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Shrine Empire is excited to present Rites Adrift, Omer Wasim’s first solo exhibition in India, curated by Anushka Rajendran that explores, perhaps for the first time, the artist’s familial experiences of displacement and movement through various parts of the subcontinent, across three generations.

The exhibition emerges from a unique institutional partnership between Shrine Empire and Khoj International Artists’ Association. Khoj will advice the programs and outreach from their decades-long relationship with Khirkee during the duration of the exhibition, creating spaces for friendship and conviviality, which is an essential part of Wasim’s practice.

This project is the second chapter of a project titled Spectral Remains, which was previously presented at Colomboscope 2022, Language is Migrant curated by Anushka Rajendran with Artistic Director, Natasha Ginwala.

Asr (Urdu)
— under the influence 
— effect 
— states of possession, demonic or angelic

Asr echoes from the soul of Rites Adrift, as spirits that wail from the wounds of militarised ambitions, as hauntings of many homes broken shortly after they were lovingly forged, and as psychological states induced by forced movement, necessary subterfuge, irreparable loss and modalities of survival in the various newly defined and redefined political territories of the sub-continent. Omer Wasim’s practice of gathering traces that silently speak despite repression, censorship and erasure, within this exhibition allows legibility—veiled, fragmented and meandering—to a telling of his familial history that spans this geo-political region, from some years prior to 1947 and until the years that ensued after 1971. This exhibition lends witnesses as a form of resistance to assertions of un-belonging, sensorial remembrances that are intergenerational and rituals of a displaced time and space that have been forcibly made illicit. Sonic residues of jinns, whispers of botanical life forms caught in the winds of history, the roar of oceans that may still commune with one another and the call of crickets from various geographies in South Asia convene as one to invite us into the exhibition.

                                                      – excerpt from curatorial note by Anushka Rajendran


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