Baseera Khan, iamuslima
The Art Galleries at TCU presents
Baseera Khan’s first solo exhibition in Texas, Aug. 21 to Sept. 21
FORT WORTH, TEXAS (Aug. 8, 2017)– “Baseera Khan, iamuslima,” features a selection of prints, sculptures, textiles, archival material and other performative objects used by the artist to reflect her experiences growing up in a Muslim American family in Texas. The exhibition will be on campus Aug. 21 to Sept. 21 in Moudy Gallery, with a reception for the artist from 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 1 in the gallery.
When examining her family history, Khan realized there were some reoccurring themes centering on her family’s emigration to America that strongly affected her youth. These ranged from feelings of anxiety associated with a sense of cultural displacement to the development of a work ethic coming from a desire for social mobility. In iamuslima, Khan reflects on her Indian-Iranian-Afghani heritage and considers the stress she experienced growing up in a Muslim American family.
Tradition, memory, religion, love, intimacy and language are elements that combine to inform Khan’s position. Inspired by notable writers such as Frantz Fanon and Jean Genet, she explores her own history through points of connection, considering what it is to be a Muslim, an artist and a femme person of color.
Reflecting on the gendered space of a typical mosque, Khan uses satire to playfully divide Moudy Gallery into male and female areas. She places prayer rugs, blankets, a monumental hair braid and personal items against the backdrop of a climbing wall whose “rocks” are made from resin casts of her body. Screen prints suggest Khan’s experience observing the Five Pillars of Islam. Together Khan’s objects and arrangements presented in iamuslima critique contemporary social issues surrounding identity and oppression.
Significantly this is Khan’s first solo exhibition in Texas and represents an honest but difficult, homecoming. As the artist describes herself: "I think it's really important to show this work in Texas, now, a place that prepared me my whole life to fight for what I believe in despite popular consensus." (Baseera Khan, June 2017)
Now based in Brooklyn, Baseera Khan was born in Texas and a received her B.F.A from the University of North Texas (2005) before completing her M.F.A. at Cornell University (2012). Her work has been shown in recent notable group exhibitions including BRIC Biennial, Brooklyn (2016) and Subject to Capital, Abrons Art Center (2016), and in 2014 her work was included in TX*13 Texas Biennial 5th Anniversary Survey Group Exhibition in Austin. In the same year she was artist-in-residence at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, Maine and was later awarded an International Fellowship in Israel/Palestine through Apexart, New York (2015). Khan is currently Artist in Residence at Abrons Art Center in New York and teaches part-time at Parsons, The New School for Design. Later this year she will perform at Art Pop Montreal International Music Festival. Her work has been written about in Artforum, ArtReview, Art in America, BOMB and OSMOS Magazine.
Iamuslima premiered as Khan’s first solo exhibition in New York at Participant Inc. in Spring 2017 and has been reconfigured for special presentation at TCU.
Moudy Gallery is one of two galleries that comprise the Art Galleries at TCU. Students and alumni of the College of Fine Arts and guest artists exhibit at these galleries. Moudy Gallery is located in the Moudy North Building, 2805 S. University Drive, Fort Worth, Texas. Gallery hours are Monday to Friday, 11a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and by appointment. Admission is free.