Exhibition Review: “I am looking for you like a drone, my love” by Aziz Hazara + Unknown Carpet Makers

Exhibition Review: “I am looking for you like a drone, my love” by Aziz Hazara + Unknown Carpet Makers

Amjad Majid presents a review of “I am looking for you like a drone, my love”, an exhibition showcasing work by Aziz Hazara and unknown carpet makers. Curated by Dr. David Sequeira, the exhibition is on display at the Fiona & Sidney Myer Gallery, Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne from April 14 to May 21, 2022. Inverse Journal has included an independently curated visual bibliography to familiarize readers and viewers with the Afghan artist’s extensive art practice.

Dialogue in Comics: Medium-­Specific Features and Basic Narrative Functions — by Kai Mikkonen

Dialogue in Comics: Medium-­Specific Features and Basic Narrative Functions — by Kai Mikkonen

From The Narratology of Comic Art (Routledge, 2017) by Kai Mikkonen. Abstract by author: Conversation is a basic element in the medium of comics, where much of the narrative appeal is derived from the interplay between dialogue and action. The speech balloon, a favoured visual symbol for voice and utterance in the medium since the mid-twentieth century, has become a symbol for comics. In Italian, famously, the word fumetto—the word for a speech or thought balloon—also refers to the art form itself, whether in the form of a comic strip or a comic book. In fact, dialogue is such a central feature in the medium that it may sometimes be difficult to think of it as a distinct element. A character who speaks his thoughts aloud when apparently nobody is listening is a much-used convention, and many comics, for instance, ‘talking heads’ or humoristic comic strips that deliver a verbal gag, focus on speaking. Perhaps paradoxically, dialogue scenes may be more distinguishable when their use is more restricted, for instance, in comics when action is predominant and only occasionally interrupted by a scene of talk or when first-person verbal narration is predominant, as in autobiographical comics that occasionally lapse into dialogue. Republished via CC BY-NC-ND.

Tricking a Text Into Speaking Your Language — Sixteen Blackout Poems by Asma Firdous

Tricking a Text Into Speaking Your Language — Sixteen Blackout Poems by Asma Firdous

Kashmiri blackout artist Asma Firdous presents sixteen blackout poems and works of word art that she has produced over a specific time. The piece comes with an extensive introduction by Amjad Majid (titled “Blackout Poetry in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction: An Editor’s Introduction”) to familiarize viewers and readers with this artform and a statement by the poet and artist herself followed by the sixteen blackout poems.

Between the Personal and the Political — Two Art Projects by Akshay Sethi

Between the Personal and the Political — Two Art Projects by Akshay Sethi

In Akshay Sethi’s artistic oeuvre, the artwork can become a site of excavation, revelation and disambiguation, bringing forth visuals of that which otherwise remains undermined, ignored, unnoticed and relegated to a process of continued invisibilization—one that exists at the core of the everyday and the quotidian. Here the Delhi-based emerging artist presents a collection of his own works divided into two projects, with proper introductions and a few summarized commentaries about each set of works as part of Inverse Journal’s initiative to have artists of all generations write for themselves and present their work in their own words.

In these works, Sethi explores the fine line between the personal and the political, one that exists in a material form but that goes unperceived were it not for the creative impetus of the artist to frame a re-envisioning of the personal within the political—and vice versa—situated metaphorically in the object of art. Through the artistic medium, the young artist’s practice invites multiple inquiries into what otherwise would simply pass along as “day-to-day happenings” or a series of events confined to news reports and headlines that trend and subside into a collective oblivion or a collective memory—framed and curated by mainstream and mass media—once their trending impact has reached a specific shelf life. It is here that Sethi’s work interjects to excavate for a greater human profundity within the personal and the political to transcend event, subject, group, collective as mere ‘happening on the street’, breaking away from the quotidian limits set upon everyday life by a variety of circumstances and conditions. The result is a poetics that can best be observed in the works themselves as the young artist works to develop and refine his art practice.

To delve deeper into a greater human understanding, Sethi often engages with literature, poetry, news media, contemporary culture and tradition by shaping his works as points of convergence between these while imbuing such works with a spirit of critique where resistance and criticality can take shape in multiple ways. The young artist’s engagement with various forms of literature is essential to the meaning-making that fiction writing offers, in a world where many times sense and sensibility seem lacking or absent.

