The Afghan Collection reflects on links between artefacts, their use value in nomadic families, the opportunistic dealer network, the market, and the classic mode of museography that eclipses these very relations.
Afghanistan 1991: First war between the Mujahedin and the state forces that are backed by the Soviet Union. For a passage across the border, the nomads in the highland trade in their century-old family treasures of clothes, chests, jewellery, and carpets. Behind the border, dealers with connections to the West are already waiting. In deserted villages they remove the doors, the carved columns, and entire porches. One container after another is filled with Afghani artefacts and shipped to the United States. They enter the tribal art fairs and galleries and finally reach private homes predominantly in California and Texas.
This project was part of Sharjah Biennial 7.
The Afghan Collection
Courtesy of the artist