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28th June - 7-9pm | 

Film Screening + Live Performance + Talk

Live reading "Practice as Self-Care ➰"

Zarina Muhammad and Seema Mattu

Curated by Frances Zuma Cooper


I’m eating more vegetables, leafy greens; I’m drinking more water. I’m trying to be more accepting//understanding of commonality rather than difference. I got round to Googling what relativism really means and now I want to see how everything fits together. How <it> relates to everything else around <it>.

I want to see everything as a part (even a small part). For my instagram feed to represent my practice wholly. Even if there are food-pics, or my outfits, and drunk selfies. I want to view things horizontally, not vertically; as a level- playing-field. Not bad, not good. It isn’t quantified, it just is.


In my latest work, I say: “I feel like I’ve been through my own modernism.” Like, I’m finally at that point where things are being conceptualized, where I’m comfortable locating meaning outside the object of my work; rather in a more unstable place. Maybe it’s the works in relation to each other, or the spaces they inhabit. Maybe I’m only seeing my practice as a network because I want to. I’ve been trying to manage my relationship with my work/the content of my work for 3 years, and it’s been a semi-co-dependent one. (Co-dependent because I’m in the work almost all the time, and I don’t know what form I take.) But I’ve become less needy; I want space/distance.

Last year, I said: “I don’t want to be polemic or didactic anymore. I want a new form, a more autonomous one, that’s less stable or discernable.” I’ve been searching for a way to extract myself from the work partially, while still physically appearing in it. I now say: “I want to be a commentator. A pundit. External. I’m Gary Linekar on Match of the Day, and my work is the Arsenal team.” I’m obsessed with this notional state of inhabited objectivity. I’ve tried to process my obsession with objectivity//subjectivity  as a dichotomy. I’m only obsessed with it as a binary. I like it best without the grey-areas. This is an attempt to figure out how to speak authoritatively through the work. What does it mean to be authoritative? What does that state entail/mean/require?

I’m currently at a tipping-point, balanced precariously between two halves of a Venn diagram. I want to be a commentator, I want objective distance from my work, for it to be separate from myself and through these tactics allow authority to flow out my mouth and into your ears. (For the self-that-is- speaking to be different from the self-that-is-embodied.)  But I also don’t want to be authoritative, to speak with any definite-end-point. I don’t want to resolve, or de-complexify subjects to squeeze out answers. I’m not sure where that leaves me. by Zarina Muhammad, 2016

Video screening: Snakey (8''19); White Cube (1''53); Space Goddess (1''43); I hate the internet (2''31); Taal Se Taal Mila (0''44); Lage Raho (3''30); yaad piya ki aane lagi (2''26); How Fucking Transformational (5''03); Tiger style feat. Seema and Yo Yo Honey Singh (5''24) and Digjihad (2''18)


Zarina Muhammad

Born in 1994, London, England, is a moving image and performance artist who has recently graduated from Fine Art at Central St Martin’s. Growing up in London with Gujarati and Bengali parents, her work deals with the in-between spaces of her diasporic experience; living in between cultures and the duality and fluidity of having a multi-cultural identity in the post internet world. Recent Group Exhibitions: 2015 Space Invaders, ArtLacuna, London; 2015 Cultural Bonds: Variant Spaces Collective, NSH Arts, London; 2014 Baldwin’s Nigger Reloaded, INIVA, London; 2014 I’m Feeling 22, The Space, Abu Dhabi. Zarina shares her work through diverse avenues such as the UK based organization, Variant Space, a creative platform to advance the work of female Muslim artists. She has recently been selected for Bloomberg’s New Contemporaries 2016.

Seema Mattu

Born in 1993, Birmingham, England is a digital artist who has recently graduated from Fine Art at Central St Martin’s.

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