Shahzia Sikander

Shahzia Sikander

Tufts University Art Galleries

Shahzia Sikander in front of Parallax, 2015. Courtesy of the artist.
October 15, 2015
Shahzia SikanderParallax

Through December 6, 2015

Keynote conversation:
Thursday, October 15, 6–7:30pm

Shirley and Alex Aidekman Arts Center
Alumnae Lounge
Tufts University
Medford, MA USA

T +16176273518

Pioneering artist Shahzia Sikander (b. 1969, Lahore, Pakistan) will be featured in conversation at Tufts University in the Boston metropolitan area on Thursday, October 15 from 6 to 7:30pm in a keynote event accompanying the U.S. museum debut of her exhibition Parallax, on view through December 6 at the Tufts University Art Gallery in the Shirley and Alex Aidekman Arts Center. Hosted by Amy Ingrid Schlegel, PhD, director of Galleries and Collections at Tufts (and the exhibition curator), and Dr. Ayesha Jalal, the Mary Richardson Professor of History and Director, Center for South Asian and Indian Ocean Studies at Tufts, the event is free and open to the public. The Gallery will be open before and after the event.

Sikander’s practice takes Indo-Persian miniature painting as a point of departure. Her work challenges the strict formal conventions and medium-specificity of miniature painting by experimenting with scale and media—including animation, video, performance, and large-scale murals and installations. This keynote conversation will chart the evolution of Sikander’s iconography and explore the conceptual interests underlying the creation of Parallax.

Parallax is an immersive installation consisting of hundreds of digitally animated gouache drawings, sound and music (produced in collaboration with composer Du Yun and three poets living in Sharjah), conceived in the United Arab Emirates for the 11th Sharjah Art Biennale in 2013. Also on view are related drawings, prints, and photographs. Running at 15 minutes and 30 seconds, Sikander’s HD animation examines mechanisms of power, ideas of conflict, and tensions over the control of the strategically desirable geography at the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf. Historical events that create tumult in colonial territories, naval warfare, the East India Company, imperial air and land travel routes, and maritime trade all underlie Sikander’s oeuvre. Parallax also investigates discourse styles, verbal and poetic language, migration patterns, cultural quarantine, interaction, and identity.

Sikander’s innovative expansion of miniature painting helped launch a major resurgence of the genre beginning in the late 1980s at her alma mater in Lahore, which has since spread and brought international recognition to the medium within contemporary art practices.

Sikander received her BFA in 1991 from the National College of Arts, Lahore, and her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1995. She has been featured in 27 solo exhibitions and more than 200 group exhibitions around the world. She lives and works in New York.

The Tufts University Art Gallery animates the intellectual life of the greater university community through exhibitions and programs exploring new, global perspectives on art and on art discourse.

A book published by the Tufts University Art Gallery, with an artist’s interview by Amy Ingrid Schlegel, a conversation between Sikander and composer Du Yun, and an essay by Ayesha Jalal, is forthcoming in the spring of 2016.

RSVP for Shahzia SikanderParallax
Tufts University Art Galleries
October 15, 2015

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