At the UBC Asian Centre, 1871 West Mall, West Point Grey Campus
Sameer Farooq’s new work, Pouf, Sausage, Weight, Arc (2017), consists of a series of hand-shaped ceramic objects fashioned by Farooq to imitate the forms and shapes of museum-quality packing material used to protect, shroud and wrap precious artifacts for shipping and storage as found in museums worldwide.
These clay objects are arranged in an archival method, placed in a vitrine which mimics museum display conventions. The objects are physical metaphors for what is missing, the invisible hand of those who work in museums, and represents how archives struggle to give us the full picture of a lived experience. Pouf, Sausage, Weight, Arc addresses ideas of pluralism, diaspora, tactics of representation, and the process of archive-building through a series of ceramic objects that embody a slippage between presence and non-presence. This slippage or careful dance is what Farooq describes is akin to the sensation of being part of an institutional strategy where the delicate nuances of each culture may go missed or become flattened in the larger milieu and under the rubric of ‘best practice’.
(Text by Swapnaa Tamhane)