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Overview

Internationally-recognized artist Shahzia Sikander (b. 1969, Pakistan) presents her first immersive animation Parallax, with music and sound by composer Du Yun, conceived in the United Arab Emirates and first appearing at the Sharjah Biennale in 2013. Related paintings, drawings, and photographs are also included in the Tufts exhibition. Inspired by the U.A.E.'s unique geography and culture at the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf, Sikander's 15-minute animation is constructed from hundreds of drawings and paintings, in which abstract, representational, and textual forms coexist and jostle for domination. Themes of dissonance and disruption echo the power tensions that have characterized the region's modern history as a British protectorate and the U.A.E.’s establishment as a nation state in 1971. Mesmerizing flows of imagery build in operatic intensity. Sikander's visual vocabulary includes recurring motifs such as Gopi hair, 'Christmas trees' (oil pumping mechanisms), 'singing spheres,' and forearms with clenched fists. These motifs are combined to cultivate new associations within the animation’s digital...

Internationally-recognized artist Shahzia Sikander (b. 1969, Pakistan) presents her first immersive animation Parallax, with music and sound by composer Du Yun, conceived in the United Arab Emirates and first appearing at the Sharjah Biennale in 2013. Related paintings, drawings, and photographs are also included in the Tufts exhibition.

Inspired by the U.A.E.'s unique geography and culture at the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf, Sikander's 15-minute animation is constructed from hundreds of drawings and paintings, in which abstract, representational, and textual forms coexist and jostle for domination. Themes of dissonance and disruption echo the power tensions that have characterized the region's modern history as a British protectorate and the U.A.E.’s establishment as a nation state in 1971.

Mesmerizing flows of imagery build in operatic intensity. Sikander's visual vocabulary includes recurring motifs such as Gopi hair, "Christmas trees" (oil pumping mechanisms), "singing spheres," and forearms with clenched fists. These motifs are combined to cultivate new associations within the animation’s digital space. Undulating color fields create pitch and fervor, as human voices recite poetry in Arabic, creating tension and rhythm that oscillates with environmental sounds.

Tufts University Art Gallery

Aidekman Arts Center
40 Talbots Ave.
Medford,  MA  02155

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