A distant Place
Does home exist in the vase of flowers you put
next to your bed last night?
Does it exist in your grandmother’s photograph?
Does memory provide you with shelter?
Do you find comfort in remembering that movie your family enjoyed so much?
Is family formed in faith or love?
Does fear bind you to your clan?
Would you open the door for a stranger?
Are your dreams yet to be realized in another land?
Places of belonging are built with lived encounters and collective moments.
In this COVID 19 pandemic, many people experienced loneliness in their familiar spaces; some were trapped in places they did not call home while others returned to a home that they had not set foot into for years, maybe decades.
How have these experiences and observations changed our understanding of ‘home’ and the people we share these spaces with? Are we far away from a place and yet closer to people or close to a place and emotionally distant from people?
Zoya Siddiqui is a keen observer of her own surroundings as well as the immediate ecosystem that she inhabits. The conditions of her community and perspectives of Muslim and South Asian diaspora lie at the core of her practice. She allows us to be witnesses to her observations on the fractured identity of a religious community. Although Zoya looks at a greater sense of belief and belonging through cultural practices she also challenges the social knowledge of religion and the nation state. Her artistic practice examines how this knowledge influences emergence, transformations and social identities.
Familiar objects, people and places evoke feelings of care and comfort while unfamiliar places elicit fear of strangers and strangeness. In the exhibition, these moments materialise as images within images that uncover multilayered relationships.
Bio Zoya Siddiqui
Zoya Siddiqui is a visual artist based between Lahore and Vancouver, working primarily in video, performance and installation. Siddiqui’s practice has most recently been exploring the longing and imaginaries for a utopic world, within Muslim, Pakistani or South Asian communities that she either identifies with or works with in close proximity. Working through research material, conversations and varying cultural media, she has an interest in ways that these imaginaries are shared in. Siddiqui completed her MFA at UPenn with the Lawrence Shprintz Award and the Fulbright scholarship. She is represented by Shrine Empire Gallery in New Delhi and has been part of international residencies at the Vasl Artists’ Collective Karachi, Theertha Performance Platform in Colombo, In-Situ UK, Delfina Residency UK, and Triangle Arts Association New York.
List of artworks in order of appearance
Personal Shrines, Selection of Set Of 35 Metallic prints, 2016.
At a Distance of But Two Bow-Lengths, Or Even Nearer, Video, 2018.
To God Shall The Alien Return, Video, Length: 7’ 51”, 2019.
Melancholies of the Migrated, set of 69 prints, 2018.
Zoya was kind to give access to the landing page video and opening videos to At a Distance of But Two Bow-Lengths, Or Even Nearer and To God Shall The Alien Return.
We are grateful to the artist Zoya Siddiqui for allowing us to show her work in this exhibition.
Curators: Arnika Ahldag and Vaishnavi Kambadur, MAP
Inclusion Manager: Kunal Mehta, MAP
Accessibility Partners: Saksham, New Delhi and Kavita Seth, voice over artist, and Gaurav Verma, Indian Sign Language Interpreters Association (ISLIA)
Video edits/subtitles for the exhibition: Shreya Chitre, MAP
Graphic Design: Abraham John, MAP
Digital Exhibition Development: Kavita Jhunjhunwala, MAP and Sukanta Dutta, Mass Software Solutions India
Communications: Priscilla Roxburgh, Krittika Kumari and Shubhasree Purkayastha, MAP
Programming: Shilpa Vijayakrishnan and Shruti Rao, MAP
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this exhibition are those of the artist and do not necessarily reflect the position of the museum