School of Art, Media, and Technology

Parsons Alumnus Patience Rustomji and faculty Chitra Ganesh featured in “Archival Alchemy” by the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective

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Priyanka Dasgupta, “Where Straight Lines Fail”, 2016. Installation (video, sculpture, archival documents), dimensions vary. Courtesy of the artist


The South Asian Women’s Creative Collective – SAWCC is pleased to present its 20th anniversary visual a​rts exhibition, ​”Archival Alchemy,” guest curated by Saisha Grayson at Abrons Arts Center and featuring Parsons alumnus Patience Rustomji and faculty Chitra Ganesh.
“Archival Alchemy” will feature 13 artists and collectives from throughout the diaspora, working across artistic media to investigate the resonances found in an archival past on the contingencies of the present.

Archives are often cast as places of nostalgia—institutions for anchoring flights of fancy with the hard reassurance of facts; repositories for reinforcing “History,” capital “H” singular “y.” But those who take issue with the historical narratives that these archives traditionally uphold also find them productive resources for contesting the very stability and authority that they seem to ensure. Artists, especially those from diasporic and postcolonial positions, are critically positioned to work their magic on this archival fodder—rich with mutable, malleable material that can be remixed to new ends. Through this process, conventional understandings of a given reality are put through the grinder of repressed narratives, alternate experiences and gaps filled in by desire, imagination, and intuition. Along the way, artists confront the voids where evidence of individual lives, subversive strategies, and subaltern histories has been erased.

Participating Artists:​ Golnar Adili; Marium Agha; BLANK NOISE (Jasmeen Patheja & anonymous Action Heroes); Priyanka Dasgupta; Sabba Elahi; Index of the Disappeared (Chitra Ganesh & Mariam Ghani); Amy Khoshbin;Maya Mackrandilal; Zinnia Naqvi; Yamini Nayar; Nirmal Raja; Patience Rustomji; Himali Singh Soin

Archival Alchemy with the SAWCC
Opening Reception: April 6, 6-8 PM

April 6-May 10, 2017
Abrons Arts Center
Gallery Hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 11 AM-6 PM; Sunday: 12-6 PM

Special events & receptions in conjunction with “Archival Alchemy”:

Sunday, May 7th, 3-7 PM: “Archival Resistance”
Using “Archival Alchemy” as platform to creatively respond to the rapidly shifting political landscape, this afternoon of programming brings together artists, activist and community leaders for brainstorming sessions, skill-sharing and workshops for those seeking increased visibility or strategic invisibility within the bureaucratic and digital archives of our day. Pop-up performances and engaged art-making for all ages will be ongoing in the galleries.


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