We are pleased to present Baseera Khan's New Suite of Prints for the 18th Edition of NADA Miami taking place ONLINE and ON VIEW at the printshop's gallery.
Working in editions, Khan has described the "power of the multiple," as that which privileges collective bodies; reveals questions of distribution and access through the everyday mass produced, or so called "found" object.
As the prayer rug is used for worship, laid between Earth and kind, Khan often shows the complete edition of the Psychedelic Prayer Rugs stacked together or rolled up as one would encounter them in a mosque, temple, factory, or marketplace. Hand-knit from their familial community in Kashmir, screen print is used as a guide for the rug makers' patterns. Khan's use of the technique in their new prints was specific in uncovering this embroidery process, and return to the medium of printmaking as a material reference from printed protest signs and text.
Made during the second half of 2020, after the COVID-19 Pandemic rendered New York "on pause," Khan was able to work in-person to proof with printer, John Andrews, where as with the rugs, decisions are made through a digital apparatus either from cellphone calls, WhatsApp, or Illustrator files. Khan’s use of collaboration is both experimental and necessary with skilled craftsmen to actualize the works.
Khan describes this work as part of their “dignity” series--that which upholds political significance for sovereignty and liberation. In the work, ACT UP the famous pink triangle from Gran Fury's AIDS Awareness campaign SILENCE = DEATH shifts to a two-toned pyramid; the yellow frame is taken directly from the cover of National Geographic; finally, an Urdu poem remarkably brings together two separate cultures and periods in time with the similar urgent statement: the voice is powerful, one must use it and not be silent.
The microphone in “I’m As Good As You Are.” amplifies, said to be, last words of Emmett Till, who courageously defended himself to the end. The crescent moon is seen as the guiding path in Islam, locating oneself on land and spiritually. Khan uses this particular signature of the crescent moon throughout their print works to indicate their voice.
The color in I AM A BODY (Original) was taken from a scan of Khan's skin tone by a makeup company's concealer match. The channeling of information between physical and digital shows the humor, yet also danger of data discrepancies. Khan re-plays the makeup concealer match, and amuses the viewer by expanding the color variation to a line of five “customized” selections.
As the work references the famous civil rights sign I AM A MAN, Khan's updated signage is a portrait of our time, as people are fighting globally just as those holding signs did at Memphis Sanitation Strike 1968, for a demand for basic human rights.
For more information, please email: Essye Klempner [email protected].
Baseera Khan is a performance and visual artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Their work sublimates colonial histories through performance and sculpture in order to map geographies of the future. Khan's latest solo exhibition,Snake Skin, opened at the end of 2019 at Simone Subal, New York. They have exhibited in numerous locations such as Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism, Munich, Germany, Jenkins Johnson Projects (2019), Sculpture Center (2018), Aspen Museum (2017), Participant Inc. (2017). Khan's performance has premiered at several locations including Whitney Museum of American Art, Art POP Montreal International Music Festival. Khan recently completed a 6 week performance residency at The Kitchen NYC (2020) and was an artist in residence at Pioneer Works (2018-19), Abrons Art Center (2016-17), was an International Travel Fellow to Jerusalem/Ramallah through Apexart (2015), and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2014). Khan was a recipient of the BRIC Colene Brown Art Prize and the Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Grant in 2019, was granted by both NYSCA/NYFA and Art Matters in 2018. Their works are part of several public permanent collections including the Solomon R. Guggenheim, Kadist, San Francisco, and the Walker Art Center, MN. Khan's work is published in 4Columns, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Artforum, Art in America, BOMB, Brooklyn Rail, and TDR Drama Review. Khan is an adjunct professor of sculpture, performance, and critical theory, and received an M.F.A. from Cornell University (2012) and a B.F.A. from the University of North Texas (2005).