khadim ali
Khadim Ali, Untitled, 2007.

Curator Talk | Haema Sivanesan

August 13, 2011 – 3pm

Haema Sivanesan is a curator with a specialist interest in the historical and contemporary art of South and Southeast Asia. She is currently the Executive Director of  SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Centre) in Toronto. From 1996-2004 she was the Assistant Curator of Asian Art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. She has curated several independent projects including a major exhibition for the Commonwealth Games Cultural Festival, Melbourne, Australia (2006) and was an invited zone curator for Nuit Blanche, Toronto (2008). In 2010 she curated the Images Prize-winning project “دلِ که سوز ندارد, دلِ نیست (the heart that has no love/pain/generosity is not a heart)” by Jayce Salloum and Khadim Ali which is currently touring in Canada. Her writing has appeared in various publications including Art Monthly and Artlink (Australia), Art India and Marg (India), Sohbet (Pakistan) and FUSE and Fillip (Canada). She has contributed to a range of exhibition catalogues locally and internationally. From November 2011 she will take up the position of Executive Director at Centre A, Vancouver.

In April 2008, Vancouver-based artist Jayce Salloum travelled with Afghan- Hazara artist Khadim Ali from Karachi, Pakistan to Kabul, Afghanistan and then overland into the Bamiyan Valley in Central Afghanistan. Of specific interest to the artists were the ruined cave sites of the c. 5th century Buddhas, destroyed by the Taliban in March 2001. The ruins of the Bamiyan Buddhas provided a site from which to examine the situation of the Hazara people, a persecuted Shi’a Muslim minority, who believe themselves to be descended from the sculptors who produced the colossal figures of the Buddha.

دلِ که سوز ندارد, دلِ نیست (the heart that has no love/pain/generosity is not a heart)is a multi-media installation that records the destitution of current conditions in Bamiyan, reflecting on the tensions shaping an incipient modernity in Afghanistan. The exhibition engages a sense of the complexity of the current situation in Afghanistan, taking up themes of the possibility of resistance, hope and beauty in the context of ongoing conflict.

Jayce Salloum has worked in installation, photography, drawing, performance, text and video since 1976, as well as curating exhibitions, conducting workshops, and coordinating a vast array of cultural projects. His practice exists within and between the personal, local, and the transnational. Currently residing in Vancouver, Canada, Salloum recently held a solo show at Artspace in Sydney. He has exhibited widely, from the smallest unnamed storefronts to institutions such as the Musée du Louvre, Paris; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Canada; Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin; Centre Pompidou, Paris; CaixaForum, Barcelona.

Khadim Ali is a Hazara artist, currently based in Sydney, Australia. He trained in contemporary miniature painting at the prestigious National College of Art, Lahore, Pakistan, and in mural painting and calligraphy at Tehran University, Iran. His work has been exhibited in museums and biennales including the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan; The Asia Pacific Triennial, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia; the Commonwealth Games Cultural Festival, Melbourne, Australia; the Venice Biennale, Italy; the British Museum, London, UK.

This exhibition was organized by SAVAC.