the museum of americana

a literary review

Local Vantages

Artists in this section drew inspiration from their local communities by considering changes and happenings in their respective public spaces, creating works that document specific times and places. 

 

Akshay Bhoan: Relapse New York, video, 2019

Akshay Bhoan: i lift my black veil. i drop my black mink, digital monochrome print, 2019

1 relapse-05_bhoan (1)

Akshay Bhoan: they watch the ******* stuff, digital monochrome print, 2019

2 relapse-07_bhoan (1)

I focused on the distortions in the system, bruises and scars on the elements surrounding the unseen generator. Layer by layer ideas formed a monochromatic block of observations that necessitated the force to show itself, a trick to betray its concealment.’ In my book Relapse NYC, photographic observations in New York City Subway are presented as dissected slides and fragmented visuals. These images are then layered, sampled and distorted by artistic interventions. Condensed to form a body, a sculptural block of monochrome, the piece analyses chaos through repeating occurrences, revealing hidden patterns which define social and environmental tendencies, systems and anthropological structures of the city. The piece is created through a nonlinear mass of black and white xerox-style photographs shot on a cell phone over 5 years. The medium chosen is a demonstration of a democratic process available to everyone – a copy machine, scotch tape, and a cellphone. Stylistically the images focus on singular excitations in the confined space – still experiences in a dynamic chaotic cell of the subway. Layered acetate transparencies build on the relationships with the observations as well as attempt to compress down the dimensions of the spatial experiences. Graffiti style sketches and writings combine the language of the city with the artists’ correlations in abstract form. 

 

Shahab Zargari and Heela Naqshband: Bellagio says Life Sucks, Go Painting, cross processed 35mm film double exposure print, 2008

4 Bellagio says Life Sucks, Go Painting - Shahab Zargari and Heela Naqshband

 

Shahab Zargari and Heela Naqshband: Property is Theft, cross processed 35mm film double exposure print, 2008

3 Property is Theft - Shahab Zargari and Heela Naqshband

In 2008 Shahab Zargari shot an entire roll of slide film, and then wound it back to the first shot and handed it to his partner Heela Naqshband without informing her of what he shot. The roll was then developed using a cross processing method. The results were happy accidents. The two prints we are sharing from this developed double exposure roll seemed to have organically presented commentary on America and where we are today.

 

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Akshay BhoanAkshay Bhoan (b. 1986, India) is a visual artist currently living and working in London. He graduated from the International Center of Photography NYC in 2015 and is currently pursuing his MFA at Slade School Of Art, UCL. Bhoan focuses on the intimate study of social politics, experience, and culture.

 

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Heela and ShahabHeela Naqshband is a librarian by day, and a film and record producer by night. Shahab Zargari is a marketing strategist by day and a filmmaker by night. They have been married to each other since 2001 and live with their two daughters in southern Nevada.

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