Utsa Hazarika, Ayesha Kamal Khan, Sophie Kovel, Emilio Martínez Poppe

Refindable Places

18.05.2024 — 15.06.2024
Refindable Places

Exhibition text

refindable places

pre-determine identities, histories, and the flow of information; 

closed systems whose mechanisms fall flat when dealing with matter outside imperialist global structures; 

precarious postcolonial formations which gesture—in ways incomplete and provisional—towards dissenting ways of being in contemporary culture and global politics.

Refindable Places is a co-organized exhibition that developed out of an ongoing reading group of artists investigating the politics of place. The exhibition takes a definitional point of departure responding to the term “refindable place” as articulated by Edward Said in “Imaginative Geography and Its Representation.” Making the term plural provided an entry into multiple, and sometimes conflicting meanings of the term. The works in this exhibition might be thought of as studies on refindable places, considering colonial place-making, archival practice, and means of resisting erasure. By questioning spatial reduction in communities, institutions, and governments, these projects address the ways we are complicit in both their reduction and transformation.

Utsa Hazarika is an artist and writer based in Queens. Her research-based practice ranges across video, installation and sculpture, and explores how an interdisciplinary dialogue between art and social research can push us to think about power, memory and resistance. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including a solo exhibition at the Queens Museum, and group shows at Museum of the City of New York; Hessel Museum of Art, New York; and Cemeti Institute for Art and Society, Indonesia. She has been awarded residencies and fellowships including Pioneer Works, Asian Cultural Council, Lijiang Studio, and Khoj International Artists’ Association. She holds an MFA in Fine Arts from The New School, an MPhil in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge, and attended the Whitney Independent Study Program. Her art and academic research has been published in Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology, Trans Asia Photography Review, and The Caravan.

Ayesha Kamal Khan works with local material extractions and the incapacity of translation. The work confesses these discrepancies and instead seeps into the gaps. She exaggerates temporary solutions to claim land, looking for a balance revealing the lack thereof. Khan is a recent fellow at the Whitney Independent Study Program. She has participated in numerous artist residencies including Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Her work has been exhibited at art institutions internationally, including the Karachi Biennale, the Queens Museum, and the Kuwait Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale. Khan is currently teaching at Pratt Institute and elsewhere. She lives and works between Islamabad and New York City.

Sophie Kovel is an artist and writer whose work examines the economic, social, aesthetic, and ideological operations of ethnonationalism. Kovel’s projects and criticism have been published in Artforum, F Magazine, Frieze, PALM: Jeu de Paume, and elsewhere. Selected exhibitions include Petrine, Paris; NEON Foundation, Athens; Jenkins Johnson, New York; University of California; Los Angeles; and Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Denmark. Kovel is a Visiting Lecturer at Barnard College and Columbia University, New York; and was a studio fellow of the Independent Study Program, Whitney Museum of American Art.

Emilio Martínez Poppe is an artist and educator whose work is concerned with the right to the city and the struggle of public space. Recent exhibitions include the Queens Museum, New York; Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Philadelphia; and de Brakke Grond, Amsterdam. Forthcoming exhibitions include a commission by Mural Arts in the Philadelphia City Hall courtyard. Emilio earned an MFA and MCP from the University of Pennsylvania, a BFA from The Cooper Union, and was a studio fellow in the Whitney Independent Study Program. Collective research projects include BFAMFAPhD and Pinko Magazine. Emilio is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Graduate Communications Design department at Pratt Institute and manages the Civic Arts Program in the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.