Asma Kazmi
Between Word & ImageImaginative Reinvention of Education SymposiumKashkol (Begging Bowls)Playing Gender ProjectKashkol IIRelation-Chute II: Meditations on My SlaughterRelation-ChuteTranslation of a Conversation with My MotherWhirling Event In CommonChicken BombUntitled Performance, 2004Untitled Performance, 2001STUDENTS' WORK
Exposing oneself to unfamiliar territory is an aesthetic process, since it deconstructs habitual categories of apprehension, heightens one’s awareness of simultaneous realities, and places one in a position to reconstruct experience. Edward Said calls this state of unfamiliarity contrapuntal—a mode of being with access to alternative interpretative schemes. It is with a view to this theoretical position that I explore traditionally inaccessible spaces via relational methods in my art practice. My interest in inducing transitory conditions through an artwork is based on my personal experience of relocation: much of my adult life has been shaped by my achievements and losses as an immigrant to the United States. I believe that the experience of displacement is also a place of possibilities since it requires one to embrace the unknown.

Art-making allows for freedom to transcend cultural, institutional and disciplinary boundaries and the art venue can functions as an alternative space for cultural research. My recent work utilizes such spaces to form communities that are constantly shifting and expanding. My works are durational and relational events that aim to generate an esthetic of socially shared meaning through open-ended and complex interactions among people. These interactions include communication, miscommunication, and silence.

The ephemeral media of performance and video speak to me since they replicate the fleeting nature of the experience of a new place. Performance acts as a mode of interaction between an outside community and me through ritual, play and re-appropriation. Furthermore, this interplay allows me negotiate my boundary in foreign environments. These engagements involve a constant dialogue and negotiation, highlighting the pleasures and tensions between the one and many. The final configuration of my projects looks like an unrestrained community of objects, words, images, and bodies, all in a dialogue with each other.