ARTifacts : Art Meets Anthropology (Part 1)

Aman Mojadidi, image credit

Since this week is dedicated to Allegra’s beloved AVMoFA we would like to share with you, dear readers, the marvellous ARTifacts collected by multi-media artist Aman Mojadidi during a workshop organised by anthropologist Noah Coburn in the context of his Anthropology of Democracy course at Bennington.


Aman’s exhibition/workshop consisted in having students design a series of ARTifacts. Combining truth with fiction, students were encouraged to reflect on the ways objects and exhibitions can reinforce or upend power relations. Students worked for two days in the wood shop and in locations around campus to find artifacts and then create their own unique, often historically disruptive back stories. Artifacts included a murder weapon, tools used by elephants to dig for food and a Sandinista pin.



Photo credit: Aman Mojadidi

With degrees in Cultural Anthropology, Aman’s work utilizes a critical, experimental ethnographic approach, combining qualitative research, traditional storylines, and postmodern narrative strategies to approach themes such as belonging, identity politics, conflict, and the push to and resistance against modernization; intentionally blurring and merging the lines between fact and fiction, documentation and imagination. His practice is particularly known over the last several years for projects he refers to as Fieldwork, site/context-specific works that respond directly to the social, cultural, political, and economic systems of the environment where he is working.


Tomorrow, we’ll exhibit in AVMoFA some of the ARTifacts created and/or found by Noah’s students. But for now, here is a video of Aman talking about his work. Enjoy!



CONTINUE to Part 2

We warmly thank Noah Coburn for sharing this wonderful material with us.

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