The exhibition presents selected works of prints and sculpture across the expanse of three decades by the artist, and marks the 70th anniversary of the 1947 Partition of India, which resulted in one of the largest forced migrations in the history of the world. The grave and lasting impacts of war, colonialism, and division are at the center of Zarina’s work, which foregrounds the personal and the intimate. The artist reflects on her own subjectivity as a child of Partition, and as refugee, traveler, and immigrant: “I have always been familiar with the vocabulary of flight, borders, and what it is to be separated from your family.”[i]
Zarina: Dark Roads is organized into four sections beginning with “Dividing Line,” which delves into the topics of displacement and devastation caused by Partition, and violence in other international cities—including New York and Aligarh, India— that the artist has called home. The exhibition continues with the sections “Abyss: Into the Darkness” and “The Year of Sinking Boats.” The pieces in these sections focus on contemporary conflicts and refugee crises, including the war in Syria, the persecution of the Rohingya people, and the bombing of Gaza. In the final section, “No Place to Land,” the artist reflects on shifting ideas of home in a world of forced migration, global mobilities, and targeted migrant communities. Zarina’s work asks us to consider the possibility of a global ethics in a time of interconnectedness through media, knowledge circulation, and war.
Zarina: Dark Roads is co-curated by Zarina and Alexandra Chang, A/P/A Institute at NYU Director of Global Arts Programs.
Woodcut on BFK light paper
Mounted on Somerset Antique paper
Sheet Size: 27.5 x 22 inches
Image Size: 16.75 x 13 inches
© Zarina; Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York.
[i] From an interview with Zarina Hashmi by Asma Naeem for the Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas, Fall 2017, Vol. 2, Issue 3. Leiden: Brill.