Fellowship

Fellow 2018/2019

Haseeb Ahmed

Haseeb Ahmed is a research-based artist who produces objects, site-specific installations, films, and writes for various publications. Often working collaboratively, Ahmed integrates methodologies from the hard sciences into his art production. He recently worked with the von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics, Brussels, to create Wind Egg Trilogy, which blends art and aeronautics, myth and technology, to create new narratives for the present, and a solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp, 2018. Ahmed has been a resident at the Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht, and the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, Madison, ME, and his work has been exhibited at: Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago; Göteborg International Biennial of Contemporary Art, Gothenburg; Museum Bärengasse Zurich, Zurich; and Symposium Alanica, Vladikavkaz. He is represented by Harlan Levey Projects in Brussels. Ahmed lectures at Zurich University of the Arts, Zurich, and has taught courses and workshops at a number of universities.

Fellowship Research Trajectory

How’s the Weather Underground? is a question that intertwines ideological, historical, and ecological concerns. One way to rephrase this question is to ask: What models and thought figures enable us to speak about human political activity and natural phenomena with the same language, and what are its implications? Furthermore, how are the metaphorical capacities of scientific research used for political effect, and by whom?

People experience fluctuations in stock markets like fluctuations in temperature or humidity and read about both in the same news media. The relatively recent entry into the Anthropocene geological era is predicated on the inseparability of human activity and global climates, so how to address forms of alienation in capitalism through this social and now literal relationship with the weather? Artist and educator Haseeb Ahmed proposes thought figures that are simultaneously scientific and political models, and employs them in artworks. In particular, Ahmed focuses on fluidity and a visual and historical investigation of the conception of time as spiral. Think of a hurricane with clouds revolving around the low-pressure “eye of the storm”—the center is always empty and only given form by the turbulences revolving round it.