Curated by Baseera Khan
Artists: Chitra Ganesh, Mala Iqbal, Jesal Kapadia, Yamini Nayar, and Divya Mehra
The title of the exhibition, A Wild Gander: Artists from the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective, is inspired by Joseph Campbell’s collection of essays, The Flight of the Wild Gander. Campbell’s title references the Sanskrit concept of the paramahamsa, an enlightened spiritual teacher who transcends the mundane, just as geese (hamsa) are able to transcend the earth through flight. According to Campbell, this sage feels equally at home on water and on land, just as the artists in this exhibition adeptly negotiate between disparate geopolitical cultural codes and spaces. Campbell also stresses that local myths inevitably contain new variations, cross-fertilizations, and the appropriation of old and new ideas.
These artists transcend and look beyond conventional understandings of contemporary South Asian identity. They reclaim representations of their heritage, reference pop culture and art history, and reveal the influences between East and West in a dizzying fashion. Skillfully interweaving medium and material, these artists produce diverse bodies of work that conceptualize the presence of liminal spaces between identity and formal study of artistic practice.
On Wednesday April 14 at 7pm Writers from SAWCC will read works that explore what it means to them to “look left,” whether it be traveling opposite of expectation or casting a glance out at the periphery, taking a new and risky look at contemporary South Asian identity. Curated by SAWCC board member and writer Anjali Goyal.