Thursday, July 20, 2017

This summer the Queens Museum in conjunction with the Asia Society’s Lucid Dreams and Distant Visions: South Asian Art in the Diaspora hosted a three-day event that brought together renown South Asian American artists, academics, and curators. The symposium, titled Fatal Love: Where are We Now?, celebrated contemporary South Asian American art and explored issues concerning the South Asian American diaspora.

Photo by Bob Lee
This event was not the first the Queens Museum hosted. Back in 2005, the museum hosted a very similar event, called Fatal Love: South Asian American Art Now. This symposium was created and curated as a response to the increased policing of South Asians in the post-9/11 era and the growing South Asian American artistic community. Since then, there have been significant changes in the South Asian American community and art world. Fatal Love: Where are We Now?, as its title indicates, asks and answers where the South Asian American artistic community is now, twelves years later. It is a sequel to the first Fatal Love, yet also the first of its kind: delving into new, interesting topics.  

Photo by Bob Lee

This year’s three day event held back-to-back performances, panels, and lectures, all of which were recorded and can be viewed on the Queens Museum’s YouTube page. Day 1, which was held at the Asia Society, included an introductory speech by those who made this even possible a panel discussion called Double Duty: Agency and Cultural Production. The following two days were held at the Queens Museums and included panels discussions from sculpture and photography to public art and queer theory. These panels were not only about the art pieces, but larger issues at hand.

Photo by Bob Lee
In addition to these panels and performances, the open exhibit included works by Shahxia Sikander, Kanishka Raja, and Jaret Vadera and many more. Furthermore, AAAC has exhibited various artists from this exhibit including Chitra Ganesh, Mariam Ghani, Vandana Jain, Naeem Mohaiemen, and Zarina. These artists used different mediums and engaged in different dialogues.

Shahzia Sikander, Eye-i-ing Those Amorial Bearings, 1989-97, vegetable, dry pigment, tea on wasli paper.

Add caption Kanisha Raja, I and I (TRANSLATE); SW1, 2015-16, handwoven cotton thread, hand embroidered silk, acrylic pain, and UV-cured solvent-based inks on cotton.
Jaret Vardera, Emperor of No Country, 2016, print on fabric. 
Fatal Love accomplished -- most spectacularly -- in bringing together artists, curators, academics, and the public to have a rich and engaging dialogue about the issues confronting the South Asian American community, particularly in light of the recent 2016 presidential election. It is an event the Queens Museum should continue to host in the coming years, as they should continue to ask: Where are We Now?
Different Themes
Written by Lovely

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