Acclaimed Somali Poet Reads from Her Latest Work in Sold Out Show

Acclaimed Somali poet Ladan Osman read from her latest work “Exiles of Eden” (Coffee House Press) with the breathtaking backdrop "Noiseless" by Ethiopian artist Elias Sime, on view in a sold-out performance at James Cohan Gallery in Chelsea on June 12. Donations made during the event went to support African Services Committee. Special thanks to Ladan Osman, James Cohan Gallery, Blue Flower Arts and to all who turned out.  

Ladan Osman is a Somali born artist whose work is a lyric and exegetic response to problems of race, gender, displacement, and colonialism. She is the author of Exiles of Eden (2019) and The Kitchen-Dweller’s Testimony (2015), winner of a Sillerman First Book Prize.

Exiles of Eden, Osman’s newest collection, is a work of poetry, photos, and experimental text. Her work has appeared in Columbia Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, Roar, Rumpus, among others. Osman’s writing has been translated into over 10 languages. She currently lives in Brooklyn.

NOISELESS, a new work by Elias Sime was on view throughout June at James Cohan Gallery. NOISELESS is Sime’s third solo exhibition at James Cohan. Ethiopian multidisciplinary artist Elias Sime creates intricate, wall-mounted works on a monumental scale from discarded technological components—including salvaged motherboards and electrical wires—that have traveled from far-reaching locations across the globe to his hometown of Addis Ababa. Sime meticulously weaves, layers and assembles these found materials into abstract compositions. Sometimes his idea dictates the material, while other times the material dictates the idea. Sime titles this body of work “Tightropes,” in reference to the precision and discipline required to walk across a tightrope, as well as the tenuous balance between the progress technology has made possible and its detrimental impact on the environment.

View photos of the event here. Video here

Photo by Mauricio Norona, Esq.