No Such Organisation (2018–2020) is a series of one hundred paintings that represent the fallout from the assassination of Saudi-Arabian dissident, columnist, and news editor Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. In Navine G. Khan-Dossos’s characteristically vibrant, aniconistic painting style, the cycle of works, twenty of which are on display, chronicles the repercussions of the event sequentially, through the journalistic and juridical investigations it triggered. The artist perceived the case and its connected themes of cyberweapons, spyware, and the contemporary stakes of journalism, as a kaleidoscope of tumbling details. And yet, the case remains without a central visual figure, as Khashoggi’s body was never recovered. Into this absence of images, the series deploys symbolic elements to stand in for players in the story – nation states, agencies and technologies – which shift into new alignments with each iteration, resisting final judgement.
Similarly relying upon a combination of structure, form and colour to express complex narratives – and also organised by a 3x3 grid – Silent Latitude (2019) is a collaboratively made quilt by many women in different places. The work began with a series of watercolour designs produced in Athens with the Greek Transgender Support Association (GTSA), which were then reworked and fabricated by the women of MIA-H, a Belgian textile workshop. The title Silent Latitude refers to the poetry of Hadewijch, a thirteenth-century Flemish lay nun, in lineage with the textile production of Beguine communities, as well as to the apparent divide between the European North and South, the two sites of production of the work. The quilt is co-owned by the artist and the GTSA, with any proceeds equally divided in recognition of the shared labour. In both series, the individual squares may stand alone, and also interact to form larger configurations of pattern and signification.
Navine G. Khan-Dossos is a visual artist based between London and Athens. Drawing on both the traditional techniques of Islamic art and the aesthetics of the digital age, her paintings emerge from a philosophy of the image which extends beyond the iconic and the decorative, into the political stakes of contemporary life. Against our over-exposure to images of violence and trauma, she seeks out symbolic equivalences for the representation of events. She has exhibited and worked with various institutions, including The Showroom (London), SALT (Istanbul), The Museum of Islamic Art (Doha), Witte de With (Rotterdam), The Delfina Foundation (London), The Library of Amiens (Amiens), Leighton House Museum (London), and the A.M. Qattan Foundation (Ramallah). She has published work in The White Review and The Happy Hypocrite.