
“My work centres around the ways in which humans are uprooted from their lands due to social, political and cultural pressures and change from outside. These people have lived on their lands for generations, connected to their unique cultures and ways. These involve religion or beliefs, languages, ways of relating to place, and myths revolving around their existence. Once a population is uprooted, so too are their languages and histories rendered irrelevant, their beliefs no longer tethered to the homes and temples in which they grew.”
Anna Boghiguian’s work for the 22nd Biennale of Sydney has emerged out of a residency at Monash Art Design & Architecture, Monash University, Melbourne where she worked closely with local artists and the university community to create many groups of people experiencing exile - the figures are uprooted from previous lives, negotiating new existences on the move that come from difficult histories. In keeping with her frequently mobile practice of making art internationally and contemplating local culture, Boghiguian also reflected on the treatment of First Nations people in Australia. Imbedded within this industrial setting, there is a heightened awareness of human migration reflecting the border and the refugee crisis, evocative of holding and waiting spaces within detention centres and refugee camps.
Anna Boghiguian was born in Cairo. She studied political science at the American University, Cairo and visual arts and music at Concordia University, Montreal. “I started travelling while I was living in Cairo, as an adventure and to broaden my views on the world migrating to Canada in my early 20s. For the past 20 years I have been travelling to exhibit my work, visit exhibitions and sometimes for adventure and pleasure. I produce my works onsite wherever I go, drawing on my previous experience and research.”
Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney with assistance from the Council for Australia-Arab Relations of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Supported by Monash Architecture, Design and Art, Monash University, Melbourne. Courtesy the artist.
Anna Boghiguian, The Uprooted, 2020, mixed-media installation. Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney with assistance from the Council for Australia-Arab Relations of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Supported by Monash Architecture, Design and Art, Monash University, Melbourne. Courtesy the artist
Photograph: Zan Wimberley
Location: Cockatoo Island