Where do you want ghosts to reside?
Artists: Azin Seraj and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Publisher: Sming Sming Books and Southern Exposure (2020)
Curated by Azin Seraj and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto at Southern Exposure, Where do you want ghosts to reside? rearticulates historic narratives of the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia, examining ways in which nationalistic stories are told in support of oppressive ideologies and biases. Six visual artists from Iran, Pakistan, India, and Egypt utilize the transformative power of telling their own histories to untangle and rework problematic pasts and forgotten Islamic myths.
The title, taken from Etel Adnan’s brutal epic poem about the Lebanese Civil War, asks us to consider our position in relation to our pasts and the ways in which narratives are used to create or enforce ‘otherness’ or belonging. Through the centering of critical voices and perspectives of artists rooted in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, this project humanizes those who have been marginalized by recent political rhetoric. Catalog includes work by Morehshin Allahyari, Heba Y. Amin, Anum Awan, Arshia Haq, Shirin Fahimi, and Umber Majeed, and an essay by Thea Quiray Tagle.