Baseera Khan: Skowhegan Sketches
In recalling her lecture from last semester, Khan’s work takes an interest in the aesthetics of expanded documentation and the act of transcription — often translated through her use of various modes of storytelling. I was most propelled by her ‘infinite layering’ of mixed media to almost deduce and mislead the the actual medium she was using in her earlier work, as she often allowed the viewer to guess for themselves, such as in “Thoughts.” Again, I admire artists who integrate art at the intersection of text and poetic intent– in “2014: Arrivals,” Khan explores this very notion through performance, yet giving poetry life through video documentation. She targets the political arena in which politics imposes social space, where her own personal anecdotes from watching “Somewhere Out There,” an animated film released nationwide in 1986 called “An American Tail” as a child; she saw its trailers broadcast on TV in the same moment that the evening news reviewed Ronald Reagan’s Immigration and Control Act (which provided amnesty to many undocumented laborers nationwide, including her family). I would be fascinated to know what was the epoch in her artistic career which stimulated her to transform art into more of a poetic medium (especially in more of her modern works) to exploit social and political issues which become her conceptual framework in her art making.