| Contemporary Art and Identity | next
Suitcase Story, 2000 (detail #3)
28" x 10"
Suitcase Story is based on a series of New York Times
articles I had been collecting over a period of a month. This was at
the time of the Indian Airline hijacking when the U.S. State Department
was considering putting Pakistan on its list of terrorist countries.
Suitcase Story is an attempt to investigate the determining nature of
these media representations. One's national identity; especially as
a minority, is defined to the public by what appears in the news media.
I am interested in investigating this role of the 'terrorist' and presenting
a visual narrative that brings into question its textual counterpart.
There seems to exist a constant Third World 'threat' to
global security. A paranoia of countries that seem unable to have any
control over their extremist groups. The fictions created by media tactics
serve to fuel and propagate this fear to the public. The possibility
of a Third World country having enough sophisticated technology adds
to the fear as they could probably start a nuclear war any minute; or
their terrorist could make bombs out of anything- recycled garbage;
and any place could be a potential site for the attack. In this project
I am creating a fiction of this sort; where fragments of newspaper articles
and images of the trajectory of a small red suitcase present possibilities
and threats whose reality is contingent to the viewer's imagination.
Alia Hassan-Khan completed her Bachelor's degree in Sculpture
from the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture in Karachi
Pakistan (1994). In 1995, she came to the U.S. for an MFA at the
School of the Museum of Fine Arts. In 1998/99 she attended the
Whitney Independent Study Program in New York. She has been in
several group shows in both Pakistan and North America, and is
interested in maintaining her practice in both places as she is
equally interested in their social politics. She will be participating
in a group show in New York City in December and is currently
working on a documentary about recent Pakistani immigrants in
the Greater New York area.
Contemporary Art and Identity | next