Emerging Discourse

Emerging Discourse


July 3, 2008

Emerging Discourse

Curated by Shaheen Merali

535 West 24th Street, Floor 4
New York, NY 10011
P: +1 212 352 2644
F: +1 212 352 2638


Part I: Multiple and Overlapping Contemplations from the Diaspora

June 27 – July 18, 2008

Jaishri Abichandani, Chila Kumari Burman, Sophie Ernst, Maryam Jafri, Karsh Kale/ Luis Banuelos Arechiga / Vikkal Parikh, Aki Nawaz, Hetain Patel, Sara Rahbar, Tejal Shah

It may seem that recent intellectual history has been using the post-structural as a way to understand post-colonialism. In constituting the role of representations and the social constructions of reality, artists and musicians have questioned the notion of modernity’s obsession with progress. In revealing the crises of mono-culturalism and universalism, postcolonial work can be construed as both performative and constructed from a notion of identity.

The exhibition Emerging Discourse recognises these voices that have demanded the return of the postcolonial in cultural production. If the political only arises at times of conflict, then these repressed statements are antagonistic voices, thereby helping us to shift the role of culture towards an intellectual transformation of changing, and sometimes even polysemic, signifiers. Bodhi New York is a dedicated space for the concretisation of the imaginative for a multicultural audience and towards an art production that truly reflects current world culture. The programme allows the interplay of political agencies with vocabularies to provide what we see as isolated realities, which broaden and challenge defined functions of art and archives. The use of anti-fascist and de-historical consciousness and the questioning of pedagogic European culture are all assembled in this grouping of nine artists’ works. The exhibition is curated, unhegemonically, to provide a cultural forum, a comparative and contemporaneous mapping of multiculturality.

If as Bhabha has sited -the life of memory exceeds the historic event by keeping alive the traces of images and words, then these collected works are splinters, gathered as an emerging discourse, encrusted and tinged by the barbaric times and values of mimesis.

Part II: Performance and Mimicry

Opening Reception: Thursday, July 24
July 25 – August 15, 2008

Leo Asemota, Oreet Ashery, Nikhil Chopra, Shezad Dawood, Shahram Entekhabi, Gregg LeFevre, Lisl Ponger, Melati Suryodarmo, Rommelo Yu

The crisis in recognizing ourselves as the Other is often guided by recognizing ourselves through the colonial fantasy or the fixed image that European history has provided of the Other. The Other remains a part of entry that is both before us and out of us – an emergence from British, French and Spanish History, more than Indian, Caribbean, or Chinese history. These ever-existing omnipresent grounds our own dismantling of this historical register as we remain distorted and exploited by that which precedes us and warps any moment of salvation.

In resisting and speculating beyond these frames of references, we can only pre-colonise our response or subvert the colonial authority to stop in this moment of double articulation.

Homi Bhabha’s ideas of subverting a “normalised” knowledge-base, while providing forums of imminent threats, are places where artists formulate mimicry and mockery. Their menacing outbursts are disruptive of both authorities and sustained archives, by recognizing their colonial heritage and power, and creating within it a confusing, differing practice. This warfare is one of unsettling, dismantling, appropriating, and diffusing postures, positions which distort speculated histories.

These emotive works are usually outside of the ranks of history, geography gender and other markers of authority and belonging. In providing these displaced images, a disparate picture emerges from the usual beleaguered image of the global to a negotiated visualisation that reflects back in anger and menace.

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July 3, 2008

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