Drawing Voices From a Well of Silence — Two Illustrative Works by Khytul Abyad

Drawing Voices From a Well of Silence — Two Illustrative Works by Khytul Abyad

Emerging Kashmiri artist Khytul Abyad brings us two of her illustrative works that can be viewed as standalone pieces or part of a greater patchwork that tells the story of her birthplace. Khytul has operated exclusively in the realm of Kashmiri contemporary art since her recent days as a student, working as a visual artist exploring different mediums and styles to develop a visual vocabulary of her own. Here she presents two pieces that venture into the realm of storytelling via illustration in line with the graphic novel. At the present, the graphic novel has yet to move beyond Sajad’s quintessential “Munnu” that set the stage, with other younger artists exploring the genre and medium through their own visual language and stylistic approaches to visual storytelling. Other visual storytellers who produce comics, political cartoons and illustrations have long maintained their signature styles and visual language without ever having the need or the desire to go into this long-form medium.

Such creative choices notwithstanding within that limited genre, another graphic novel, Naseer Ahmed’s “Kashmir Pending” with illustrations by India Today’s illustrator Suarabh Singh has followed as a work by multiple creators, Kashmiri and non-Kashmiri, reflecting the many directions that the Kashmir-themed or Kashmir-set graphic novel can take. However, as far as a graphic novel by one author and that too a young woman artist is concerned, Khytul’s artistic explorations presented here show promise in broadening the genre of the Kashmiri graphic novel even further, with an amplified diversification of sorts brought about in just over half a decade. With such considerations in mind, here are two storyboarded tales of fiction that permeate into a reality that is all too familiar to many Kashmiris. Such stories are located within the forgotten corridors of Kashmir’s everyday life, remaining unexpressed, silenced and made invisible up until young artists like Khytul engage their artistic sensibilities and artcraft to excavate the memory, experiences, and the lives of others, otherwise relegated to oblivion and brought to the fore by artistry such as Khytul Abyad’s.

This piece includes a note from the artist and relevant links from press  (courtesy of Inverse’s bibliographic approach) to familiarize viewers/readers about this young artist’s work.

The Kimberley Coronavirus Animation — Feature and Interview with Director and Producer Bernadette Trench-Thiedeman

The Kimberley Coronavirus Animation — Feature and Interview with Director and Producer Bernadette Trench-Thiedeman

The Kimberley Coronavirus Animation combines the joint effort of contemporary artists and professionals, from filmmakers, directors, painters, animators, sound engineers, music composers to voice-over artists, performers, and translators, whose collaboration during quarantine has materialized in this community-specific piece of work to raise awareness and provide key contextual information. In our view, this effort sets an example on how artists, producers and creatives can come together to make use of their skills, experience and knowledge within their respective fields to combine creative forces to reach out to marginalized and dispossessed communities that face an altogether different set of challenges in this time of extreme vulnerability. Inverse Journal is proud to present the Kimberley Coronavius Animation that has been circulating widely around the internet and social media. Included is a feature interview with its producer, director and editor, Bernadette Trench-Thiedeman, to familiarize international audiences with the whole project, its specific cultural context, and the creative collaborations that made it possible.

Using Public Art to Narrow the Gaps

Using Public Art to Narrow the Gaps

After his father was killed in a 1976 terrorist attack by agents of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in Washington, D.C., Francisco Letelier turned to murals as a tool for building solidarity and reducing economic, political, and cultural divides.

Event: VATAPI By Vishal K. Dar & Poppy Seed Lab at Black Box Okhla

Event: VATAPI By Vishal K. Dar & Poppy Seed Lab at Black Box Okhla

From January 30 to February 4, 12 audience members enter every 30 minutes to experience a site-specific field of sculpture, sound and oscillation. Inspired by the thicket of a black box and the transformative qualities of light, Vatapi re-imagines perspective outside of cartesian geometry and the ways in which we view our physical world.

