On View: October 20 – November 26
Opening Reception: Thursday, October 20 | 6:30-8:30 PM
Twelve Gates Arts presents: Sheherzade’s Gift
One of the most enduring and influential books in global popular culture is A Thousand and One Nights. Understood as an amalgamation of fables originating from West and South Asia, its main protagonist is the fictional Queen Sheherzade, whose stories are told to countless young girls from North Africa to South East Asia. The Queen has been a polarizing figure for many women who have grown up with her, some berating her for failing to challenge patriarchal mores while others have a keener understanding of the nature of her subversions. Lebanese author Hanan al-Shaykh penned a re-telling of the ancient classic, described her encounter with Sheherzade in the text – “I fell in love with her because I thought she was the first feminist. Second, because she was a philosopher, an artist, a writer, and she was trying through literature to humanize the king and men around her.”
It is with this impetus that Sheherzade’s Gift examines the work of women artists from Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh who reside in the US. Their lived experiences vary from being recent immigrants to being second generation Americans. Brought together by membership in the diaspora, the work of these artists speaks from specific and individual references. Through painting, sculpture, drawings, installation and video, these artists tell stories that seamlessly traverse continents, languages and aesthetics.