press release

Stux Gallery is pleased to present Fire Walkers: A Selection of works by Contemporary Artists from India and South Asia. Organized in collaboration with the South Asian Women's Creative Collective (SAWCC) and curated by the Stux Gallery, the exhibition showcases a broad selection of well-established and emerging female figures of the Contemporary Indian and South Asian art scene while considering the influence Diaspora, in it's various incarnations, has upon the practices of artists working on an international plane.

The practice of fire walking, long considered a test-of-faith, with ritualistic and otherworldly implications, is in practice simply the meeting of two bodies, at two independent temperatures, which will both be altered due to their physical connection. Diaspora, a term once inextricably linked with exile, loss and forced dislocation is merely fire walking on a cultural plane though it is in both cases the first step, which is most painful.

Each artist represented in the exhibition reveals through their individual work a strength, and an unfaltering direction which allows them to broach issues of such overarching complexity and infinite delicacy that we felt no better term than 'Firewalkers' would be an appropriate metaphor for their collective practices.

On the Artists:

Jaishri Abichandani's (b.1969, Bombay, India, lives: New York) work has long explored the nature of unions between geographically and culturally disparate locals. This impetuous in her work has been linked to her own move from India to New York at an early age.

Negar Ahkami's (b.1971, Baltimore, Maryland, lives: New York) work looks directly at the preconceptions and realities of oppression through her own gaze, that of a fusion between East and West.

Lalla Essaydia (b. Morocco, Lives, Saudi Arabia, Boston) looks to the distinctive style of the 19th-Century Orientalist Paintings and cracks this stylized and solidly fictional realm with the insertion of contemporary man, relevant questions of gender and sexuality all through the lens of her own international eye.

Chitra Ganesh (b.1975, New York, NY, lives: New York) will present an ephemeral wall-installation in which her self-developed visual vocabulary overwhelms the space with references to India, queerness and camp wile unsettling viewers with her uncanny ability to rest in the awkward spaces 'between'.

Sheela Gowda (b.1957, Bhadravati, India, lives: Switzerland, India) reconfigures small-scale photographs of discarded grinding stones in India, which pictorially track a changing way of life. In these works, daily life and ritual become human again.

Noted performance artist, Mona Hatoum's (b.1952, Beirut, Lebanon, lives: London) presents her seminal video piece, Measures of Distance (1988), which features the visual, the pictorial, the personal and the political visually and aurally layered into a culminating and heart-breaking taste of the intimacies between a mother and daughter separated by 'exile'.

Mala Iqbal's (b.1973, Bronx, NY, lives: New York) work explores the medium of painting with the aggressive and searching quality only a true painter can bring to such detailed and nuanced works. Melting the discrepancy between street-graffiti, the classical landscape and such popular styles as drip painting and spray painting, the final image causes our eye travel over the canvas voraciously.

Reena Saini Kallat's (b.1973, New Delhi, India, Lives: Mumbai, India) "Synonym" is as much painting as it is sculpture. Composed of interlocking, rubber stamps in numerous color gradations, suspended between two pains of pressed glass to create photorealistic portraits, Kallat's work's references to Chuck Close and Pointillism are as present as her questioning the fragmentation of the individual in contemporary society.

From Bollywood to Hollywood Rajul Mehta's (b.1970, Bombay, India, lives: Israel) Warholian pop icons and ephemera are striped of there public shelter, reinvigorating them as new, fresh vessels, ready and able to receive the viewer's desires fully.

Prema Murthy's (b.1969, Seattle, Washington, Lives: New York) digital prints and corresponding video works take on the complex and endlessly mutable world of technology. Boldly setting herself as an erotic victim for the human desires placated by the world wide web, her references to colonialism and the Hindu faith is as frequently applauded for as refuted for it's anarchistic functioning.

Yamini Nayar's (b. 1975, Rochester, NY, Lives: New York, NY) hand-made, entirely constructed miniature sets of private interiors are composed with sly neglect for perspective and proportion. The resulting photographs highlight the expressive abilities and limitations of each respectively.

Sa'dia Rehaman's (b. Queens, NY, Live: New York, NY) mixed media installation and wry works on paper use humor to analyze such complex realities as arranged marriage, cultural assimilation and division of gender roles with the perspective of a lonely child.

Hema Upadhyay's (b. 1972, Baroda, India, Lives: New Delhi, India) "Derelict's", a large sculptural piece made of matchsticks seemingly on the verge of destruction, resonates with a physical anxiety that is met by a photographic documentations of a site-specific work, "BYE". In these works, the artist links to the nature of migration, to finality and to vanishing.

only in german

Fire Walkers

Künstler: Jaishri Abichandani, Negar Ahkami, Anita Dube, Lalla Essaydi, Chitra Ganesh, Sheela Gowda, Mona Hatoum, Mala Iqbal, Reena Saini Kallat, Rajul Mehta, Prema Murthy, Yamini Nayar, Sadia Rehman, Hema Upadhyay