Beyond Geographies: Contemporary Art and Muslim Experience presents the work of eight New York-based artists who employ a range of visual strategies to manifest multiple dimensions of the contemporary Muslim experience. Of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African-American descent, these artists grapple with complex, hybrid identities. While drawing upon such areas of inquiry as mythology, spiritual philosophy and ritual, science, and social and political history, these artists are largely unburdened by the themes and forms that have come to symbolize recent art concerned with Muslim culture - the veil, calligraphy, or the events of 9/11, for example. Rather, they draw broadly on their identities as members of disparate diasporic communities, as immigrants, and as participants in the contemporary art discourse, to navigate and express identities that are fluid, layered, and engaged in a rigorous questioning of both tradition and contemporaneity. In their explorations of the specificities of cultures and communities they claim as their own, these artists bring new frames of reference toward a broader and more nuanced understanding of a world whose boundaries are increasingly porous.
The exhibition features installations, photography, sculpture, video, performance, painting, and drawing by Morehshin Allahyari, Laylah Amatullah Barrayn, Mona Saeed Kamal, Baseera Khan, Asif Mian, Umber Majeed, Nsenga Knight, and Nooshin Rostami; and is presented in conjunction with Kameelah Janan Rasheed’s exhibition, An Opening, at Brooklyn Historical Society.