Kashif Nadim Chaudry's stunning and dramatic exhibition of new work has been produced during his residency at Lakeside Arts Centre during 2010 and 2011. It takes its title from the term coined by the evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, author of The Selfish Gene , to describe âa unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation' - analogous to a gene - capable of spreading and
perpetuating cultural ideas and values.
In a series of sculptural investigations extending throughout the three spaces of the Djanogly Art Gallery, the artist explores this notion of inherited value systems and of âtraditional' acts of ritual and ceremony from the perspective of his Pakistani and Muslim heritage, and more
specifi cally from his marginalised identity as a British-born gay man.
With a family background in tailoring and a formal art training in Textiles at Goldsmith's College, London, his sculptural installation makes lavish use of fabric and stitch, drawing inspiration from the disparate worlds of Elizabethan costume, Islamic and Gothic architecture, and the Catholic Monstrance. Decoration and overembellishment as an expression of power and intimidation lie at the heart of their aesthetic vocabularies. Recognising also the potential
within authority for vicious acts of terror and repression, in this new work Nadim pursues his interest in the idea of opulence and excess spilling over into tumour and disease, of impotent acts and contradictory spaces.
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