4 and a 1/2 Portraits of a Begum (2005)
Qasim Riza Shaheen
Sun 01 Nov –Sunday 08 Nov | Triskel Arts Centre at Caroline St
The 54th Corona Cork Film Festival and Triskel Arts Centre are proud to present this video installation by the artist Qasim Riza Shaheen. Stains & Stencils is of a body of work that was born out of a two year process of working with the Khusra (transgendered) community of the red light district of Lahore, Pakistan from 2005-2007. Building relationships with a group of sex workers, the artist lived and experienced their unique transgenderism. This six screen installation is a beguiling, touching and vivid experience, as the artist invites us to not just observe, but to know and encounter each individual on their terms.
“Over the period that I was in Lahore I befriended six transgendered sex workers – Gogi, KumKum, Reena, Choti, Simi and Aashi. There was so much we wanted to say through these quiet narratives whilst immersed in internal spaces. Six rooms, their occupation and me. These are six adaptations of a negotiated transient friendship that existed between us. I am a world away from theirs yet become a mediation of sort between them and you: watching them watching me re-tell their stories through my gaze. I am in their clothes, made up by them and carefully positioned and postured. As their clients, friends, pimps and madams carry on with their chores I offer you these visions and soundscapes of seduction. Listening through rooms, peering over balconies and looking out of windows – searching” – Qasim Riza Shaheen
Qasim Riza Shaheen is an artist based in Manchester. His work has been programmed widely including at The National Review of Live Art, Glasgow; Liverpool Biennial and Rohtas Gallery in Lahore, Pakistan where he has recently taught.
He is currently Artist in Residence with CityArts/ Fire Station Artist Studios in Dublin, and has an upcoming performance Queer Courtesan (Live) at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.
“Stains & Stencils bears witness to an artist, a human being profoundly human, who dances his way out of a state of immobilisation, who devises strategies of play that subverts the sense of the dutiful (often to our authoring sources) that ties us to this stagnation. This elegant spectacle of selfinventing, self-dis-inventing and self-reinventing through play is a salutary response and challenge to the late enlightenment project that is still very much with us, namely, to repress subjective desires by repackaging it as the performative, as something to witness in cultured detachment that is so often a form of self-denial. Against the totalitarianism of obsolescent but fiercely enduring, mostly masculinised, attitudes, this playfulness draws from a repertory of risks that becomes the poetic language of Qasim Riza Shaheen’s work” Dr J Rangasamy F.R.S.A Chair Shisha UK
Qasim Riza Shaheen will be resident throughout the week of the Festival. A public talk and an opportunity to meet the artist will be scheduled.
Please check this web site and www.triskelartscentre.ie