GEOMETRY OF SHADOWS

Region/Concept: South Asia/North America, Space (Intricate Surfaces)
Sub-Concepts: Intensification, Immensity, Shadows
Description: Anila Quayyum Agha builds a box of casting shadows reproducing the geometry of Alhambra, a famous fortress in Granada built in the 9th century AD.

There is an enormous history behind these patterns, alluding to a sacred space of creativity in science and religion. The title references the intersections of cultures that passed through the palace and the region: Arab, Berber, Spanish, Jewish. Strictly speaking, intersections are points where two or more diverging lines cross each other’s paths. Hence, a point of intensification. But more importantly, as we swirl around the space illuminated by the crocheted box, we start to hallucinate a bit. We see a box which is empty but which emanates light. Through this emanation, the radiating light, a new surface is created (projected on the walls), and the entire space is filled with intricate patterns. The inside of the box is unfolded to the outside. The innate curiosity we have about a closed box and its contents is thus spectacularly resolved. Here it is just a gift of the new surface. The secret (meandering intersections) is manifested and projected to the outside. A feeling of intimate immensity imposes itself. Expensive infinity envelops us in a closed room through the intricacy of the patterns: a constellation of a universe. The hierarchy between shadow and light collapses, as both are equally important and cannot exist without one another (“Night too is a Sun,” says one philosopher). Finally, in this immensity the walls of the room become canvases, as we the spectators too become canvases, our bodies points of intersection. There is no audience anymore, only meeting points.

https://www.artprize.org/anila-quayyum-agha/2014/intersections

Dejan Lukic