Update 4: Exhibition Premiere

Exhibition premieres in September!

I have some exciting news: the Her Words project will be premiered in the opening Fall 2013 exhibition (September 9 to October 19, 2013) at the beautiful gallery of the Gateway Arts Center, Brentwood Arts Exchange, in Brentwood, MD just outside DC. The exhibition will run for six weeks and will include several programs, including a panel discussion and workshops.

I am leaving for Bangladesh on January 12 to continue work on the project. I will fly from DC to Dubai and then on to Dhaka, Bangladesh, arriving on January 13 evening. My daughters Tuli and Koli are coming with me. I will spend a few days gathering more materials and interviewing photographers/filmakers to accompany me. We plan to take a launch boat to Katakhali on January 17, reaching Katakhali approximately 30 hours later. There is no electricity on the island so I will not be reachable by email during that time but my Bangladesh cell phone should work. I will likely return to Dhaka around January 27 or 28 depending on how long it takes to get the work done. I have started talking with catalog designers and printers to start the process for making the book/catalogue for the project.

The dozen women in the project will collaborate with me to make two saris each, for a total of 24. I will bring 12 saris back with me to exhibit at the Brentwood Art Exchange, while the women will each keep one to wear. We will also do a writing workshop and the women will write autographical statements in Bengali, which I will include in the catalogue along with translations. I am also hoping a short film about the project can be created based on video taken during this visit and subsequent visits. I plan to give the women journals so that they can keep writing after I leave and jot down their thoughts about the project and about wearing the saris they made.

After the exhibition at Gateway in September, I hope to take the saris to Art Basel week in Miami (Dec. 2013) to do a performance/installation using the saris, speaking to women’s autonomy and empowerment. Then in 2014, my plan is to take “Her Words” back to Bangladesh to have an exhibition and performance in Dhaka.

I have been continuing to speak to people about the project at every opportunity, including during my artist’s talk at Hyderabad University in the summer, and at my recent exhibition at Art Asia Miami. I also discussed the project in an article I wrote for the Embassy of Bangladesh to commemorate 40 years of independence.

I will include a presentation about the project and the idea of collaborative art making and advocacy at a young artists’ workshop at the Patricia Sitar Art Center in DC in March 2013.

Thanks to all of you for your support and ideas!

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