For her Year of Uncertainty project, Artist-In-Residence Utsa Hazarika expands a body of artwork, research, and analysis on the subject of diasporic Desi identity.
Listen to Utsa Hazarika’s exhibition soundtrack and artist audio guide:
Click here to discover the samples/bibliography in order of appearance.
Living As A Nation explores the connections that are forged by Desi people outside of the borders of South Asian nation states. Developing forms of documentation and storytelling that move beyond the limits of academic social research, the artist asks: How do you chart the complexity of culture that is dislocated from its place of origin? What is the power of collective memory to withstand migration and political acts of disempowerment or erasure?
Hazarika has planned for the contents of her gallery to shift and grow over the course of the Year of Uncertainty’s three phases, to reveal different combinations of still and moving images, sculpture, and ephemera configured to embody and encourage reflection on spatial and temporal transits. These evolving forms hold histories, contemporary narratives, and personal reflections. Among the artist’s research areas are new movements for equality emerging in South Asia; archival maps of South Asia that explore its shifting conceptual terrain; narratives of historical and contemporary South Asian culture in Britain; and the Desi art and activism of community organizations in Queens, such as YoU Community Partner, Sakhi. In commingling them together, Hazarika acknowledges the multiplicity of truth, problems of representation, and the inextricable relationships between subjectivity and belonging.