Beyond Measure: Domesticating Distance

September 05, 2015 – January 03, 2016

The curatorial essay I wrote for the exhibition won the Curatorial Writing Award for a Short Text from the Ontario Association of Art Galleries (OAAG) in 2016. You can read the essay in the digital copy of the catalogue below. For a physical copy of the catalogue, please contact me via email.

Beyond Measure: Domesticating Distance was a collaboration between the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa and SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Center) in Toronto. I curated the exhibition bringing together the works of five contemporary South Asian artists as they examined the voids and brims of living in a diaspora. The works of Tazeen Qayyum, Abdullah M.I. Syed, Asma Sultana, Surendra Lawoti and Meera Margaret Singh critically dissected cultural duality and the resulting hybrid identities.

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.