Beyond Measure: Domesticating Distance

September 5th, 2015 – January 3rd, 2016

The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, in collaboration with SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Centre) will present Beyond Measure: Domesticating Distance this fall. The exhibition brings together the works of five contemporary South Asian artists as they examine the voids and brims of living in a diaspora. Tazeen Qayyum, Abdullah M.I. Syed, Asma Sultana, Surendra Lawoti and Meera Margaret Singh critically dissect cultural duality and the resulting hybrid identities.

They share accounts that add to an overarching collective narrative that has come to describe an in-between space. Hovering between recollection, narration and reflection their works record acts of searching for the familiar in the foreign, of repurposing the past in the present and of locating oneself within displacement. Working with performance and installation, photography and sculpture, writing and sewing and moving image and text, their multidisciplinary practices echo the diversity of their layered experiences.

Emanating from personal narratives, the works carry a deliberate autobiographical significance as each artist dissects the fissures and dislocations caused by distance. Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, England, Australia, Brazil, America, and Canada provide the spaces and intertwining histories for these accounts shaped by movement. The exhibition collocates these works to further understand, as well as complicate, ideas of familiarity and strangeness, nostalgia and paranoia, and community and the individual.

Read the catalogue!