Shahzia Sikander takes classical Indo-Persian miniature painting—a traditional genre that is both highly stylized and disciplined—as the point of departure for her work, but challenges its strict formal tropes by experimenting with scale, layering, and various forms of new media. In Disruption as Rapture
, she uses animation to enliven an eighteenth-century illuminated manuscript of the Gulshan-i Ishq (Rose Garden of Love)
. In the story, star-crossed lovers must face daunting challenges and painful separation before they can unite. In keeping with the manuscript's religious and cultural plurality, Sikander's animation is multilayered, constantly in flux and transition, and open to multiple interpretations.Its presentation is organized at the Weatherspoon by Curator of Collections Elaine D. Gustafson.
Image: Shahzia Sikander, Disruption as Rapture
, 2016, HD video animation with 7.1 surround sound; music by Du Yun featuring Ali Sethi; Animation by Patrick O'Rourke; commissioned by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, duration: 10 minutes 7 seconds, edition of 3 with 2 APs. © Shahzia Sikander. Courtesy: the artist and Sean Kelly, New York.