Radhika Khimji
Omani, born 1979
Galerie Krinzinger at Frieze London 2017,
Galerie Krinzinger
Radhika Khimji - Becoming Landscape,
Galerie Krinzinger

The endurance of Orientalism, and the artist’s own struggle to define herself in terms beyond her Middle Eastern heritage, are among the central themes that animate Radhika Khimji’s collages, sculptures, and installations. Khimji’s work is a form of protest—against stereotypes and the commodification of cultural identity. In her “Shifters” series, for example, begun in the early 2000s, she merges painting and sculpture to create freestanding, anthropomorphic, cutout plywood forms, onto which she paints patterns that resemble skin, muscles, and bones. Because they are semi-abstract and deliberately ambiguous, Khimji’s “Shifters” defy neat categorization and are situated outside of the confines of fixed or imposed identities. As she explains: “I have found a language which plays with and dodges a cultural net which would make these figures easily understood and read.”