St. Lawrence University’s Richard F. Brush Art Gallery will feature an exhibition co-curated by Saima Akhtar and Mona Damluji, titled “Multitudes: An art exhibition in the age of the #muslimban” from Oct. 18 to Dec. 15.
A number of exhibitions since 9/11, and now in the age of the #muslimban, have used art as a platform to counter discrimination and Islamophobia by humanizing Muslims and emphasizing their contributions to American society. Yet, even when cast in a positive light, the image of Muslims often remains oversimplified. Moreover, the full negative impact of actions such as the #muslimban on a diversity of communities (including Sikhs and non-Muslim Arabs) remains unacknowledged.
“Multitudes” is an art exhibition that seeks to do something distinct by drawing attention to the complex nature of ethnic, religious, and racial identities. The title refers to the multiple and often contradictory dimensions of identity that are expressed by individuals and communities in the United States. The exhibition explores themes of solidarity and intersection within Muslim, black, brown, gender-based, refugee and immigrant communities and highlights the impossibility of defining any region, culture, or identity through a singular understanding.
The exhibition brings together seven artists and an artists’ collaborative from diverse Muslim and non-Muslim backgrounds, whose work challenges and transcends narrow representations of people from Muslim-majority countries. While such representations are often dominated by images of violence in today’s news and entertainment media, the work in this exhibition spans a range of media, including photography, printmaking, sculpture, and painting, to create cutting-edge and subversive commentaries on contemporary society that also relate to the artists’ own complex identities.
A curator's lecture by Saima Akhtar will take place at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 23 in Griffiths Arts Center 123. The lecture is free and open to the public. A gallery reception will follow.
The gallery is open Monday through Thursday from noon to 8 p.m., and Friday and Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, visit the Brush Art Gallery at www.stlawu.edu/gallery or call 315-229-5174.