Airport Love Theme is a graphic novel set on two airplanes and in detention at Los Angeles LAX airport, recalling the absurd exchanges – about love and sex, celebrity, food and family – that once took place between US border security officers, an artist held and interrogated under suspicion while travelling to an art fair, and fellow passenger-detainees.
Farah’s debut book explores the promise of mobility offered by the international art world, and how that promise can fail outrageously. Suspense and disorientation play out in subtle ways, encouraging self-questioning on the part of readers given joint responsibility for making sense of troubling events. The novel’s structure is linear, but also echoes the tendency of traumatic experience to produce indelible scenes that repeat and return.
Hamishi Farah is a Somali artist living in Australia while retired from Australian art. States have edges, like words. Infants begin to see by noticing the edge of things. How do they know an edge is an edge? By passionately wanting it not to be. When not examining contemporary white lack through the edgelessnesses of Niggadom, Hamishi paints. Hamishi is represented by Arcadia Missa in London and Chateau Shatto in Los Angeles. Hamishi is also a member of family rap ensemble, Fanau Spa.
Published by Book Works as part of Contact, guest edited by Hannah Black in an edition of 1,000; designed by Claude d’Avoine.
A conversation with Hamishi Farah about the book, is published by Tank here: https://tankmagazine.com/tank/2020/02/hamishi-farah/