Sultana’s Dream

SAWCC’s 10th Anniversary Exhibition

Saturday, August 4 – Saturday, September 1, 2007
Opening event: August 4, 2007, 7-9pm
Public programs: Thursdays, August 9, 16, 23 at 7pm

@Exit Art
475 Tenth Avenue (corner of 36th Street)
New York, NY 10018

Hours: Tuesdays-Thursdays, 10am-6pm
Fridays, 10am-8pm
Saturdays, noon-8pm
Closed Sundays and Mondays

As the art world celebrates the work of women artists this year and as SAWCC commemorates its 10th anniversary, this exhibition at Exit Art will contribute to the spectacle in SAWCC’s truly collective fashion. Sultana’s Dream, curated by Jaishri Abichandani, founder of SAWCC, will feature collaborative works and participatory projects that have been produced through a process of dialogue between at least two South Asian women artists – across disciplines that include visual artists and writers, dancers, filmmakers, musicians etc. Sultana’s Dream will include the work of established South Asian women artists, such as Shahzia Sikander and Chitra Ganesh, as well as emerging or lesser known South Asian women artists selected from an open call for submissions. Including over 30 artists of Bangladeshi, Indian, Pakistani, Nepali, Afghan, Kuwaiti, and Iranian descent, Sultana’s Dream showcases the spectrum of South Asian women’s intellectual and aesthetic perspectives.

The exhibition’s title is a reference to the classic short story “Sultana’s Dream” by Roquia Sakhawat Hussain. In the story, the typical Muslim custom of consigning women to relative seclusion is reversed. In the feminist utopia of Sultana’s Dream, the women make fantastic advances in the public sphere while men are relegated to the private sphere. Like the story, this exhibition underscores the innate potential of women’s collective action. In Index of the Disappeared, the artists Chitra Ganesh and Mariam Ghani will create an installation composed of suspended neon signs and direct-applied vinyl lettering in English with Urdu, Arabic, and Hindi hand-painted on the walls and aluminum signs in the style of the old countries The words and phrases featured in this installation will be taken from the artists’ archive of official documents, ephemera, and testimony that traces how censorship and data blackouts after 9/11 have created real disappearances in immigrant, other, and dissenting communities across the US. In the sound installation Lota Stories, the visitor will hear men and women who hid their use of a lota, a water vessel typically used in bathrooms in South Asia, from their American friends, lovers, and roommates. Alternately humorous and poignant, Lota Stories underscores how the pressures of assimilation can impact even the most mundane of rituals.

Sultana’s Dream is the second exhibition in a new international initiative at Exit Art of projects presenting international artists and ideas that are under recognized in New York City.

Samira Abbassy, Jaishri Abichandani, Fariba Alam, Mouna Andraos, Siona Benjamin, Anjali Bhargava, Anna Bhushan, Mareena Daredia, Sharmila Desai, Chitra Ganesh, Asha Ganpat, Mariam Ghani, Rajkamal Kahlon, Emily Jacir, Mona Kamal, Jesal Kapadia, Sarita Khurana, Swati Khurana, Yamini Nayar, Vicky Moufawad-Paul, Carol Pereira, Sreshta Premnath, Fatima Al Qadiri, Mona Al Qadiri, Sadia Rehman, Prerana Reddy, Ela Shah, Asma Ahmed Shikoh, Shahzia Sikander, Sonali Sridhar, Anahita Vossoughi, 6 + women’s art collective, and SAFED STUDIO.

Sultana’s Dream will be punctuated each weekend by supplemental programming curated by past and present board members of SAWCC.

Saturday, August 4, 2007
6-7pm Special preview reception with Indo-American Arts Council $30
7-9pm FREE Opening
9pm-midnight Benefit after party with DJ Rekha and Bollygirl $15

Thursday, August 9, 7-9pm
Dislocated Bodies: Experimental Film and Video Program Co-Presented by 3rd I New York Film Collective
From the violent schism of Partition to the hardships of migration, South Asian bodies and psyches have been literally and figuratively torn asunder.
Artists: Fariba Alam, Sarita Khurana, Monica Bhasin, Mridu Chandra, Remy Kharbanda, Swati Khurana
Curated by Prerana Reddy, former SAWCC board member and director of Public Events at the Queens Museum of Art

Thursday, August 16, 7-9pm
Literary Panel Co-Presented by the Asian American Writers’ Workshop
Featuring four SAWCC authors, Beena Ahmad, Abha Dawesar, Shahnaz Habib, and Purvi Shah
Curated by Anjali Goyal, SAWCC board member and programs coordinator at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop

Thursday, August 23, 7-9pm
Visual Artists and Curators Panel
Curated by SAWCC board members, Mareena Daredia and Sadia Rehman of Bose Pacia Gallery

SAWCC artists from the exhibition discussing their work, process and themes in a two-part panel.
Moderators: Jaishri Abichandani, Mareena W. Daredia, and Sa’dia Rehman.
Panelists: Samira Abbassy, Fariba Alam, Mouna Andraos, Anjali Bhargava, Anna Bhushan, Rajkamal Kahlon, SwatiKhurana, Yamini Nayar, Carol Pereira, Sonali Sridhar, Anahita Vassoughi.

This exhibition is supported by Catharine and Jeffrey Soros. Additional exhibition support provided by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Starry Night Fund at The Tides Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, Jerome Foundation, Exit Art’s Board of Trustees and our members.

Public programming support provided by The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.