Jananne Al-Ani / Iraq/United Kingdom b.1966 / Black Powder Peninsula (production still) 2016 / Single-channel digital video, 4:28 minutes / © The artist / Image courtesy: The artist

Jananne Al-Ani
Black Powder Peninsula 2016

On Display: QAG, Gallery 6

Jananne Al-Ani’s work, Black Powder Peninsula 2016 is a loop, an endless cycle in which our viewpoint rises as if we are being lifted out of the landscape, and takes its name from gunpowder — introduced into Europe and the Middle East in the thirteenth century from China. A journey over the landscape of the United Kingdom, locations include the disused sites of military, economic and industrial power of the past and the vital infrastructure of today: a waste treatment plant, electrical substations, greenhouses and oil tanks. The film highlights patterns in the flow of power, resources and technology that link us all.

Jananne Al-Ani employs the aerial perspective and bleached, sepia-tones of World War One reconnaissance photography to reveal the imprint of history, conflict and occupation on the landscape.
Her earlier films conveyed a sense of falling to earth, recalling, in eerie slow motion, the perspective of a missile missing its target. Al-Ani highlights two different perspectives of the landscape in her work — a distant, technology-enabled and clinical view, and a view reflecting the aftermath of war. Al-Ani is acutely aware of the realities of war, particularly those highlighted in the media coverage of the 1991 Gulf War missile strikes on Iraq, her country of birth.

Contemporary context

How does Jananne Al-Ani:

  • challenge ideas of the past?
  • use materials, technologies or approaches to affect the audience experience?
  • provoke discussion about twenty-first-century issues and concerns?

Personal context

How does Jananne Al-Ani:

  • communicate influences on her life and experiences?
  • create sensory experiences to generate emotional responses from the viewer?
  • connect with the viewers’ experiences and/or expectations to construct meaning?

Cultural context

How does Jananne Al-Ani:

  • respond to cultural influences?

Formal context

How does Jananne Al-Ani:

  • employ specific art elements and principles to communicate meaning?
  • communicate intentions using symbols, motifs or signs?
  • enhance the interpretation of the artwork through processes, materials and media?