“ARCHIVE 00:01 (THE EMBRACE OF – HISTORY)”
“ARCHIVE 00:02 (QUAMRUL HASSAN REDUX)”
“ARCHIVE 00:03 (AL-ASR ULTRA)”
The archiving process – meant to arrange, identify, and categorize the fragmentary – often incites a contrary phenomenology. Radical archives provoke qualities of non-linearity, discontinuity, the intimate transhistoricity of objects and memories. To the historian, the archive has always been a dream-space, a dream-space in which history and the sum of all experiences can be ordered. It is the site in which historians enact their unique violence – to impose and forever sear the unique time and place of an object onto its body. But this imaginative space and method does not necessarily correlate to what the archive is/can be. Instead, the archive can offer us fluid and numberless origins, appearances, and temporalities.
The archive is constellatory. Archiving is a "twilight art." The archive is the nebulous spatialization of memory, struggle, time, bi-locations, becomings, etc. These fragments, severed from the tethers of Hegelian time-and-space, are not found in libraries or museums, but borne from our own vernacular archives: desktop screenshots, family photo albums, browser bookmarks, diary entries, et al. Research interests, nostalgic artefacts, political expressions, fractured identities, hyperstitional narratives. There are motifs here from a Bangladeshi heritage of anti-fascism, Amiri Baraka and the Black Arts Movement, Regent Park and St. James Town, Islamic dream interpretation and Hajj iconographies, film elegies and records of an immigrant first winter. The archive becomes a testament to the innumerable, lost, messianic times that enmesh our lives.
I would like to express my gratitude to Donna Chang and the grants committee at New College. Without Ms. Chang's guidance, I would not have been able to attend my inaugural show in New York. I would also like to thank the organizers of "Soon: South Asian Evocations and Becomings" – Ayqa Khan, Somnath Bhatt, Noor Bhangu, and Priyanka Voruganti.