Critical Mass for the Visual Arts is a nonprofit, self-formed visual arts collaborative dedicated to promoting, enhancing and initiating contemporary visual art in the St. Louis region.
This episode we’re chatting with Asma Kazmi. Asma is a research-based artist who combines virtual and material objects to explore simultaneity — a tug of more than one time and place. Her work involves long term engagement with cities, architecture, plants, animals, stones, and other matter to locate vestiges of relations forged by the legacies of colonialism and post-colonial contexts. Combining visual and textual detritus from western and non-western historical manuscripts, photographs, archival material, fragments of locations, and mixing them with her own fabulations, Kazmi tells intertwining stories about Islam, Muslim culture, complex trade routes, global flows of people and commodities, labor, colonial and indigenous knowledge systems, and interspecies entanglements. Kazmi was born in Quetta, a city in Pakistan, near the border with Afghanistan. She works between the US, India, Pakistan, China, Europe, and the Middle East to create installations that are legible in various cultural contexts. Kazmi is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Art Practice and the Berkeley Center for New Media at UC Berkeley. Previously, she was permanent faculty and co-program director of the Art Program at the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles.
Midwest Artist Project Services (MAPS) and Critical Mass partnered to present a virtual local artist roundtable on Thursday, May 20 at 6:00 pm. The conversation centered on the impact of the pandemic on artists and reimagining creative life after. It asked the following questions: How have artists adapted their practices? What are valuable resources? How do artists think creatively about the future, especially reimagining systems? It is our sincere hope this is a meaningful opportunity to share stories and ideas, connect, and deeply reflect. The conversation was moderated by Vanity Gee—writer, musician, cultural producer, mother—and includes Rachel Youn, Simiya Sudduth, and Jayvn Solomon. The event was captured in poetry by Sahara Sista SOLS.
Critical Mass for the Visual Arts is pleased to announce the winners of the 12th annual Creative Stimulus Award. This year’s selected artists are José Guadalupe Garza, Simiya Sudduth, and Chloe West. Creative Stimulus awards unrestricted funding to support artists to pursue special projects, experiment with new techniques, and deepen their understanding of their working processes. The artists were selected by a jury that included Terry Suhre, former director at Gallery 210; Gavin Kroeber, Studio for Art and Urbanism; and artist Asma Kazmi. Each artist receives an award of $1,500 for their use as creative operating capital. Media Contact: Meridith McKinley- See press release.