Curatorial Studies

Kameelah Janan Rasheed

On Opacity

A guest lecture by Kameelah Janan Rasheed

16.01.2024, 18:00–19:30

Cirque Auditorium, KASK

Zoom link

Do all artworks speak to everybody? Should they? How do artists and curators mediate their legibility/illegibility? How might writing, translating and critiquing be implicated in producing modes of knowing and unknowing? And how do we give space to the potential for misunderstanding? Focusing on the materiality and legibility of text, writing, and language as well as the potential of intermedial translation, New York-based Artist Kameelah Janan Rasheed will introduce her practice as a way exploring some of these questions and others that we're considering as part of the Curating and Writing module. Rasheed will specifically focus on the subject of opacity in relation to writing and making work, and anchor her lecture in Tina Post's recently published book, Deadpan: The Aesthetics of Black Inexpression (2023).

Practical information

The guest lecture is a component of the 'Curating and Writing' course. Feel free to attend the lecture in person at the Cirque Auditorium at KASK, or you have the option to participate virtually through ZOOM.


Kameelah Janan Rasheed was born in East Palo Alto, CA. Rasheed lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She holds an MA in Secondary Social Studies Education from Stanford University (2008) and a BA in Public Policy from Pomona College (2006). She was an Amy Biehl U.S. Fulbright Scholar at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa (2006–7). A learner, she grapples with the poetics-pleasures-politics of Black knowledge production, information technologies, [un]learning, and belief formation.

Most recently, they are a recipient of a 2022 Schering Stiftung Award for Artistic Research; a 2022 Creative Capital Award; a 2022 Betty Parsons Fellow – Artists2Artists Art Matters Award; a 2022 Artists + Machine Intelligence Grants - Experiments with Google; and a 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship in Fine Arts. You can learn more about her practice in the Art 21 documentary (October 2021) or a recent interview in Art in America (July 2021).

Rasheed is the author of four artist’s books: i am not done yet (Mousse Publishing, 2022); An Alphabetical Accumulation of Approximate Observations (Endless Editions, 2019); No New Theories (Printed Matter, 2019); and the digital publication Scoring the Stacks (Brooklyn Public Library, 2021). Her fifth artist book is due out in 2023 from KW Institute for Contemporary Art (Berlin, DE). Their writing has appeared in Triple Canopy, The New Inquiry, Shift Space, Active Cultures, and The Believer. Rasheed founded Mapping the Spirit, a digital archive documenting how Black faith lives, shifts, and self-revises.

Rasheed’s work has been exhibited nationally at the Brooklyn Museum; the New Museum; MASS MoCA; the Queens Museum; the Bronx Museum; the Studio Museum in Harlem; Portland Institute for Contemporary Art; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; Jack Shainman Gallery, New York; the Brooklyn Public Library; and the Brooklyn Historical Society, among others. Her work has been exhibited internationally at NOME; Transmission Gallery, Glasgow; Kunsthalle Wien; Bétonsalon Centre d'art et de recherche, Paris; Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; Artspace Peterborough; the 57th Venice Biennial; and the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, among others. Her public installations have appeared at Ballroom Marfa; the Brooklyn Museum; For Freedoms x Times Square Art, New York; Public Art Fund, New York; Moody Center for the Arts, Houston; The California Air Resources Board; and several others.

NOME Gallery (Berlin, DE) represents Rasheed in Europe and the Americas.

Rasheed is an adjunct instructor at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, a Visiting Critic at Yale School of Art, Sculpture, a Mentor-in-Residence with NEW Inc., and a repeat instructor at the School for Poetic Computation. After being a five-year high school teacher, Rasheed spent almost a decade designing social studies curricula and coaching teachers. She carries on her coaching and curriculum design work through her consultant business Orange Tangent Study, founded in 2020, which provides unrestricted microgrants to artists and supports transdisciplinary project development. Since 2020, Orange Tangent Study has dispersed almost 7,000 USD.