Sarah K. Khan : Undisciplined Pleasures, Vigilant Defiance

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Sarah K. Khan : Undisciplined Pleasures, Vigilant Defiance

March 6, 2020 - April 25, 2020

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Curated by: Anna Arabindan-Kesson
Opening Reception with the Artist: Friday, March 6th, 2020, 630-830pm

Twelve Gates Arts presents “Undisciplined Pleasures, Vigilant Defiance”, Sarah Khan’s solo show, curated by Anna Arabindan Kesson. Inspired by the Sultanate miniature paintings in the 16th-century Central Indian cookbook The Book of Delights written for Sultan Ghiyath Shah (1469-1500), Sarah Khan has radically reimagined the Sultan’s harem comprised of African, Arab, Turkic, and Central Asian women in the recouped “City of Joy.” In a series of 10 editioned prints, Khan offers an alternative universe where assertive, empowered women, no longer in positions of servitude, engage and care for each other. Three historical female figures from the Indian Ocean’s East African, Arab, and South Asian worlds—Queen Bilqis, Razia Sultan, and Freedom Fighter Weyzero – participate in “undisciplined pleasures”, pleasures ignited and sustained through intimate gestures, court architecture and foods and medicines in all types of vessels. And when called to arms, the women brandish an array of weapons, defiant in their stand against injustice. Creating her own pantheon, Khan defies erasure, inscribes lost narratives, and revises histories.

Sarah K Khan is a US multi-media maker and scholar. She uses photography, films, video art, print-making, maps, and writing to explore food, culture, women, migration, and identity in urban and rural environments. She utilizes food to provoke thought about injustice towards people and the planet.

Anna Arabindan-Kesson (Ph.D., Yale) is an assistant professor of African American and Black Diasporic art with a joint appointment in the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University. She specializes in African American, Caribbean, and British Art, with an emphasis on histories of race, empire, and transatlantic visual culture in the long 19th century.


Twelve Gates Arts
51 N. Second Street
Philadelphia, PA United States
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