The Art and Politics of Ecology in India: A Roundtable with Ravi Agarwal and Sanjay Kak — by TJ Demos

The Art and Politics of Ecology in India: A Roundtable with Ravi Agarwal and Sanjay Kak — by TJ Demos

Writer and professor, T.J. Demos, converses with contemporary artist and environmental activist Ravi Agarwal and documentary filmmaker and writer Sanjay Kak. Abstract: “This roundtable discussion with artist and activist Ravi Agarwal and film-maker and photographer Sanjay Kak, moderated by T J Demos, explores the politics of ecology in the Indian context. The conversation considers, among other works, Kak’s film Words on Water (2002), which looks at the issue of big dams and their negative social-economic effects in the Narmada valley; and Agarwal’s photographic installation Extinction, which examines the disappearance of vultures on the subcontinent owing to the development of animal pharmaceuticals used to maximize milk production. The conversation critically examines the introduction of neoliberalism in the Indian economy and political context, and the anti-democratic activity of multinational corporations, in relation to the destruction of the natural environment, the growth of economic inequality, and the dispossession of tribal peoples via the governmental-corporate development of mega-dams and industrial mining projects. The discussion revolves around the aesthetic approaches artists have used in addressing such ecological emergencies.”

Ibn Khaldun’s The Muqadimmah — Shuddhabrata Sengupta in Conversation with Jocelyne Dakhlia and Justin Stearns

Ibn Khaldun’s The Muqadimmah — Shuddhabrata Sengupta in Conversation with Jocelyne Dakhlia and Justin Stearns

A discussion on the importance of Ibn Khaldun’s “The Muqadimmah” moderated by artist/curator/writer Shuddhabrata Sengupta in conversation with Jocelyne Dakhlia (Professor, L’Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales) and Justin Stearns (Assistant Professor of Arab Crossroads Studies, New York University Abu Dhabi), at Art Dubai’s Global Art Forum 8. Description: “The Muqadimmah is the most important Islamic history of the premodern world. Written by the fourteenth-century Arab scholar Ibn Khaldun, this work laid down the foundations of several fields of knowledge, including philosophy of history, sociology, ethnography and economics. What are its intellectual legacies, its lessons on historiography, and influence on subsequent historians around the world?”

Decussate Art: The Artful Collaborations of Waswo X. Waswo and R. Vijay — by Amjad Majid

Decussate Art: The Artful Collaborations of Waswo X. Waswo and R. Vijay — by Amjad Majid

In this extensive review, Amjad Majid introduces “Like a Leaf in Autumn,” the latest exhibition by Waswo X. Waswo in collaboration with R. Vijay. Currently on exhibit at New Delhi’s Gallery Espace, the ongoing show closes on November 16th and brings together a vast collection of miniatures, sculptures and sculptural installations, and a few other works produced over the last two years. “Like a Leaf in Autumn” takes its title from a line in Orhan Pamuk’s novel “My Name is Red” and reflects the culmination of twelve years of Waswo X. Waswo’s collaborative work with miniaturist R. Vijay.

Event: Gender in Southeast Asian Art Histories and Visual Cultures — Chulalongkorn University and University of Sydney

Event: Gender in Southeast Asian Art Histories and Visual Cultures — Chulalongkorn University and University of Sydney

“Gender in Southeast Asian Art Histories and Visual Cultures
Art, Design and Canon-making?
A gathering of international researchers and creative practitioners

This two-day symposium comprising of a series of workshops, film screening, public lecture and panel discussions, jointly supported by Chulalongkorn University and University of Sydney, will respond to the notion of ‘canonisation’ in the disciplines of art and design histories of the region, and the ways in which this has been informed by understandings of gender and sexual difference.

Speakers will include:
May Adadol Ingawanij
Patrick D. Flores, Phaptawan Suwannakudt, Varsha Nair, Nitaya Ue-areeworakul, Clare Veal, Roger Nelson, Juthamas Tangsantikul, Rachaporn Choochuey, Thida Plitpholkarnpim, Saran Yen Panya

The workshop’s focus on questions of ‘canonisation’ brings us to a foundational principle of the academic practices of writing about and researching visual materials. To this end, the event will probe the ways in which certain assumptions have shaped the disciplines of art and design history in ways that obscure the contributions of practitioners as a consequence of their gender. Further, the workshop will develop methodologies for addressing gender imbalances in future research.”