Did You Kiss the Dead Body? Visualizing Absence in the Archive of War

Rajkamal Kahlon

art by Rajmakal Kahlon

Rajkamal Kahlon, Artist-In-Residence at the American Civil Liberties Union, speaks about her ongoing project Did You Kiss the Dead Body? Kahlon works with U.S. military autopsy reports, death certificates and torture related government documents from Iraq and Afghanistan to explore the bureaucratization of death, as it intersects questions of empathy and the construction of memory. In a self-reflexive gesture towards the artist’s own practice, Kahlon will structure her talk around the dialectical movement between knowledge generated by distinct authorial voices—the subjective and the official, and the intimate and the clinical.

Kahlon is the recipient of awards from the Pollock Krasner and Lambent Foundations, and a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Painting and Sculpture Award. Her work has shown at major venues including: the Venice Biennial, the Taipei Biennial, the Lambent Foundation, the Freies Museum, the Wilhelm Hack Museum, and the Queens Museum of Art.

Co-sponsored by the Institute for Research on Women and Gender, MESAAS, the Institute for the Study of Human Rights, and the Barnard Center for Research on Women.