Hajra Waheed
Asylum in the Sea

Béatrice Cloutier-Trépanier
Darling Foundry, Montréal, June 18 — August 23, 2015
Hajra Waheed Asylum in the Sea, exhibition views, Darling Foundry, Montréal, 2015. Photos : © Maxime Boisvert

Presented at Darling Foundry for the summer months was Asylum in the Sea, an exhibition composed solely of an eponymous series by artist Hajra Waheed. The series is one iteration of a larger, ongoing body of work, Sea Change (2013 –), a visual novel tracing the lives of nine Indian men. The men are revealed only partially in The Missed (2012) and reappear in The Missing (2013), two series of collages made of cut and reconfigured photographic postcards from the era of the British Empire — a collection assembled in the mid-twentieth century by a friend’s relative — pasted onto yellowed archival paper. The sepia tones, combined with the vintage appearance of the paper, allude to the visual language of colonialism and the typical portrayal of its subjects. Asylum in the Sea acts as a prequel by representing the disappearance of the nine characters, as a visual diary of their presumably fatal journey at sea.

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This article also appears in the issue 86 – Geopolitics - Géopolitique

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