“My art is built with a lexicon of information, which grows and expands, is reused, edited, discarded and new ideas added. To move forward is to re-think and to be able to detach to explore something new. Identity is not a given but a fluid process that unfolds over time.”
The first solo show in an Italian museum for the Pakistani-American artist.
Shahzia Sikander (Lahore, Pakistan, 1969, lives in New York) observes the present through the lens of the imagination, symbols, literature and history of diverse cultural traditions. In the exhibition the artist creates a layout specifically for the museum with over 30 works in various media and idioms, from drawing to miniatures referring to the Indo-Persian tradition and from video to digital animation. Included are works born from critical thinking and inquiry of historical, literary and political positions that delineate the inherent complexity of universal themes ranging from the pre-colonial to the post-colonial, geopolitical changes, migration, cultural quarantine and the birth of nations and religion and ultimately human identity. Sikander’s diverse practice investigates the blurred boundaries between fiction and nonfiction, storytelling and history-writing calling into question issues around redaction, perception of authority and independence.
By disrupting entrenched ideas and formats and by considering different epistemologies, perceptual schemes and systems of representation, Shahzia Sikander creates worlds composed of evocative and disorienting images that remain open to diverse reflections and interpretations.
Shahzia Sikander: Ecstasy as Sublime, Heart as Vector shows the artist’s work from 2000s to the present day with exhibition design facilitating an immersive experience of the range of format and mediums.