Shehr O Funn

Shahzia Sikander

Parallax, 2013
Three-channel, single-image HD video animation with 5.1 surround sound, duration 15:26 minutes,
music by Du Yun

Disruption as Rapture, 2016
HD video animation with 7.1 surround sound; Music by Du Yun featuring Ali Sethi; Animation by Patrick O’Rourke, duration: 10 minutes 7 seconds

Shahzia Sikander (b. 1969, Lahore, Pakistan) lives and works in New York City.
Sikander’s pioneering practice takes classical Indo-Persian miniature painting as its point of departure and challenges the strict formal tropes of the genre by experimenting with scale, collaboration and various forms of new media.
Parallax is a monumental, three- channel single image audio-visual animation created from hundreds of original hand-drawn paintings by Shahzia Sikander. Created in 2013 for Sharjah Biennial 11, Parallax examines contested histories of colonialism, mechanisms of power and cultural authority, and tensions over the control of trade routes in Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf. Movement of resources and commodities, naval warfare, and the East India Company underlie the work. Trenchant historical symbols are given shifting identities as they come together to cultivate new associations through velocity and magnitude. The animation’s original score is created in collaboration with the 2017 Pulitzer Prize winning composer Du Yun and poets from Sharjah. Parallax has traveled to over fifteen venues globally and continues to interrogate ideas of language, trade and empire, and migration.
Sikander received her BFA from the National College of Arts, Lahore in 1991 and her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1995. Sikander has had major solo exhibitions throughout the world, including at, amongst others, MAXXI | Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome (2016); the Asia Society Hong Kong Center, Hong Kong (2016); the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao (2015). Sikander has also participated in significant international group shows such as Our Land / Alien Territory (special program of the 6th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art), Manege, Moscow (2015); Infinite Challenge, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea (2014); Dhaka Art Summit (2014); The 13th Istanbul Biennial, Turkey (2013) among others.

Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation
Photo: Ian Forster/Art21
Photography: Musacchio Ianniello,
Courtesy: Fondazione MAXXI