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Nadira Husain

What makes a world? – A horizon
10–22 August 2020

Performative body – Embodied performances, Hibiscus, Nadira Husain
Performative body – Embodied performances, Hibiscus, 2018, acrylic and tempera on canvas, 180 × 145 cm


Media
Painting, expanded painting

Location
Hohensalzburg Fortress and Online

Teaching language
English (teacher also speaks French)

What to bring
Painting and drawing material of your own. Laptop and camera if available and if appropriate to your practice. Portfolio and/or images of previous works if you would like to share with us.

Requirements
None

Maximum number of participants
10 on site, 5 online

Co-teacher
Flora Klein

Participation fee
€ 720.– (€ 560.–); online € 500.– (€ 400.–)

“What makes a world?” Philosopher Catherine Malabou asked her students. In turn, her  own answer to this question was: “A horizon”. We would like to take this anecdote, the question and its answer, as a starting-point for our painting class.

Paintings function as small ‘worlds’ where multitudes of information and affect gather and interact. The perspective of the artist meets the gaze of the viewer and echoes the context of his/her/their historical time and locality, as well as the art history he/she/they relate to. Paintings, therefore, inherently stand in relationship to their surroundings and their time, and aim to create links.

As you continue to develop your ‘own worlds’, we would like to address topics such as the gaze, context, networks, community, influences, critical connections, the (non)-autonomy of the artist, as well as what we would call ‘expanded painting’: by which we mean an engagement in painting that goes beyond a classical understanding.

This will be a hybrid class, running as both an online and an analogue studio, in which everyone will be invited to develop and deepen their own working processes. Your individual practice will be enriched through a range of inputs including readings and presentations. During the two-week course we will aim to develop a culture of exchange and discussion to accompany your experience in the studio. We will encourage the collective presentation of your works, and hold regular group feedback sessions. We will also be available for one-to-one consultations. We would like you to use this concentrated period to create a challenging body of work within your practice.
Nadira Husain, born in Paris in 1980 and working in Berlin, Paris, and Hyderabad (IN). She describes her painting practice as bâtarde (bastard). According to her, this approach provides for a mind space which questions and subverts the normativity imposed by the ideas and figures that are formed and iterated by western centric art and art history. Bâtarde practice strives to emancipate the artist from these structures and embrace various forms of hybridity, mimicry and ambivalence.

Husain’s paintings bring together a multitude of symbols and forms from various cultural registers, with an eye always on drawing associations between these elements. References to Mughal miniatures meet European comics and join anthropomorphic beings from furry fandom who immerse themselves in Sufi Islamic culture. These have followed Husain since her multicultural upbringing and form a polyphonic world where the artist tries to eliminate the hierarchical structures of power – conveyed through fore- and background, occlusion, scale. Husain creates a space for the harmonious and sometimes dissonant coexistence of figures and elements that seldom if ever meet elsewhere. Husain’s paintings also unfold in space as installations where the notion of centre is swept away. This can be considered as an expanded form of painting, where the artist solicits the performative character of this practice.

Solo exhibitions (recent) 
2020 TBA, WERK.Stoff Preis für Malerei, Heidelberger Kunstverein, Heidelberg (DE). TBA, Galerie Isa, Mumbai (IN). 2019 Blumen und Elefant, Galerie Tobias Naehring, Leipzig (DE). 2018 Pourquoi je suis tout bleu, Villa du parc Annemasse | Centre d’art contemporain, Annemasse (FR). Solo presentation at the Armory Show (with PSM Gallery), New York, NY (US). 2017 Rider, Path, and Vehicle, PSM Gallery, Berlin.

Group exhibitions (recent)
2019 ACAW Asia Contemporary Art Week, Dubai (AE). Body in Pieces, KAI 10 | ARTHENA FOUNDATION, Düsseldorf (DE). Doing Deculturalization, Stiftung Museion, Bolzano (IT). Global National, Haus am Lutzöwplatz, Berlin. 2018 Mess with Your Values, n.b.k., Berlin. Innenleben, Galerie Tobias Naehring, Leipzig. Pissing in a River. Again!, Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, Berlin. Works on Paper, Galerie Tobias Naehring, Leipzig.

www.nadira-husain.com
Nadira Husain, portrait
Portrait photo: private