Self-Portrait (Self as Doria Shafik), from Proxies, with a Life of Their Own (2019–22), 3d prints, epoxy, acrylic, paint, metal poles, text panel under glass.

Iman Issa

The SFU School for the Contemporary Arts is pleased to welcome Iman Issa as the Spring 2024 Audain Visual Artist in Residence. For her residency, Issa will lead a series of seminars, talks, workshops, and other interventions in and around the BFA Project Exhibition, led by the SCA's Judy Radul. 

Iman Issa studies. She studies many things – artworks, artifacts, museum experiences, history. Then, using the grey box of intuition she produces sensuous forms that question the analogous nature of thought and material. Issa not only studies, but under-studies, taking account of art and artist’s role-play and symbiotic co-inhabitation. Against this ground of the political, the walking stick of identity manifests as form and recognition, steading the gate of we-don’t-know-who. Issa’s recent curatorial project at KW Berlin, Understudies: I Myself Will Exhibit Nothing, gathers companion artworks, beginning from the particular, or personal, to manifest a collection materializing socio political situations. This doubling of self and situation through exhibition, is doubled again by the “I Myself” of the title, an insistence on singularity that instead produces a double. Artistic autophagy is also at play in Issa’s beautiful series Proxies, with a Life of Their Own, 2019–22, where she offers works with titles such as Self-Portrait: Self as Hannah Arendt and the Self-Portrait: Self as Alenka Zupančič.


Artist Talk
March 28, 2024 | 7:00 PM (6:30 PM doors) | FREE
Studio T (Room 2210)
149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver

BFA Project 2024 Exhibition
Opening: Wednesday, March 27, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Exhibition: Wednesday, March 27 – Saturday, April 6, 2024
Audain Gallery, 149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver
Please check back for more information


Iman Issa is an artist and professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna . Solo and group exhibitions include Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, MoMA, New York, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 21er Haus, Vienna, MACBA, Barcelona, the Perez Art Museum, Miami, the Whitney Biennial 2019, the 12th Sharjah biennial, the 8th Berlin Biennial, MuHKA, Antwerp, Tensta Konsthall, Spånga, New Museum, New York, and KW Institute of Contemporary Art, Berlin. Books include Book of Facts: A Proposition (2017), Common Elements (2015) and Thirty-three Stories about Reasonable Characters in Familiar Places (2011). She has been named a 2017 DAAD artist in residence, and is a recipient of the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise (2017), the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award (2015), HNF-MACBA Award (2012), and the Abraaj Group Art Prize (2013).


The Audain Visual Artist in Residence (AVAIR) program brings artists and practitioners to Vancouver who have contributed significantly to the field of contemporary art and whose work resonates with local and international visual art discourses. Past residences have included Ming Wong, Kota Ezawa, Irena Haiduk, Jackson Polys, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Heba Y. Amin, Tanya Lukin Linklater, Jeremy Deller, Sanja Iveković, Charles Gaines, Samson Young, Alejandro Cesarco, Raven Chacon, Sarah Pierce, Walid Raad, Jalal Toufic, Jacqueline Hoàng Nguyễn, Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Hito Steyerl, and many others. The visiting artists interact with the students and faculty of the School for the Contemporary Arts as well as the broader visual arts and cultural communities. In keeping with the experimental nature of the School for the Contemporary Arts the terms of engagement are open and change from artist to artist. The cornerstone of the residency is the sharing of artistic research.

The AVAIR program is generously funded by the Audain Foundation Endowment Fund.