Exhibitions - welcome to what we took from is the state

welcome to what we took from is the state

03.12.16 – 04.02.16

Community Partnership Exhibition Program

A comicstrip of a South Asian woman, astronaut wading through a polluted body of water filled with junk. Behind her is a red, industrial cityscape smoking the sky. At the top, the comic strip reads “What can we say about her as we sit here, caught in the throes of circular time, warming our flayed soles by the fire? Under her skin the rise and fall: of immortal jellyfish, of unspoken pleas & mechanical hands—selfsame shards of this tumultuous universe…{a sigh of the crossroads?} Tattoo her onto the city’s skin, stroke by stroke by stroke.”.

Chitra Ganesh, Her Nuclear Waters, 2013. Archival LightJet print, 20 x 38in Courtesy of the artist.

The South Asian Women’s Creative Collective formed in the late 1990s, before 9/11, the invasion of Afghanistan, and the ongoing US-led Global War on Terror. Between the organization’s founding and today, the ground of this community has shifted amid the geopolitics of endless war and the carceral politics of the state.


Operating in parallel to these wars waged by the state against those it deems terrorists, non-citizens and anti-nationals, are the social, domestic, and commercial spaces of our gathering—other resistant “black sites”—that are the subjects of many of the artworks brought together in this exhibition. These spaces are the resources referred to in the exhibition’s title—sites of nourishment, care, kinship, and celebration that come into existence through the entanglements in which they are given away. Through works that take many forms, including installation, photomontage, video, performance, and social sculpture, artists in the exhibition ask how we might recalibrate our feelings in relation to one another under the pressure of antagonisms that seek to diminish and destroy the social bonds and debts that hold us together.


Taking its title from a passage in The Feel Trio by Fred Moten, welcome to what we took from is the state highlights multiple modes of artistic practice that engage with what precedes and persists beyond the call to order, just out of view of the state.


Curated by: Sadia Shirazi


welcome to what we took from is the state.
there’s hot water in a carafe on the second floor
and the other bottom altar is an ordered pair
with lemon chocolate on the curb. enjoy the
recital and hospitality. come upon surround
recall the project rubble everywhere. come up
on some common operations. drink the open
of the open evening mix. english breakfast and
some curd and light whipping. get up on the
logic board of new opposite steps that come
upon remains arranged by hand like an english
garden. refuse the individual best and the sad
impersonal personal shit that plays off every
other frank but my little irregular frank, his
body shaped like an accordion, his body shaped
like a pair, in the every day feast day, but come up
on. you’re perfectly welcome to what we give away.


— Fred Moten, The Feel Trio


The South Asian Women’s Creative Collective (SAWCC) is a nonprofit arts organization dedicated to the advancement, visibility, and development of emerging and established South Asian women artists and creative professionals by providing a physical and virtual space to profile their creative and intellectual work across disciplines.


Participating Artists

— Anushya Badrinath

— Chitra Ganesh

— Mariam Ghani

— Sue Jeong Ka

— Ayesha Kamal Khan

— Raja'a Khalid

— Ayqa Khan

— Fariha Rósín

— Nafisa Kaptownwala

— Gelare Khoshgozaran

— Umber Majeed

— Huma Mujli

— Ayesha Sultana