Seher Shah

Jihad Pop
January 11 - February 23, 2008
New York

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January 2008 New York – Bose Pacia Gallery presents Jihad Pop, an exhibition of new work by Seher Shah. The gallery is located at 508 West 26th Street on the 11th Floor, in the Chelsea district of New York City. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 to 6 pm and by appointment. The artist will be in attendance at the opening reception on Friday, January 11th from 6 to 8 pm. The public is invited.

Seher Shah was voted one of the most significant emerging artists in 2007 by Frieze Magazine. Her work navigates the many permutations of personal nostalgia. Shah's black and white prints and drawings explore the dimensions and incarnations of the geometry of the Cube with its multiple associations and connections within the Islamic cultural collective. The exhibition is comprised of large-scale drawings as well as work that ranges in size down to a series of small print details. The impetus of her artistic exploration is the space of memory. This began with her personal recollection and retracing of iconic Islamic spaces and forms. Shah's drawings begin to illustrate the infinite possible permutations of individual conceptions of the idea of the collective Cube or Kaaba form.

In negotiating these various permutations of the cube Shah investigates the possible multiplicities of meaning through personal memory. The title of this body of work, Jihad Pop, speaks to the multifarious nature of nostalgic imagery. Few words are loaded with more contemporary significance than both jihad and pop. "Jihad," which represents the desire for spiritual self-perfection, is a term that undoubtedly causes much dissonance in the minds of those for whom the current pejorativity of the word disrupts the personal relevance of self-perfection. Likewise, "Pop," can be seen as related to the obsession with popular culture, mass capitalism, or even a sharp sound or abrupt movement, especially in tandem with "Jihad." Working through the combinations of these words begins to set the stage for the spaces created in Shah's drawings which range from very small and intimate prints to large, encompassing drawings.

Shah's work portrays the organic amalgam of recreating childhood scenes synthesizing location and sentiment into a kinetic alternate space of memory; memory which makes no distinction between public and private happenings. Having personally grown up in many disparate cultures Shah's nostalgic mise en scène is a construction of icons, symbols, and public and private spaces. Through her thoughtful and innovative draughtsmanship, Shah presents the viewer with dynamic landscape of imagined recollection.

Born in Karachi, Pakistan in 1975, Seher Shah has lived multinationally, between Pakistan, the UK, Belgium, and the US. Shah studied architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design. She has participated in group and solo exhibitions throughout the United States and internationally. Jihad Pop marks the artist's first solo exhibition at Bose Pacia New York. Seher Shah currently lives and works in Brooklyn.