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February 18, 2011 / the s.a. project

Flesh for art

Amongst the things that have kept me busy post-MA are packing and shifting house, giving away my family of 1 dog and 4 cats, cartoning and labeling everything I don’t need for now and kind of preparing myself for the Big Move to Brazil.

Some kind of Bizarre that is. So the husband and I make our way to a country I left more than 26yrs ago. It’s almost like a cycle of sorts but I’m not sure of what ‘sorts’. It’s exciting and it’s equally terrifying. My parents both say they loved that country. The same parents who’s 21 year old divorce I readily exploited in the India Art Summit Art Project that I did this January. Woot.

IAS 2011 Art Projects – OUT LOUD THOUGHTS – Saira Ansari

Photographs courtesy Umer Butt @ Grey Noise. Click here to view more pictures from the IAS 2011 in the Grey Noise facebook album

But I have been really busy otherwise too. Right after the IAS chaos was over, for which I did NOT make it to Delhi due to the fabulous diplomatic relations between Pakistan and India, I got cracking on two new shows. One for the jamjar gallery in Dubai and the other an experimental art project for the new MARKER section at the Art Dubai 2011 curated by Nav Haq. Both are up in  March.

This is very strange and very new for me. And extremely intimidating. I think way too much. About people and artists and markets and buying and selling and pricing. the usual. International markets scare me. Not my work. Just me. I like the fact that I’m being selected for my quirky work. And I liked the work I sent to India. Non-commercial and weird. But what happens next? My work mostly thrives on all kind of things that I feel obsessively about. I don’t like talking about it, and the MA programme made me talk about it for 2 years (!!) which changed the whole dynamics of the way I thought and worked. Now I’m on my own again. More informed but definitely freer to chose my way. And naive as it sounds, I find it unbelievably impossible to price my work. I’ve sold work many times before and much as I needed the cash I was more happy to find people who actually liked my work as much as I did! I’ve been beating about the bush on this one for weeks and at the end I’ll let Umer Butt and Atteqa Ali have their way with me in the 2 shows.

The themes are exciting, albeit commercial ones. I’m making nasty scribbly drawings of the nasty scribbly things that define me. Because if I sell, I’ll sell it my way. Ugh. Me me me. Bite a zombie, woman, and bloody fucking get over it.


The shows are:


New Art from Pakistan, Bangladesh & Iran

At the jamjar gallery,

St. 17a, behind Dubai Garden Centre, Shk. Zayed Rd.,

12 March – 30 April 2011
Curated by Dr. Atteqa Ali

Younger than 30, the seven artists in “Hear Me Roar” are a fresh generation of practitioners who holler to be heard. They are energized new female voices from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Iran that offer playful and quirky, yet potent images of life in these nations – from ordinary rituals to extraordinary circumstances, from personal aspirations to collective desires. The seven women disturb not only our perceptions, but also our expectations. Their imagery screams out novel perspectives on women, how they are expected to act, and the ways in which they really behave; yet silence and stillness define these works.
Artists: Saira Ansari, Nida Bangash, Ala Dehghan, Rabbya Naseer, Ayesha Sultana, Newsha Tavakolian and Hurmat ul-Ain.



2011 is the inaugural year for MARKER at Art Dubai. Art Dubai has commissioned curator Nav Haq to invite and develop projects with experimental commercial and non-commercial art spaces from across Asia and the Middle East, most of whom are new to exhibiting within an art fair. These five dynamic concept stands, dotted through the gallery halls, will showcase work by emerging artists and will be reflexive of the fair as a phenomenon that exemplifies today’s experiential turn in the art milieu. The art fair is an example of the experience economy par excellence, embodying the realms of escapism, entertainment, education and aesthetics.

MARKER 2011 will be negotiated as a particular kind of convergence – an energetic space of transfer for people, brands, art, money and ideas.

The initiatives invited to take part are:

Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum (ACAF), Alexandria
Grey Noise, Lahore
Liu Ding’s Store, Beijing
Makan, Amman
Ruangrupa, Jakarta



Leave a Comment
  1. shalalae / Feb 18 2011 1:56 am

    Reading you is a bit addictive. Thank you

    • the s.a. project / Feb 19 2011 9:34 pm

      hearing nice things about me is a bit addictive. thank you.

  2. s.h / Feb 18 2011 9:31 am

    best of luck

  3. Naqsh Raj / Feb 18 2011 11:02 pm

    CONGRATULATIONS SAIRA! I love the one on the glass window…. I think its very very,
    I don’t know, but interesting.

    and I will miss your jumping feet in the studio…. and the way you had a view point on every disaster.

    love you.

    • the s.a. project / Feb 19 2011 9:36 pm

      thanks naqsh. im glad you liked the work! 🙂
      good luck with your vasl residency. its fantastic that you applied for that…and got in.


  1. Flesh for art | Tea Break

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