Performance-in-Place: Waste of a Nation by Baseera Khan

When 5 Nov 2020
6:00PM - 7:30PM
Where The 8th Floor
17 West 17th Street
New York, NY 10011
United States

Reflecting on months spent in the confines of her own home and studio, which morphed into classroom, disco, and café, Baseera Khan’s Waste of a Nation will feature multiple performance personae, code switching between personalities to deconstruct contemporary notions of cancel culture, the appropriation (and re-appropriation) of language, recently heightened awareness of race’s intersections with class and the environment, and how cultural capital can be mined from both source and colonizer. Khan’s performance will be followed by a discussion prompted by Rubin Foundation Director Sara Reisman.

Access Information: This performance includes live ASL interpretation and captioning.


Baseera Khan is a New York-based visual artist who sublimates colonial histories through performance and sculpture in order to map geographies of the future. Khan opened their first solo exhibition at Simone Subal, New York and a two-person show at Jenkins Johnson Projects (2019). They have exhibited in numerous locations such as Sculpture Center (2018), Aspen Museum (2017), Participant Inc. (2017), Moudy Gallery at Texas Christian University (2017), Fine Arts Center of Colorado College (2018), and has performed at several locations including Whitney Museum of American Art and Art POP Montreal International Music Festival. Khan was an Artist-in-Residence at Pioneer Works (2018-19) and Abrons Art Center (2016-17), was an International Travel Fellow to Jerusalem/Ramallah through Apexart (2015), and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2014). Khan was a recipient of the BRIC Colene Brown Art Prize and the Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Grant in 2019, was granted by both NYSCA/NYFA and Art Matters in 2018. Their works are part of several public permanent collections including the Solomon R. Guggenheim, Kadist, San Francisco, and the Walker Art Center, MN. Khan is published in 4Columns, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Artforum, Art in America, BOMB, Brooklyn Rail, and TDR Drama Review. She received an M.F.A. from Cornell University (2012) and a B.F.A. from the University of North Texas (2005).

I am a New York-based artist who combines distinct and often mutually exclusive cultural references to explore the conditions of alienation, displacement, assimilation, and fluidity. I see bodies as collaged identities constantly subject to volatile social environments, especially within capitalist-driven societies such as the United States. I see bodies as living between the realms of surveillance and otherness which results in a suspension between exile and kinship central to my practice. To balance this subjectivity, I began to self-censor and develop secretive environments of sanctuary in my life and work. These life lessons transform into motives of obscurity that lead me to a careful deployment of material and linguistic shifts. The use of fashion, photography, textiles and music, sculpture and performance manifest my native-born femme Muslim American experience, a legacy for my aesthetic concealment.

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Image courtesy of the event organizer.