Surabhi Ghosh: Pattern, Material, and Myth

Thursday April 15th, 2021, 6:30-7:30p CST
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Zoom Meeting ID: 975 2696 0040
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Visiting Artist Surabhi Ghosh will be giving an artist talk on Thursday, April 15st, at 6:30-7:30p CST. Come join us!

Preregistration is required to received passcode.

Patterns don’t tell us what will happen; they tell us what could happen if certain conditions are met. Starting from this alternate frame—pattern as potentiality—and drawing on her work with textile-based installations, Surabhi Ghosh argues that patterning should be conceived of as an agile “way of knowing.” Triangulating between multiple conceptualizations—pattern as language, pattern as tensility, pattern as activity—in this lecture Ghosh discusses pattern as a pliable material whose structures can be studied, learned, interpreted, and put to use. By identifying the opposing concepts often invoked to either legitimize or devalue pattern—concrete and abstract, functional and ornamental, rational and ridiculous—Ghosh shares the many ways she uses patterning to critically redefine these binaries as points along a complex spectrum of cultural and political expression. She presents three recent projects as examples of how patterning (as a verb) can expose complex relations between personal history, political critique, and philosophical inquiry. Combining art making with interdisciplinary research, Ghosh builds a web of connections between textile-objects, gendered narratives, global migration, nationalist ideologies, and cultural diaspora.

Surabhi Ghosh is an artist and educator based in Montreal, Quebec, where she is Associate Professor of Fibres & Material Practices in the Department of Studio Arts at Concordia University. Recent projects have been exhibited at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, the Wing Luke Museum in Seattle, and Heaven Gallery in Chicago. Upcoming solo exhibitions will take place at Hawthorn Contemporary in Milwaukee, Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown, P. E. I., and the Maison des arts de Laval. Using repetitive actions like stitching, cutting, and beading, Ghosh exploits the tensions and imperfections in handmade patterns to give material and spatial form to cyclical narratives of pride and shame. Incorporating her experiences as a North American descendant of South Asian ancestors, her recent work investigates the transmission of cultural identity and nationalist ideology to and from the diaspora.

Image info:

Surabhi Ghosh. Taken In, Taking On. 2020. Glass beads, nylon thread, powder-coated steel.

Detail view. Photo credit: Guy L’Heureux. Photo courtesy of Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal.