Outlet//Independent Art Space will be hosting the solo show of Hamra Abbas, an artist who participated in the 10th Istanbul Biennial The photographic works realized in Istanbul, including a new video by the artist, will be on display between the 23rd of June and 17th of July in the gallery space.
Hamra Abbas’ works engages with “traditional” narratives and motifs, often in a playful manner. By appropriating culturally loaded imagery and iconography, and transforming them into new works that are experienced in space and time, she creates new platforms from which to view notions of cultural ownership, tradition, exchange and power.
The artist’s recent project entitled “Cityscapes” is realized in Istanbul. “Cityscapes” is a series of photographs of Istanbul’s iconic landscape. However, in this image, the landscape is deprived of its essential element that gives the city its history and its character.
This project was developed after the recent minaret crisis in Europe, and especially after Swiss voters’ approval of the ban on the construction of minarets. For a long time, minarets have been perceived as symbols of political Islam in Western imaginaire. As for the Muslim world, minarets hold a wider significance that encompasses cultural, social, and aesthetic dimensions as well. Hamra Abbas invites the audience to view minarets as repositories of poetic memory that keeps the present both anchored and pulsating.
Hamra Abbas was awarded a Jury prize at the Sharjah Biennial 9: Provisions for the Future in 2009. Abbas’ work has been included in 4th International Biennial of Contemporary Art, Baku, Azerbaijan; International Artist’s Workshop of 2nd Thessaloniki Biennial; 2nd International Incheon Women Artists Biennale, Korea (2009); Guangzou Triennial (2008), 10th Istanbul Biennial (2007), Sydney Biennial (2006) and Cetinje Biennial (2004). Her work has also been exhibited at V&A Museum, London; ifa Gallery, Berlin; Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto; Asia Society Museum, New York; San Francisco Art Institute, Pacific Asia Museum and REDCAT, California. Abbas has been awarded residencies and scholarships by numerous institutions. The artist lives and works in Boston and Islamabad.