In every conflict, there is a propaganda machine that defines the enemy as “not like us,” as “The Other.” We do this in war to enable soldiers to kill, but stereotyping based on race, age, and gender happens in peacetime, too.
This series gives viewers the opportunity to look through the eyes of others, so to speak. Each of the six “black boxes” has a different interior. Looking in, the viewer sees a face with his/her/their own eyes in the place of the figure’s eyes—simultaneously looking into another’s head as well as seeing themselves as the other. The cast bronze faces lack racially distinct coloration and are reduced to shapes, lines and texture. The castings are concave rather than convex. As the viewer looks at the multiple images visible, the brain “flips” the image from concave to convex and back, an allusion to the unreliability of visual perception which constitutes much of the basis for racialization.
Like many child migrants, Fawzia Khan has a foot in more than one culture but does not wholly belong to any. The Nigerian-born Pakistani-American artist explores themes of identity, gender roles, and bias, and what lurks below the surface or within the self to reveal truths about the human condition.
Formerly a practicing obstetrician/gynecologist, she is active in the Twin Cities arts community, and has a permanent installation in the Artery project in the Hopkins Center for the Arts.
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