Alt+Shift+Studio Online
Alt+Shift+Studio Online Conversations
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Ishara Art Foundation invites everyone to join Alt+Shift+Studio, a series of online talks and video tours which explore the intersection of infrastructures and ideas in contemporary art practice. Raising the question of how art practitioners create conditions to work in unpredictable environments, the series examines a redefinition of artist studios in our century. The traditional image of an isolated workspace is being replaced by a network of sites and relationships with the city.

The theme of this year’s edition of Alt+Shift+Studio is Fractured Grids. The invited guests are four artists from South Asia and its diaspora: Zainab, Vikram Divecha, Jasmine Nilani Joseph, and Omer Wasim. They will talk about the spaces they live in and how local topographies influence their practice. The new edition navigates through such cities as Jaffna (Sri Lanka), Karachi (Pakistan), Kashmir (India), Dubai, and Sharjah (UAE) and provides insights into how ecological situation, war, civil rights movements, and migration shape contemporary art making.

The talks with Zainab, Vikram Divecha, and Jasmine Nilani Joseph have already been held, however, the online talk with Omer Wasim will take place on 21 July 2023. It will start at 5:00 PM and end at 6:00 PM (UAE Time). One will be able to watch it on the Alt+Shift+Studio programme’s official web page. No registration required.

About the participating artists

Zainab (b. 1998) is a visual artist and a freelance photojournalist residing in Kashmir. Through her lens, she documents her own experiences of surviving in a military occupied region. She is among the founding members of Her Pixel Story, a collective of Kashmir’s women photographers dedicated to bring out women’s perspectives and narratives of daily life in the city.

Born in 1977 in Beirut (Lebanon), Vikram Divecha grew up in Mumbai (India) and today lives and works between New York (USA) and Dubai. His art practice includes painting, drawing, photography, writing, performances, public art, site-specific interventions, and installations. Divecha explores time, value, and authorship through what he calls “found processes” which involve intervention within public and social systems. For example, in 2017, he delayed a train from Paris to Rouen for five minutes to create a pause in how one relates to time.

Vikram Divecha, Beej, 2017. Unregistered seeds, soil, water and supplies. Intervention at roundabout in Al Naba’ah area of Sharjah. Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation. Sharjah Biennial 13.

Jasmine Nilani Joseph (b. 1990, Jaffna) resides in Sri Lanka. Her work is focused on displacement, militarization, and the lived histories of Northern Sri Lanka impacted by the civil war which lasted for about 30 years. The artist’s intricate ink drawings are based on field research and documenting communal memory. Depicting buildings, fences, and other man-made and natural boundaries, she tells a viewer about the land being demarcated, divided, and inhabited.

Jasmine Nilani Joseph, THIRST, 2023. Stop motion animation film. Duration: 2 min. 28 sec.

Omer Wasim, a multidisciplinary artist and art writer, was born in 1988 in Karachi, where he still lives and works. In his art, he subverts the frames of development and progress which shape human relationships to cities and the world of nature. Wasim is also known for his collaborations with Saira Sheikh, a Pakistani artist, educator, and researcher. The aim of their practice is to reconfigure, rearticulate, and disrupt existing modes of artistic engagement and creation.

Omer Wasim, Component No. 18 from As the Light Turns, 2018-ongoing. Video.

You might also be interested in watching the Arts for Health and Wellbeing webinar from Louvre Abu Dhabi.