SAWCC presents two performance art projects by Amina Ahmed and Monali Meher.

Curated by Shelly Bahl.

Brooklyn Bridge & Brooklyn Bridge Park
Saturday, June 18, 2016
12 PM – 4 PM

Location: Brooklyn Bridge. Meet in the little park right by the MANHATTAN side  entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge.

The first performance will end at Pebble Beach in  Brooklyn Bridge Park. The second performance is on the lawn (near Pebble Beach)  in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

The performances will be followed by an artist talk and picnic reception. The artists will discuss their international and interdisciplinary art practices.

Day of event updates by phone:


12 PM
Monali Meher, Visiting Brooklyn Bridge (1 hour walk across Brooklyn Bridge)
Meet in the little park right by the MANHATTAN side entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge. Get there early as we will begin the walk at noon. The walk will end at Pebble Beach in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Monali Mehar Visiting Pearl

4, 5, 6, J, M, Z to Brooklyn Bridge/ City Hall
A, C, 1, 2, 3 to Chambers Street
R, W to City Hall
2, 3 to Park Place
A, C to Fulton Street

1:30 PM
Amina Ahmed, Invocation: Collective Drawing III (1 hour collective drawing)
Meet at lawn (near Pebble Beach) in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

F to York Street
A, C to High Street
2, 3 to Clark Street

2:30 – 4 PM
Artist talk and picnic reception
Meet at lawn (near Pebble Beach) in Brooklyn Bridge Park.


Monali Meher and Amina Ahmed are engaged in interdisciplinary art practices that encompass, amongst other layers, performative gestures and ritualistic movements of the female body within the natural and built environment. Both artists consider the relationship of the body to the elemental forces of air, earth, fire and water. Also important, is the passage of time, repetition, and engagement with the audience in moments that are ceremonial and intimate. These interactions offer the potential for profound silent conversations that oscillate between our physical existence and metaphysical yearnings.

Monali Meher, Visiting Brooklyn Bridge
Bridges are great architectural achievements symbolizing progress and growth. They are also metaphorical connecters between places, cultures, and people. In this performance, the artist walks backwards across the bridge, carrying lit incense sticks in her hands. By walking backwards, she faces and meets the eyes of the audience/witnesses/followers. The ritual of incense becomes a momentary experience shared by people who participate in the walk and the pedestrians of the city itself. The ephemeral smell and smoke has its own movement as it merges into the atmosphere and disappears, and this metaphor is so close to life as well as to live art. In this turbulent political and social climate, the act of walking backwards across city boundaries and ending with facing and acknowledging the East River is a significant component of the performance.

Amina Ahmed, Invocation
Invocation re-enacts a traditional gathering of women, who together make a visibly poignant collective drawing, significant in its imbuement of the Divine spirit. This artwork enables a collaborative healing process in the face of violence and trauma. Participants are invited to sit with the artist, in a space marked by a curtain in a public park, and experience the practice of placing and pasting hand rolled paper seeds onto a large linen board, guided by a geometric pattern. This is an ongoing series that culminates with a drawing of 7000 paper seeds. The shared environment nourishes a sanctuary of a familiarity that relies on women recognizing themselves through the Self, and their acknowledgement of other women.

Artist Biographies:

Monali Meher was born in India and currently lives and works in Amsterdam. She graduated in Fine Arts from Sir J. J. School of Arts in Mumbai and has participated in residencies at ‘Unesco -Aschberg’, Vienna (1998), Rijksakademie Van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam (2000-’01), and ‘Casa Masaccio’ San Giovanni Valdarno, Italy (2012). She has performed and exhibited her work internationally, including: Tate Modern, Sinop Biennale Turkey, Khoj Live New Delhi, DaDao Beijing, Art Dubai, ‘Rebelle’, MMKA Arnhem, NRLA Glasgow, Prague Biennale 5th, MAXXI Museum Rome, Guangzhou Live 11 China, IPA Istanbul Modern Museum, 4th Thessaloniki Biennale, Venice International Performance Art Festival, Bochum Kunstmuseum, Germany and ICASTICA ’13, Arezzo Biennial, Italy, where she received the prestigious ‘Golden Chimera Award’ for innovation and originality.

Amina Ahmed was born in East Africa, of Kutchi Turk Indian heritage. She grew up in England, and has lived in Iran and the USA. Ahmed graduated from Winchester School of Art and Chelsea School of Art. She received her MA in in Visual Islamic and Traditional Arts from the Royal College of Art. Ahmed’s work has been exhibited internationally, including: The Lincoln Center, NY, Jersey City Museum, NJ, Queens Museum, NY, Twelve Gates Gallery, PA, Slick Art Fair, Paris, India Art Fair, Delhi, Fiber Philadelphia International Biennial, PA and Alwan for the Arts, NY. Artist, educator and activist, Ahmed is a board member for the Muslim Women’s Institute for Research and Development, and advisory board member for Women’s Voices Now. A former studio member of the EFA NYC, she is currently a studio resident at Mana Contemporary in New Jersey.


Image credits:
Amina Ahmed, Invocation, Collective Drawing III: 7000 hand rolled paper seeds on linen board. 29” x 40”, 2011- ongoing. Photo credit: M.R. Jahanbin.
Monali Meher, Visiting Pearl, Guangzhou Live 11: International Performance Art Festival, Guangzhou, China, 2011. Photo credit: Guangzhou Live


This project is funded in part by grants through the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and the Mondriaan Fonds.
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