Frieze Art Fair
October 17 - October 20, 2013
London, United Kingdom

In its first participation at Frieze Art Fair London, Grey Noise will feature a solo project in the Frame section, titled "Transmissions from a missing satellite" by Mehreen Murtaza.

Mehreen Murtaza’s work is a composition of visual narratives where traditional background meets the popular. With imagery derived from Sufi culture and the skewed logic of science fiction, her labour-intensive digital collages are a virtual world that juxtaposes the natural with the mechanical, where technology challenges religious myth, superstition and ritual. The premise for the show lays in dream logics, alternative knowledge, uncertain histories and the creative production of new and perhaps imaginary information where a conception of the alternative reality is expressed into the realm of an exhibition scenario.

Through photography and multi-media sculpture, Murtaza’s work draws reference to both western and Islamic historical lineage, whereby layers of one discourse are invoked upon another, suggesting a complexity that is reminiscent of 1950’s - 60’s science fiction, where mystical ideas of spirituality pervade with scientific theories and tech-speak.

In Transmission From A Missing Satellite, we follow cryptic clues and mystical evidence through a bricolage of fact, fiction, truisms, and historical displacement vis-à-vis the fragmented narrative of the late Dr. Abdus Salam, who’s work in the field of theoretical physics won him the Nobel Prize for physics in 1979. His memory has been marred by prejudice because he belonged to the minority Ahmadi sect, a group persecuted by successive governments since 1974; and condemned as heretics by even mainstream Muslims. Murtaza treats Abdus Salam’s biography as the foundation of a scripted narrative with numerous artistic approaches to visualize adventures in quantum immortality and meta-verses. 

Ultimately Murtaza’s visual narratives investigate concepts such as authenticity and objectivity. By contesting the division between the realm of memory and the realm of experience, there is a prevalent visual vocabulary that addresses many different social and political issues. The work incorporates a specific time and place, granting to the viewer a fictional and experiential universe that emerges bit by bit. Murtaza opens herself to these thematic concerns in a way that does not retreat into a confession of identity politics, but instead attempts to discover a historical framework in which to interpret the current unrest. Her work speaks from a specific position that does not come with political or artistic manifestos; it is not Futurism, nor is it Afro-futurism. It is searching to find a transnational artistic position beyond Orientalism, consumerism and propaganda.

press release pdf / view show