RAF: Prosthetic Location
Mar 24 2021
Aug 29 2021
Asif Mian explores how ritual, behavior, and memory are impacted by violence and its perception through sculpture, textile, drawing, and video. Mian’s sculptures invite viewers to move through a web of fragmented facts and fictions. The exhibition’s narrative surrounds a single event not as a static occurrence, but a continuum of interpretations, reenactments, and reverberations. In this work references to formal investigation processes come together to introduce the possibility of healing in the aftermath of violence.
Prosthetic Location is an expansion of Mian’s ongoing multi-chapter project, RAF, which takes eyewitness reports and evidence from an unsolved trauma in the artist’s own life as a point of departure. The exhibition uses the format of a behavioral science case study to imagine a profile of the unidentified suspect, named RAF: his appearance, behaviors, clothing, bedroom, and lifestyle. Mian presents RAF as a “living ghost” who exists in the gaps of witness testimony, while artworks fill-in and augment the character description through the lens of autobiography, forensics, science fiction, teenage psychology, genetics, and tropes of masculinity.
In Prosthetic Location, everyday materials demonstrate varied states of transformation: Xerox eyewitness reports seep into silk; Pakistani heritage rugs are spliced together with American carpeting to create a new folklore in pattern; plaid shirts stiffen into shell-like armor; chrome car parts and weight lifting equipment become mirror-mirages; and a humming vibration animates the stage for a spiritual meditation.
Asif Mian (b. Jersey City, NJ), earned an MFA from Columbia University (2018) and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2018). Mian holds a B.A. in Studio Art & B.S. in Biology (Genetics) from Drew University. Select solo exhibitions include RAF’s Red Plaid, CRUSH Curatorial, New York, NY (2019) and Asif Mian: Everyday/Chiasma, Fjord Gallery, Philadelphia, PA (2019). Select group exhibitions include Queens International 2018: Volumes, Queens Museum, Queens, NY (2018); Always, Already, Haunting, “disss-co,” Haunt, curated by the Helena Rubinstein Curatorial Fellows of the Whitney’s Independent Study Program (ISP), The Kitchen, New York, NY (2019); The Shed: Open Call, The Shed, New York, NY (2019); and Beyond Geographies, BRIC, Brooklyn, NY (2019).
This exhibition is organized by Lindsey Berfond, Assistant Curator.
Asif Mian is a recipient of the 2019-2020 Queens Museum/Jerome Foundation Fellowship Program for Emerging Artists in New York City, generously supported by the Jerome Foundation.
Major funding for the Queens Museum is generously provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, the Booth Ferris Foundation, the Lambent Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the New York Community Trust, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, and the TD Charitable Foundation.
Images: Asif Mian, detail view, Karmic Profile, 2021. Forensic rulers, separated plaid fabric, surveillance video stills, eyewitness report, Hot Rod magazine, hair, clear tape, ink, and thread. 34 x 28 in.
Asif Mian, installation views, RAF: Prosthetic Location, 2021. Photo: Hai Zhang