Mahera Khaleque
Currently, my work has two directions. One addresses my cultural displacement, alongside my integration in the American culture for two decades. The other direction embodies the concept of erasure, possibly, due to my observation of political events, in which a large part of the history had been erased and re-written by a military regime in my home-country, Bangladesh. My work refers to history, memory and the reconciliation of my internal struggle as a diaspora artist.
Speaking from an in-between position, I represent the idea of presence and absence through revealing and concealing numerous layers in my work, echoing the intricate memory strata. Frequently, I use newspapers in my native language (Bangla) and English, copies of diary pages with personal history, old fabrics worn by immigrant women, grocery coupons, paints on plaster etc. My installations tend to create an immersive environment with paintings, objects, and video pieces. Projections on paintings allow overlapping of images, materials and mediums, resonating the complexity in which history is made globally. Obscured layers, metaphorically, mimic the course of deliberate concealment – a reason for my displacement.
With a sense of loss as well as a desire to belong, I view my own immersion, integration and growth in the American culture as interwoven. The notion of home, to me, is a sum of complex ongoing experiences and memories from two cultures that have become intertwined as my latest pieces represent. I hope to offer visual experiences that begin with curiosity and end with a sense of empathy.