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Radical Housing and Socially-Engaged Art

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Curated by: Mario D’Souza, Mila Samdub and Radha Mahendru

Participants: Ala Younis, Bani Abidi , Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Pallavi Paul, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Sahil Naik, Superflex, Susan Schuppli, Zuleikha Chaudhari + KHOJ.


In 2017, KHOJ staged a hearing titled ‘Landscape As Evidence: Artist As Witness’, developed in collaboration with artist Zuleikha Chaudhari. Hoping to provide alternatives to established social, political, and economic narratives, the hearing presented art as evidence and artists as witnesses in a simulated court of law. Opening with a video of these proceedings, This Must Be True complicated the very act of witnessing in the collapsing gulf between law and aesthetics.

Our curatorial enquiry located itself in the disquiet of the strange shifts our worlds are undergoing. In the tangle of surveillance, big data, algorithms, and post-truth politics, we continually produce, document, and archive ourselves as consenting and unwitting subjects. This Must Be True questioned the delight, revulsion, anxiety, and conviction in our practices of mass witnessing. In the world and in the exhibition space, we are implicated in the twin acts of spectatorship and participation.

From spaces of stillness and action, the works in the exhibition posited witnesses that were romantic, non-sentient, voyeuristic, under threat, and incarcerated.

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