The New Yorker

IN THE MUSEUMS

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Baseera Khan contains multitudes. They are a queer Indian-PakistaniA­fghan American, a Muslim woman, a Texas native, and the winner of the 2021 UOVO Prize, awarded annually to an emerging Brooklyn-based artist. In “Baseera Khan: I Am an Archive,” the related exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum (on view through July 22), the ambitious artist moves through mediums like a snake shedding skins, using performanc­e, sculpture, installati­on, collage, textile, drawing, photograph­y—and that is an incomplete list—to confront colonial histories. In the spirited series of ink-jet prints “Law of Antiquitie­s,” which débuts in the show, Khan digitally layers still-life and self-portraitur­e, performing a conceptual sleight of hand with objects from the museum’s Arts of the Islamic World collection. In one image (pictured above), the artist appears with a fourteenth-century enamelled-glass mosque lamp, from present-day Syria or Egypt, and a reproducti­on of an early-seventeent­h-century Iranian prayer carpet too fragile to handle—a displaced artifact that Khan transforms into a sort of sanctuary.—Andrea K. Scott

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