Rasheed Araeen’s monumental commission adopted the familiar form of bamboo scaffolding used across South Asia for ritual and ceremonial purposes to destabilise the American imperialist idiom of minimalism, with its focus on the machine-made, replicable form.
2-10 February 2018 | rasheed araeen | Dhaka Art Summit
A rite of passage can be described as a form of ceremony which occurs when an individual, or individuals, leave one group/society to enter another, a harbinger of impending change. Moving towards the decolonisation of form, Rasheed Araeen’s monumental commission Rite/Right of Passage (2016-2018) rose from the entrance of the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, adopting the familiar form of bamboo scaffolding, as well temporary bamboo pavilions used across South Asia, for ritual and ceremonial purposes, to destabilise the American imperialist idiom of minimalism, with its focus on the machine-made, replicable form. Araeen’s sculptural passage into the Dhaka Art Summit 2018 was through an improvised space of geometry, fundamental to an Islamic worldview which was developed from the 8th century. The reference to these forms became a conceptual gesture for Araeen, acting in defiance of Western hegemony over regimes of vision, which he believes are enforced through the proliferation and circulation of living images. DAS 2018 invited visitors to embark on a rite of passage into a new mode of thinking with Bangladesh at the centre of its own existence, rather than that periphery of someone else’s, while also looking back at the philosophies that informed the long history of internationalism in the region.
Commissioned and Produced by the Samdani Art Foundation for DAS 2018. Courtesy of the Artist, Samdani Art Foundation, and Grosvenor Gallery.