Baseera Khan

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Artist Statement

My artwork is navigating my political circumstances—as a woman, as a Muslim, as a feminist, and as a brown Indian-Pakistani-Afghani, as a person who feels smudged out of racial solidarity movements in America right now. I was brought up in a working class immigrant family along the bible belt of Texas. My nuclear family lived an isolated life due to the fear of being deported or worse getting contaminated by western values and then getting deported. As a young person I tried to make room for subversive activities to express my senses of selves, to navigate my wants, needs, and desires. My inherited identities come with a lineage re-enforced by the histories of war, exile, mourning, migration, and decolonialization trauma. My work is directly related to negotiating conflictual communities that I consider home – while I find clever ways to get at content that can be okay over here, but not over there… you know what I mean? Through art making, I find a kind of unity in the belonging-to of different communities whose acceptance rests upon conflict.

My search for home and kinship is more a pursuit to correct the language of migrations of people, the waves of slaves, laborers, refugees, and immigrants that were more accurately forced out of their native homes (including right here in the United State, for example New Orleans) instead of the commonly written histories of people seeking “upward mobility,” I also like to ask, what does it mean to say someone is an immigrant, or a refugee anyway? How is this linked to class and race?

This summer I prepared a return home, to Bangalore with my mother, a place mostly foreign to me, but a place where most of my relatives inhabit. We were estranged from this place for 23 years until this past summer. With this experience and more I am building a lexicon of sound and images on my own terms, doing what I need to do to set things straight and calling it art. My interest in the field of archiving and visual ethnographies follow a set of questions in the materiality and semiotics of reading, photography, and text, framing the fictions that challenge the evidentiary capability of images, sound, feeling, forms of documentation.



MFA School of Architecture, Art, and Planning, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
BFA Visual Arts and Design & Sociology, University of North Texas, Denton, TX

Abrons Art Center, Airspace Residency, New York, NY
Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Process Space Residency, New York, NY
International Travel Fellowship – Israel/Palestine, Apexart, New York, NY
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture Program, Skowhegan, ME
CentralTrak Artist-in-Residence, University of Texas at Dallas, TX

2015-ongoing  Part-time Faculty, Parsons The New School for Design (IDP), New York, NY

Matching Funds Fellowship Program, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture
Nominated for Art Matters Artist Grant, New York, NY
Michael Rapuano Memorial Award, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Tuition Fellowship, Cornell Council for the Arts, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Nominated for Whitney Museum of American Art Biennial, New York, NY
Experimental Television Center Grant, New York, NY
Board member for South Asian Women’s Creative Collective, New York, NY
Finalist, International Artist-in-Residence, Art Pace, San Antonio, TX
Arch & Anne Giles Kimbrough Award, Dallas Museum of Art, TX

(TBA), Participant Inc. Gallery, New York, NY
(TBA), BRIC Biennial, Brooklyn, NY
SKOWHEGANPerforms, organized by Skowhegan School of Painting and Socrates Sculpture Park, New York, NY
Subject to Capital, curated by Joshua Lubin-Levy, Abrons Art Center, New York, NY
Traverse, curated by Rebecca Bird, Peter Bonner, and Farideh Sakhaeifar, William Holman Gallery, New York, NY
Plant Profiles at Winter Shack, organized by Alexandra Branch and Nicole Antebi, Classon Ful-Gate Garden, Brooklyn Queens Land Trust, NY
Of Gentle Birth, curated by Jonathan Allen, Brooklyn Arts Council, Brooklyn, NY
Walk With Me, organized by 21st Projects, Critical Practices Inc., New York, NY
Prisoner of Love Performance, Open Text, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council at Governor’s Island,New York, NY
1000 Caves Archive, Bermant Lab, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME
Arrivals, Out to See, curated by Sara Reisman, Funded by NYC Department of Cultural Affair’s
One Percent for Art Program, South Street Seaport, New York, NY
TX*13: An Independent Survey of Contemporary Art in Texas, Texas Biennial 5th Anniversary, Big Medium, Austin, TX
Small Work Big Change Auction, Sylvia Rivera Law Project Collective, Judson Memorial Church, New York, NY
Expansion, Olive Tjaden Gallery, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
MFA Thesis Show, organized by Adam Kleinman, White Box, New York, NY
Peaces on Earth, curated by Jon Lutz, Sardine Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Iodine Rehearsal, Experimental Gallery, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Meditations of an Emergency, organized by Christopher Lew, Dumbo Arts Center, Brooklyn, NY
Picturing Parallax, curated by Santhi Kavuri-Bauer, San Francisco State University, CA
Signs on the Road, organized by Camel Collective and Workroom G, Winkleman Gallery, New York, NY
First Person, curated by Kalia Brooks, Barbara Walters Gallery at Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY
In Searches: Hindu Kush, organized by Todd Hosfelt, Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco, CA
 Austin Asian American Film Festival, curated by Maryam Kashani, Austin, TX
Outside In: Indian Art Abroad, Sun Valley Center for the Arts, Sun Valley, ID
New Art in Austin: 22 to Watch, Austin Museum of Art, TX
Creature Features, curated by Aimee Reed, Rena Bransten, San Francisco, CA
Story Telling, curated by Todd Hosfelt, Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Subject to Capital Catalog, Abrons Art Center, New York, NY
Bomb Artist Profiles:
Fellowship Talk, and Travel Journal,
Purrrfect Nudes: Life Drawing from Youtube Cat Videos, In the Air,
Texas Biennial Group Exhibition Catalog and 5th Anniversary Survey Catalog, TX
Fugazi-Reimagined, organized by Satellite Magazine, Toronto, Canada
Cornell University MFA Catalog, text by Adam Kleinman, published by Projects Projects, NY
Online Writer in Residence, Art:21, New York, NY
Younger Than Jesus: Artist Directory, edited by Lauren Cornell, Massimiliano Gioni, and Laura Hoptman, published by Phaidon Press Ltd (April 2009), New Museum, New York, NY

Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture IN(QUEER)Y, Feminist Working Group, New York, NY
Artist Talk and Performance, Parsons The New School for Design
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture IN(QUEER)Y, Feminist Working Group, New York, NY
Presentation and Screening, Parsons The New School for Design
Guest Artist Lecturer, and Studio Visit Sessions, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Artist-Teachers Review Slideshow Presentation, Joan Mitchell Foundation, New York, NY
Artist Talk, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Fresco Barn, Skowhegan, ME
ICP Bard Symposium: Life/Work, Moderator, International Center for Photography, New York, NY
Integrative Seminar: Memory & Monuments, Parsons The New School for Design, NY