September 26, 2023
Hajra Waheed’s first major museum solo exhibition in the US Hajra Waheed: A Solo Exhibition curated by Wassan Al-Khudhairi is now open at CAM St. Louis!
This exhibition presents Waheed’s distinct visual language of using the ordinary to convey the profound. Central to the exhibition is Hum (2020)—the artist’s seminal multi-channel musical composition and sound installation. Hum, whose title translates to “We” in Urdu, is composed of eight songs of resistance from South, Central, West Asia and Africa. Across each of these hummed verses are stories of struggle against state oppression, the rise of authoritarianism, and the plight and hope of working people, the marginalized, and the dispossessed. In the surrounding gallery are sculptures, drawings, and painted works on paper from Waheed’s foundational studio practice. These works emphasize both the importance of our relationship to the natural world and the vital role of sound in Waheed’s practice of abstraction. Writing also plays a critical role in Waheed’s artistic process, evidenced in the culminating work in the exhibition, The Spiral (2019). This poetic film, narrated by the artist, reflects on change while reminding us of the importance of maintaining the long view, especially in relation to social transformation.
Hajra Waheed: A Solo Exhibition is on view until February 11, 2024.