September 6, 2013:
At the Border

Posted February 11, 2014

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One of the dependable rituals of Goshka’s residency here at the MCA involves her being taken in for in-depth questioning by an indefatigable platoon of homeland security personnel every time she enters the country. The reason? Two Afghan visa stamps in her passport, reminders of her time in Kabul on the occasion of Documenta 13 in 2012 (the tapestry produced for this major international art exhibition’s satellite show in the Afghan capital was included in her survey at the MCA last year). “What were you doing in Kabul?” “I was invited to show an artwork in an international group show.” “Really? You can’t just go to Afghanistan like that.” (Etcetera.)

One of the achievements and triumphs of Documenta 13 was certainly the assertion that art is as important and fundamental a part of the slow and painful process of the healing and restoration of civil society as is food aid, increasing literacy and construction contracts—though this is obviously not so readily understood. (Goshka has been asked, but refuses, to get herself a new passport, free of the cumbersome Afghan visa. It is with her permission that this image has been posted online.)